Friday, July 2, 2010

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics Applies to Marriages, Too

The love that a newlywed couple shares does not sustain a marriage. The cliché “the honeymoon’s over” is cliché for a reason.

This was brought to the fore of my thinking the other day as a friend and I watched a DVD of Robert Lewis talking about challenges to a good marriage. One of those challenges was something he calls a “creeping separateness.” “We” becomes “I,” “us” becomes “self,” common interests become his and her interests, "together" becomes "you" and "me."

I remember a schoolteacher here in Fort Wayne who was going to be retiring soon. Her husband worked in Indy and was renting an apt. there where he lived during the week. He came home on weekends. She expressed the idea that retiring and actually living with her husband every day might be kind of a chore. I was incredulous. (I was in my first year of marriage at the time.)

The key to overcoming creeping separateness, according to Lewis, is doing things together, and he has several recommendations.

I can see this whole reality in my own marriage. We can get busy—both of us—in our own spheres, even within the same house; so busy that we have little chance to talk except to exchange need-to-know information.

So today’s session was my 857th reminder that marriage doesn’t just automatically maintain “wedded bliss” status. It takes work; it takes my time and attention. My love for Sara can’t withstand the test of neglect.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I make it my business to check on people I care about and love. This is a personal goal of mine. Of course I do not always succeed 100% of the time. But This is never a goal I have to list on New-Year's Day. Never. While God is teaching me how to love Him, especially He is teaching me how to put my wife, family, others and THE CHURCH above myself. It's easier and more rewarding to neglect myself than to neglect my wife. God is not willing that any should perish. Neither am I. Therefore, I delight in living by the Hebrews 10:24 & 25 rule. I'd like to see my wife, family and friends around FOREVER! And I'm confident the Church will be. Jesus said that it is better to give than to receive. Needless to say, Kent, that's true of love. By the way, it was Billy Graham's wife, Ruth, who said that a good marriage is made up of two good forgivers. --Dad