Tag Archives: Relationships

Show me your friends

12 Nov

I have tried to guard my heart and my life carefully but in the process perhaps I’ve pruned too closely?

I had a reminiscing weekend this past week. I went back to my alma mater for the first time in 10 years. Getting lost and looking at the renovations all over the campus was oddly emotional for me. I thought about all the friends I made in those dorms and in those classes. How many of those people who were my entire world back then am I still in touch with? Which of the ones I still talk to do I have as rich a relationship as we did back then?

I can count on one hand the close friends I still have from my college days eventhough I hung thick as thieves with  at least two groups of people. Now, I could say the current state of affairs is the way I chose to have it, but have i replaced my old friends with newer, shiny ones?

I could just admit that my standards are unrealistic and I have often cut off people that I no longer approve of.

In truth I struggle when my friends have chosen a path that I do not agree with or when I see a character flaw in them. Rather than speak my mind and risk their anger, I just slowly back away. I tell myself in doing this that I’m not being judgmental, but I am, aren’t I?

So how do you continue in relationship with someone you once cut off or let slip away? Can we find the worthy elements of our friendship without being caught up in the parts of us both that are broken and messy and ugly? Can we reclaim the intimacy that was lost? Has too much time passed and the neglect worn out any trust or goodwill for the friendship that existed?

I realize these are dangerous questions with consequences for what I choose to do with the answers to them. I guess all I know is that I miss the close camaraderie of those college days and it’s within my power to at least seek that out again, even if it needs to be with a different cast of characters…

“Weddings are to make money for your future” and other lies we believe

26 Jul

Oh dear. Someone actually said that, and people are actually arguing about the veracity of the statement.  Check out this Yahoo! Shine story for the full details.

What saddens me, beyond the (truly pathetic) context in which this statement was uttered, is the fact even if you and I don’t believe what she said, we probably have some other unfortunate misconceptions about marriage (and weddings). Here are four of the ones I believed:

1. There is a “one” and I have to find him: Newsflash, there’s no “one”.  That perfect soulmate, the one that completes you, the one that makes your world make sense… (are you even listening to yourself right now?!) There is no perfect mate.  It’s fine to have your list, and you should have some non-negotiable attributes you want in a mate, but here’s the real deal: Whoever you choose to marry becomes “the one”.  They are all you get anyway, so make it work.  You didn’t pick the “non-one” just because the person you married has shed their dating skin and is now fully un-camouflaged.  It just means you’re finally seeing the real person you married– warts and all.  You have annoying/disturbing/selfish tendencies, too, you know? Learn to laugh at your expectations of the perfect spouse, then roll up your sleeves and get to work making your marriage thrive.

2. If we date long enough, I can be sure they’ll be no surprises in marriage:  You can think that if you want, but dating is all about putting your best foot forward. Think about it, when you went on a date and the guy picked his nose at the dinner table, or the girl talked endlessly about her collection of shoes, you walked away and never called them back.  The person you saw again had at least the basic tenets of common decency mastered, and you seemed to jive on so many topics.  I’m not saying everyone in the dating pool is out to pull a fast one, but we tend to be on our best behavior when we’re dating– even after we’ve been together for a long time.  We minimize the time our significant others spend with our crazy family, we don’t introduce them to our obnoxious friends until we have absolutely no choice, and we never go number 2 at their place.  Marriage and the familiarity that it forces puts you in new situations and brings out unexpected reactions from you and your spouse.  It’s going to happen; accept it.

3. The purpose of marriage is romance/fulfillment/security/sex/having children:  Sadly, if you make your marriage about any of these things you will be sorely disappointed.  No one is having as much romance/fulfillment/ security or sex as they thought they would before they got married… And I hate to break it to you but children eventually grow up and leave you.  I believe in the Biblical mandate for marriage which is companionship.  That’s it! It was not good for man to be alone, so God made him a helper and companion to walk this earth with.  How much companionship and friendship is there is your marriage?  I’ve found that if I put being a buddy to my hubby first, the other things kinda fall into place.  It’s hard to totally ignore the feelings and desires of your best friend, right?

4. Marriage counseling is for people with weird issues:  Reality check! We ALL have issues.  And putting two people who grew up in different homes, with different parents, and who went through different situations together under one roof is going to bring lots of issues to light.  While I strongly believe that you have to work at making your marriage work, I do not believe you have to do it alone, or feel ashamed that you have problems that are bigger than the two of you.  GET HELP! It’s out there for a reason.  There are people smarter than you, who have been married longer, who have studied and worked with many couples, who have wisdom they can share with you and light that they can shine into the dark places of your marriage.  (While we’re on the subject— get pre-marriage counseling, too!  I did pre-marriage counseling twice, before I married my husband… yes, we had plenty of issues to work out, but we’re still reaping the benefits today!)  If you are dealing with thorny problems, not communicating properly, having a recurring sin issue in your marriage, etc.– please reach out.  I personally support New Life Ministries because I believe in the healing work that they do for singles and married people.

and here’s a freebie– Weddings are not to make money for your future.  They are to solemnize the covenant you are making to your spouse, and to celebrate your new life with family and friends.  If you need money for your future, go get a job.

Do you agree with me?  What other misconceptions and myths are out there?  What other truths do you think should be discussed?