Tuesday, June 23, 2009

THE ANNOUNCEMENT

I must admit, I've been following the Jon and Kate drama. Like millions and millions of people, I tuned in last night to hear (and read) of their decision to split up.

The whole thing makes me sad, and although I have plenty of opinions on the matter, my greatest opinion is simply this: marriage is hard. That any survive is a flippin' miracle. That any survive after kids is a bonus miracle. That any survive when there are extenuating circumstances around the children (i.e. sheer number or need), is a miracle beyond all miracles. That being said, it's not because they have eight kids that their marriage has failed. The stress and strain of the extenuating circumstances is a fire that burns a person down to their true essence, and sadly enough, sometimes there's just not enough there to work with after the burning.

I have a new theory - one I've been working on for awhile, but the Jon and Kate thing has brought it to the light. It goes a little something like this: When your marriage is tanking, it really doesn't matter how well anything else is going. When your marriage is running smoothly, it really doesn't matter how well anything else is going.

Sunday was my in-laws 57th wedding anniversary. The fact that they've been married 40 more years than we have, blows my mind. We all got together for Father's Day/anniversary and my mom (divorced three times) asked for their words of wisdom. My wise father-in-law said, "Don't you have to be wise to have words of wisdom?" My mother-in-law quietly said, "He's been a good listener."

I think somewhere along the way Jon and Kate stopped listening to each other.

I know I've been guilty many times of not listening - not wanting to hear, and definitely I've failed to speak in a way that could/would be heard.

But after trial by fire my husband and I have finally learned how and when to speak.

And how to listen.

And when to just abide.

16 comments:

Deb Shucka said...

Even though the Jon and Kate outcome seemed inevitable, I'm saddened by it as well. I agree with you that marriage is unbelievably hard - even when the outside pressures are not so tremendous. I wish the whole family peace and healing.

I think of Abide often these days, and its close cousin Acceptance, as my own marriage goes through its most recent transition.

deb said...

I watched for a few minutes last night, they both just looked worn out. Marriage is hard, relationships are hard but changing relationships doesn't make it any easier.

My girlfriend asked why I went back to my husband. I went back because I have to learn how to do this relationship thing right, or at least better. I need a relationship to do that and any new relationship will have the same problems because I'm in it. Might as well work with what I've got.

Your in laws sound lovely.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Totally agree. Without communication, there's really nothing to work with.

jess said...

'and definitely I've failed to speak in a way that could/would be heard'

i always find myself somewhere here. every time, i recognize a little morsel and say, oh, now that sounds familiar, doesn't it.

and there it is.

it's a two way street. hearing, listening, and allowing oneself to be heard.

love

pixiemama said...

I couldn't even watch. It's too sad to bear, that this family is falling to pieces; that these children were unwittingly led to this place; the pain.

The wisdom your in laws shared resonates deeply with me. Thanks for passing it forward.

xo

Ask Me Anything said...

Deb and I share the same philosophy

Robin said...

I actually thought about Rojo when I watched last night - I know he is a big fan...

It was such a sad story to watch especially when you coulld see that they had so much potential to be a loving family until they lost their way. Marriage is such a journey.

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Yes, abiding would have served me well, I think.

Alicia (aka Dr. Mom) said...

I agree with your theory, completely! well said.

Wanda said...

Well said, Carrie. Knowing when to speak and when to wait...when to listen and when to respond...it all matters.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Ask Me Anything is referring to deb's (lower case "d") reason for going back to her husband (I know because I asked her). I agree, too. As Eckhart Tolle so wisely says, "Relationships are not here to make us happy, they are here to make us conscious."

Drama Mama said...

it's so funny; i am a little taken by their story, too...and trying to take their lessons as my own.

i understand the pain on both sides of their story. now comes the hard part - recognizing my own husband's story, and words, and yes, his own pain...

Michelle O'Neil said...

I've never watched an episode and I'm sick of them. And someone needs to fire her hair person.

Happy Anniversary to STM's parents. May we all be better listeners.

She said...

Abiding and listening. Wow.

Nancy said...

Like Michele, I never saw one episode and don't quite know the story, but your words of wisdom, Carrie are spot on. Learning when to listen, when to abide are probably the key to more than a surviving marriage but a successful one. Still learning here.

Ask Me Anything said...

I kept thinking that photo was of me! weird...