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.