It's My Anniversary!I wonder how many 35-year-olds can say they've been with their spouse half their life? On April 7, I will be married 17 years. John and I started dating when I was 17. (It's not my b-day. I was actually born 7-17-1971.)
This is highly unusual (not that I'll be 35, but that I've been married for 17 years). I think there are a few factors. But before I get to that, I have to say my marriage was NOT without struggle. I was a teen mom and had a baby when I married. (I didn't marry the father of my baby.) My parents had a difficult marriage, and I had no good role model. The first years were hard.
Also, I haven't gone through my marriage without temptation. In fact, last year my first boyfriend contacted me. He found my name on Classmates.com. He told me he'd been thinking about me for 20 years. He named his daughter after me. He said he loved me. He said we were soulmates, etc. My emotions were out of control.
It was exactly what I wanted to hear (it is flattering) ... but not what I needed at all. I told my Christian friends. I told my husband. I needed accountability, and I made them keep me accountable. I broke off communication, and every day for a year I was tempted to contact him. (Was he still thinking about me?) BUT I decided to stay committed to my husband.
I longed for an undivided heart. I worked (even more) on my marriage. My husband and I started reading a chapter of a marriage book EVERY DAY. We started reading our Bible and praying together. And we opened up lines of communication. Soon my emotions for the old flame faded and my love for my husband grew and grew. Yet, I have so many friends who've gone the other way ... only to find they aren't happy with the 2nd guy, or 3rd and more than they were with the 1st.
Recently the New York Times had a report that stated that more women are single than married. Here are some reasons why I think more women are single:
1. Gen Xers grew up with divorce. We know how painful it was being shuttled from mom and dad and having to chose sides. We think that by marrying later we will marry smarter. Or if we just live with a guy and break up that it's not the same as being divorced. Because of our pain, we don't give ourselves completely to another person.
2. Also, women today think that EMOTIONS rule. We are angry, we want out. We are depressed, so we deserve better. We feel attraction and desire for someone else and think we must follow it. We have set our emotions on a throne above all else and live our lives by how we FEEL.
3. When we don't have certain needs that are met, we search for some way to fill them. Like other men. Of course, when that doesn't work, we usually find ourselves alone again.
I've spent the last few years of researching this generation and finding out what makes us tick. These are few of the things I've found. Of course, you may not agree! I'd love to hear your thoughts.