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Sarah Henson

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Marriage: Class in Session

Posted: 01/24/2012 5:12 pm

By Hollywood standards, my husband and I have been married an eternity; in real life we're still kind of newlyweds. We have been married for 3.5 years and it has been... interesting. Don't get me wrong, I love my husband and am determined to spend the rest of my life with him, but I don't think we give people realistic ideas of marriage. My parents have been married for almost 30 years, and I have never witnessed them argue even once. Never seen my father raise his hand or voice to my mother or vice versa.

So when my parents sat my fiancé, now husband, down in the living room to have the big "marriage talk" I was a little confused. They spoke to us about the difficulties that would exist as we try to grow together, make a family, pursue dreams, face failures and fears. Robert and I left the conversation staring into the eyes of one another, searching for a glimpse of our future. Who would he be in 10 years? 10 months? I think the hardest part about marriage is understanding that you must be committed to continuously learning and teaching your partner.

If you remember being out sick from school for a couple days, returning to your class, and being completely lost in your lesson plan, that's what happens when you stop learning from your spouse. You may look up one day and realize that you're giving your spouse something they used to need. Marriage is a decision to show up to class everyday, prepared to learn, ready to teach and full of patience.

Unfortunately, no matter how much you study for a test you don't always get a passing grade. Likewise, all marriages don't work. Divorce is not always a reflection of one person's flaws or faults. People grow apart; they are separated by life and broken by tragedies. Regardless of the reason people divorce we must be careful that we don't begin to condemn marriage as a whole. Countless times have we seen high-profile divorces dissected in the media and eventually witness the comment "marriage is a joke." For many of us who have faced many trials and endured several struggles, marriage is serious.

We have worked too hard, cried too many tears, and stayed together against unimaginable odds to have the sanctity of our unity discredited. More often then not, when people face the decision to divorce it is not an easy task. You spend years learning how to blend two lives to become one and then you have to learn to separate your futures. I can only imagine the pain one endures when they begin this process. In my heart, I believe that when marriage is entered into with a sincere heart it cannot be ended without chipping the soul a bit.

So, it has become my resolution that when one of our favorite celebrities decides to split and request their privacy, I will honor that. Not because I don't want to know the details or hear each side of the story but because I know I wouldn't want to have the world reading my heartbreak, highlighting my mistakes, or leaving memories for my children of when their personal fairytale came to an end.

For all of us still showing up to marriage class (some of us more prepared than others) taking tests, failing quizzes, learning new things or bored with the same ole material, remember that as sure as the sun will set on this day, life is guaranteed to change. Cherish the good days; soak up all the rays your love has to offer, that will be your umbrella when life brings its storms.

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