Monday, February 15, 2010

Marriage is harder than parenting

Larry and I left yesterday afternoon after church to go on our trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It was a great morning at church and we were really thankful for that. It had been difficult the day or two before with some some unforeseen things in our work at the church and we actually contemplated cancelling the trip, but our desire to be away together won out. We drove the majority of the way yesterday until we were tired and stopped to get a hotel room in Dalton, GA where we are right now. These days we really aren’t into driving straight through. We prefer to break up a trip and not be so exhausted once we get there.  We can't check in to our cabin til' 3 pm today, so this morning we slept in til 10 am, and now we are headed out to make the rest of our journey through the mountains and will arrive at our cabin this afternoon. The above photo is from where we ate our Valentines Day Dinner from the road.   It was cute little Denny's diner.  I had pancakes.

Recently I was counseling someone who made the observation that marriage is harder than parenting. I agree. I’ve said that for a long time. First of all, you usually don’t live with your kids “for life”. At some point they grow up and you are not living under the same roof trying to get along on a daily basis. Marriage is ordained by God to be for life, and something I call a “daily exercise in getting beyond your own selfishness.” For many reasons including this one, I do think marriage is harder, even when you have a fantastic marriage.

The past few months Larry and I have been working through a book recommended by my boss and friend, Kathryn. It’s called The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, by John Gottman. Although we are both fast readers, it really does take time to get through this book, with all of the many questionnaires it contains. We work on it together on dates, in the car from place to place, etc.

Whether it’s working through books or going away on overnight getaways, it’s taken a combination of things to keep us together over almost 23 years. One thing is for sure, if we weren’t having regular tune ups, our marriage would break down.

Once we were at the hotel last night, away from the church, work and all the normal demands on our life I put Larry’s Valentine card and Big Red Gum on his pillow and prepared to start this wonderful journey away when we will have nothing to focus on but our relationship as well as some enjoyable individual pursuits (reading, writing and reflecting for fun, sports watching, napping, etc.)  for a few precious days.

1 comment:

DaNella Auten said...

Marriage is hard, but SOOOOOOOOOO rewarding... I love my hubby. He is my best friend... Helps that just today he bought me a ford expidition, combo bday valentines day... but I loved him before that... (pics on facebook)