Dec 012015 11 Responses

What I Hate About Marriage

I love marriage. If I could give an individual a gift, apart from a meaningful and vibrant faith, I would want to give people a committed, loving marriage. Few things are better than a healthy marriage. When a marriage is good, a couple can face nearly anything in life. When it’s bad, almost everything becomes impossible.

But marriage isn’t perfect. No matter how good a marriage might be, it has problems. No couple is perfect. Every relationship has strengths, weaknesses, and areas in need of growth.

I don’t hate that about marriage. The imperfections of a good marriage creates beautiful opportunities for learning and growth. When a couple creates a climate of safety, their imperfections can be embraced. It’s in our weaknesses that some of the greatest strengths of marriage appear. (See: You Don’t Know How Bad You Are Until You Are Married)

What I hate about marriage is in the bigger picture. The whole concept of marriage has major flaws. They aren’t fatal flaws. We don’t need to give up on the concept of marriage. But there are negative aspects of an otherwise positive institution.

Four things I hate about marriage:

1. It takes two to make it, but only one to break it. This isn’t fair. An individual can do everything right (not perfect) and still get divorced because their spouse chooses poorly. I’ve met people who could never imagine a scenario in which they would be divorced. They assumed if they made good choices they would have a great marriage. So they made good choices, but now they are divorced and confused. They never realized divorce can happen because of one person. (See: Two Times Never to Divorce)

2. Appearance isn’t always reality. Some of the most publicly respected marriages are actually the worst. Around others they can put on a great act, but at home they can’t stand each other. On occasion, some actually put on a PR campaign to give the appearance of health. It’s common in religious circles, among politicians, and others. They will post loving Facebook messages, pose for beautiful pictures, all while secretly despising one another. (See: You Aren’t the Perfect Couple)

3. A couple never fully knows to what they are saying “I do.” While this is one of the best parts of marriage, it’s also one of its worst. Whenever I do a wedding, I remind the couple they are making promises into a dark unknown. They are promising to love one another even though they don’t know what the future might hold. In most situations, this is a good process–we will love no matter what. But in some situations, it’s almost cruel. Early onset dementia, a tragic accident, mental illness are all possible experiences when a person vows to love until death do us part.

4. Even good marriages can end tomorrow. Months after my grandmother died, I was having a conversation with my grandfather when he said, “There is only one thing I don’t understand. Why didn’t God let me go with her?” After 70 years of marriage, my grandfather was grateful for everything, but if it had been up to him, they would have died at the same time. They did not. Few do. Nearly every marriage will end in death and the grieving spouse will be left to grieve alone. In times like this, the great moments of marriage help create the great sorrows. (See: I May Not Be Married Tomorrow)

I love marriage. Being married to Jenny is one of the great honors of my life. But marriage isn’t perfect. Neither our marriage nor marriage in general is perfect.

On a weekly basis I see couples suffering from one of these aspects of marriage.

What is one thing you hate about marriage?

11 Responses to What I Hate About Marriage
  1. carrie hill Reply

    If done properly it means full disclosure of who you are, good and bad. Your partner has the ability to nurture the good so it can grow, or, focus on the bad and destroy the opportunity to improve the relationship. We as Christians are called to Love one another; sometimes marriages have the most difficulty in doing so.

  2. Crystal Johnson Reply

    When is it ok to get a divorce? I am on my second marriage now and am truly happy and thankful, but deep down I still feel guilt over my divorce. My ex was a mentally abusive, slightly physically abusive, controlling, non working, dirty, deeply depressed, “religious”, person. I have been told by several he is/was the epitome of a narcisist. I was even told by my pastor that I did a good thing in leaving him even though God hates divorce. We were also told by our pastoral appointed marriage counselor that our marital problems were all my fault because I was not a submissive wife and that I deserved the abuse because he was a righteous man. (I never went back and that was one of the final straws). I know I did an ok thing for my own mental and physical health, but how do I get over the guilt of ending the marriage. My current husband and I have been married for 7 years. We have no children. We will not be having children for medical reasons. I chose him as a marriage and life partner because he is everything completely 100% opposite from the last one. But I am starting to see some very distant similiarities now between the two. Minor similiarities. Such as not shaving and being unkempt. Not being clean, current husband is a diesel mechanic, ex was just dirty and would go days with no shower, deodarant, wearing the same tattered clothes day after day. I want to discuss with my husband and have been trying to do so, but he doesn’t understand my fears, of what I am starting to see. I DO NOT want a divorce from my current husband!!!! He is an amazing awesome fantastic loving appreciative honorable and so much more man!!!!! But how do I make him understand my concerns on some issues?

  3. Vela Reply

    The insights I received from this and the related linked articles have helped me realize what I am doing wrong and has given me a handle on making my marriage better.

  4. Julie Parker Reply

    So much to love about a good marriage, but even in a good marriage I hate that we will let each other down. No matter what we promise, no matter how much we want to love one another, it’s inevitable that I will disappoint him and he will disappoint me. I know that’s how it should be, so that we will run to God instead. But it’s still heartbreaking to be mistreated by the one you love — to feel that deep grief in the moment or to give your spouse that grief — even if you know it’s because we are imperfect, not unloving.

  5. flyingcolours603 Reply

    i hate the dominance in marriage by husband

  6. Michelle Reply

    Hi Kevin. Have you written any articles about the time to divorce? 31 years married. Boy still a boy, addictions growing, we live barely like roommates. My doctor, counselor and lawyer all suggest divorce.

    I feel like a prisoner. With divorce, I win freedom but I lose my money to him. The courts just allowed my siblings to steal 100% of my inheritance from my parents. $250,000. These same courts mistreat women all the time. In GA, men will assets, not women. A wrong marriage is a human death sentence. It’s steal every bit of goodness in both people. For this one reason, I am happy I have no chikdfren. The relationship has cost me way too much … easy to suggest divirce. I have zero support group … a forever immature marriage is a life-long prison sentence that causes death. No life in a one-sided marriage. Church irresponsible for not helping people out of bad marriages. Church is good for causing women to get stuck and taking on guilt that no one deserves but the little boy addict.

    Women and divorce are so badly treated in the court system that women in their 70s-80s are telling me to get a man on the side and protect my assets at all cost. Sick, sick, sick state of affairs in this USA of entitlement, greed and woundedness.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I don’t think I’ve written a specific article about it. One boundary I would have–I would not live with a practicing addict.

  7. Regina Reply

    Hi Kevin,
    I don’t get why you had to name the title, “Why I hate marriage” where you speak good things about the lineage of stability within a marriage. Also, I’m 21. Yeah. What’s a girl like me doing here, you might ask, all you people out there reading? I often have my moods and come here curiously. I know I’m the weirdest person to come here. Do not judge me. Sometimes I get curious about the idea of marriage in my life. Again, don’t judge me since I’m just a college student. I also contemplate if having kids is a good idea in the long run. Don’t get me wrong, I like holding babies, but kids in general, I’m sort of “iffy”. I’m overweight and long to be in a relationship with a guy. For all you Christians out there, can you give this girl some advice, wherever you are?

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