For better or worse

How many people actually are thinking when they make a commitment with someone that it will turn out for worse anyway?  I really don’t think anyone does.  Everyone thinks that person they’re going to share his or her life with is going to make it better…that just having that person there with them in the journey will make it better.  Sometimes it just doesn’t turn out that way though, does it?

Obviously, that’s the reason that vow is included in a traditional marriage ceremony.  It’s because a true commitment for life, recognizes that life has good and bad, people have good sides and bad sides…life has ups and downs and the journey won’t all be smooth, flat roads.  It can sometimes be long, winding, mountainous roads full of surprises and dangers at every turn.  But nobody ‘really’ expects that.  Again, even if they do think that, they still have this rosy picture that the person they’re committing to will make it better. 

The truth is that there are all sorts of reasons people break up….reasons that they break that vow, or sometimes don’t even choose to make that vow nowadays.  Sometimes people choose just not to marry at all, and if they do, they make up their own, less binding vows…something  like “for as long as we both shall love” rather than “as long as we both shall live“.  I find that kind of funny, because love is a choice.  It’s a decision.  Yes…relationships usually start with an attraction.  You have a physical attraction, or things in common with each other…you have fun together or maybe just have good sex.  Face it…that’s the primary basis for some relationships…as if ‘sex’ really is the most important aspect of a relationship.

Don’t get me wrong.  I see a sexual relationship with your spouse as a gift…something wonderful and beautiful and in fact important…to a degree.  But if that’s what the best thing you have is…you have nothing.  You have to have friendship.  You have to like each other.  You have to have common goals and common interests…and the ability to allow the other person to pursue their own individual interests too, without feeling threatened.

So why do people break up anyway?  Maybe they’re not getting the sex that they want.  Sometimes that’s it.  And that’s not just a man thing nowadays…there are more women who are unfaithful now than there used to be.  That’s probably because women have roles nowadays that don’t just leave them home with the kids in many cases, like in the ‘olden days’ of my youth.   Sometimes people are unfaithful.  Sometimes there are financial difficulties, or just some sort of differences with a person that are really minor irritations that build in one or both parties’ minds.  Sometimes something changes in the relationship.  Maybe your spouse gets sick or injured, or loses their job so that your situation changes.  Sometimes children factor into it and change the dynamics of the relationship.  That often happens I think, because children are a big responsibility and take a lot of time and commitment, so that sometimes the couple stops spending time together in the same way that they once did…stops making time for each other to be a couple and just enjoy each other.  Sometimes there are drug or alcohol issues…even prescription drugs sometimes that can change a person’s personality and behavior…or just take their time and attention away to the detriment of the relationship.  Or maybe there are secrets and lies that one or both parties are keeping.  Those things will absolutely destroy a relationship.

Ultimately I think it pretty much always boils down to selfishness.  I don’t mean to be cruel here at all.  We are all human, and as unselfish as I’d like to think of myself, I have my ways of selfishness too.  I’m not excluding myself from this at all, or being ‘high and mighty’.  I think pretty much all of us have selfish feelings at least one time or another.  But nowadays I think it’s a lot worse.  It’s a ‘me first’ society that we live in.  “If I’m not getting my needs met I’m out of here!”  Or maybe someone else tells a person, “You can do better!”…and then that person starts thinking about that and thinks, “Maybe I can do better…find someone prettier or smarter, or who won’t be such a pain in the ass!”

Why do we do that?  Why is it so hard for people to set their own needs aside and really seek, instead of to find someone to meet their every need…someone whose needs they can meet?  Because really, the best way for a relationship to ‘work’, is if the two people are both seeking to meet the needs of the other one, instead of demanding their own way all the time.  If both people were doing that…both peoples’ needs would be met!  It’s not a 50/50 thing…it’s a 100/100 thing!

But that’s not the way it works.  I’m not saying there’s never a valid reason for getting a divorce.  Sometimes I think there are valid reasons.  But I think if people wouldn’t ignore warning signs in the beginning that, if they were thinking clearly, might prevent them from making that commitment in the first place, that would help.  And aside from that, if we just weren’t so selfish as a society, it would pretty much diminish divorce rates to next to nothing.  But since I don’t see this world becoming that “land of milk and honey” that I speak of, this is all just talk in the end.

Love and blessings,



About Anne Sikes

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2 Cor. 4:7) Sharing the journey through daily thoughts and struggles, examination of Scripture, poetry, music and art.
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12 Responses to For better or worse

  1. It is sad but true that many people enter into a marriage without a true sense of what they are doing…the commitment to endure the little irritants and the big difficulties that face them…and to realize that it’s worthwhile to stay the course instead of looking for greener pastures….Diane

  2. You know what’s funny? We must think alike to some degree, because before I even read the post, “selfishness” popped up into my head. I have always thought that the reason many people break-up or divorce is for selfish reasons. It’s not always that straight forward, but in most cases it is. Wonderful post. Despite reading so many blogs on divorce and coming across many statistics that say too many marriages end in divorce, I can’t wait until it’s my time to say “I do”. As I’ve told you before-I can be a bit naive, (I’m young, so give me some credit), but when I say those words, I will truly mean for better or for worse. And that is not to say that many people don’t already-but if things get really bad (who knows, some people have a very smooth marriage), I am going to FIGHT for that marriage. I’m not going in thinking my marriage will be like it is in the fairy tales. I know it won’t all be a picnic in the park. And that’s OK because the love for my husband and God will override that. Thanks for the post.

    • Anne Sikes says:

      Thank you for your comment! I agree that it’s not always as simple as pure selfishness, but like you, I think that’s often the case. And I’m glad you still believe in those vows. I do too…but I admit my ‘trust knob’ is broken at the moment. I do think that if you’re going into it with your eyes wide open about the other person and about the fact that life is difficult sometimes and marriage doesn’t change that…and with the intent of forever, that’s really all you can do. You have to really trust too…that’s a key element and without it you’ll have a lot of issues. That’s another area though where a lot of people don’t agree. The sign prenuptial agreements…and that’s because people are selfish and take advantage sometimes…I know that. But it’s like going into a relationship without that trust, to me. There are so many factors though that can go into the demise of a marriage. Another I didn’t mention in there is the fact that 2 halves don’t make a whole, where marriage is concerned. People say dumb things like “you complete me.” It sounds all warm and fuzzy…but in reality, it takes two whole people to make a whole marriage, I think.

      Anyway…I could go on. Ha ha…sorry about that. Thank you for your comment! –Anne

  3. kyllingsara says:

    Being in love is like being temporarily insane. Makes a person not see the other person clearly – or not at all. I too believe that people tend to give up on their marriages too easily, but then again, what do I know about what goes on behind closed walls.

    Ps! I don’t think Britney Spears considered her less than 24 hour marriage as a ’till death do us part…

    • Anne Sikes says:

      🙂 I don’t think a lot of people think of it as til death do us part. 🙂 Nice to see you Sara, and thanks for your comment! ♥

      • kyllingsara says:

        I’ve been kind of absent inside my own head/blog for a while. I am starting to come out of hybernation now. I’m like a bear. How are you these days? You know, since I haven’t been around much. Oh, wait. I’ll read your posts.

        • Anne Sikes says:

          I’ve been off here a lot more lately, haven’t been posting as much. I also haven’t been reading hardly any other blogs at all. Just have had other things going on, which I guess is good. 🙂

          • kyllingsara says:

            Having other things to do is great! I’m glad you’re getting out and away from the computer screen, Anne. 🙂

            • Anne Sikes says:

              Thanks Sara. Yeah, there’s been housework, and I’ve just been shutting the internet down a lot more altogether. For awhile there it was up almost all the time. 🙂 Was supposed to start classes again this coming week, but it’s been pushed back to the 25th now. I have dr. and dental appointments this upcoming week too, and friends coming to dinner Sunday after church. And have been spending some quality time with my girls. Grace is gone visiting her daddy right now. I had some time visiting with Jen today before she left for work, and then with Traci when she got off work this afternoon. Last night Jen’s boyfriend was here for a visit and we all watched a movie together. It has been good.

            • kyllingsara says:

              This sounds wonderful! While being online is helpful in its own way, it can’t replace human real world interaction. Things might start to look up for me in that area as well. Some of the old friends have reached out. I actually had lunch with one of them the other day. What movie did you watch? I am going to see Rock of Ages later tonight. Yeay! “Poor some sugar on me, in the name of love….” Lol

            • Anne Sikes says:

              I hope you enjoy it. 🙂 I watched Penelope with Jen earlier today, which I’d never seen and was cute, although the beginning was pretty weird and silly. 🙂 But it turned out to be cute I thought. And Traci and I watched Morning Glory. She had never seen it. I had seen it a couple of times before and it’s a pretty good movie. Last night when Michael was here we all watched Frequency. I’ve seen that one several times, and we all like it. Michael had never seen it though, and really enjoyed it I think.

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