Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Forsaking All Others

With this ring I thee wed. . . in sickness and in health . . . in good times and in bad . . . forsaking all others . . . all the days of my life.

My husband and I  promised this before our family and friends, but more importantly, we promised this before God.  We take our vows very seriously -- how can we not?

Most, if not all of our friends are married, happily. I take this for granted.

Last year my best friend, Ann*  called me in tears and confessed to me that her husband had asked her for a divorce. He'd just rolled over one morning, looked at her and said, "I don't love you anymore. I want a divorce." Then began months of fighting, hurtful words, late nights and finally, counselling. I was able to be her sounding board during this time. For this I am thankful. I didn't encourage her to divorce him, although I did encourage her to separate from him. The situation was going from bad to worse.

Things started just not adding up. He was staying out until four in the morning, working until three or four in the morning, and had a meeting on a major religious holiday. Ann and I talked every day. She was a pillar of strength. I mean, we knew. We knew. How could we not? But the therapist asked if Mark was cheating every week. And every week he denied it. Vehemently. But Mark said he wanted to stay. He said he wanted to work things out. So Ann didn't make him leave and they worked on their marriage. She worked so hard. I know because she and I talked every day and she asked about books to read, how to respond to different situations, how to remain calm, etc.

A few days ago she called. She'd found his briefcase and opened it. Letters. Cards. Hotel receipts. I listened to her cry and my heart broke.

 How could he? How can you make that promise before God and all your friends and family, then break it?

He says he didn't get enough 'love' enough 'sex' so he had an affair.


Our vows don't say "Forsaking all others unless I don't get enough sex inside the marriage, then I can go elsewhere."

At what point are we forgetting that we have taken vows? These are not idle words. These are not just ideas. It seems everywhere we turn these days marriages are breaking up because of infidelity. Because the man or woman just can't be faithful. Why is this such a hard concept? We're not dating. We are married. And what kind of example are we setting for our children? I can't begin to wrap my mind around that.

But Ann . . . she is an amazing woman. She is fighting for her marriage. She's in shock, and angry, and moving through all the stages of grief. I think Mark is really in for it. Honestly, I hope he suffers the way she has. That isn't kind or Christian, I'm aware. But it's honest. For right now, Ann is staying. They are headed back to therapy. They are talking. He is staying. He has asked for forgiveness. She didn't claw his eyes out. Me? I don't think know I'm not that calm of a person. I would have flown into a rage, have grabbed the kids and have been gone. And I don't know that that's the best answer. Ann and Mark have 12 years of marriage and four kids to think about. That should be tended to.

Kim

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preservers.


 Corinthians 13: 4-7

PS. To my husband: I love you more today than yesterday. I love you with all my soul, all my being. I love just being with you each and every day. You make my heart sing and my soul rejoice. When I met you I found the one God intended for me and I will tend to our marriage all the days of our lives.

*Names have been changed, obviously

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