1halffull's Blog

Till Death Do Us Part
September 20, 2010, 2:13 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

One of the best classes I took in college was a marriage and family class.  The professor was really on top of the realities of marriage, children and divorce.  She’d use interactive visuals, using us as the actors in the scenarios to illustrate various important points having to do with the subject.

One activity started with four of us as a family: two parents and two children.  The parents ‘decided’ to get divorced so the ‘father’ had to move away from the mom and two kids.  Then he got remarried to a woman who had three kids.  Now there was one mom with two kids, one dad with a new wife and three kids and another dad with no kids in another part of the room.  Every other weekend the kids had to trade places, moving back and forth between the three family homes.

After a bit of this, the first wife also got remarried, adding two more kids to the mix and yet another disaffiliated wife.  Things got even more complicated when it came time for weekend switching.  What a mess!  No one knew where they were supposed to be and with whom.

It was a ‘simple’ exercise that illustrated that divorce, while it seems like it’s the answer to a problem can also create a whole set of new problems, especially for the kids.  The prof wanted us to see this in action to give us something to think about when considering getting married….and divorced.

Oh sure, you say:  ‘Who thinks they’re going to get divorced at the time they’re getting married?  That’s such a happy time!’  You’re right and yet about 50% of married couples at that time, got divorced.  Today the marriage rate is actually down from 76.5 women per 1,000 in 1970 to only 39.9 in 2008* so there are fewer divorces as well.   Cohabitation takes the credit for that statistic.

So what about divorce for those of us who do get married? 

I questioned a young man I know about that very thing not long before he was to be married.  “Do you think you’ll stay married for the rest of your life?” I asked.  “Well, I hope so but you never know what might happen,” was the response.  In the world view, realistic thinking I suppose. 

I’ve heard about 25, 30 and even 40 year marriages that woke up one day and were done.  What happened there I wonder?  How is it that you’d tough it out for 40 years then dump it?  Seems like a lot of time to put into it just to flush it down the tube, don’t you think?

I recently heard two statements made by a speaker about what goes on in some marriages.

First she said ‘Even though some people are miserable in their marriage, yet they are happy to not be apart.’  Bizarre as that may sound, I can see how it can also be true.  We get so used to the life we’re living (I always say you can get used to anything, even murder, if you’re around it long enough) that we are too afraid to move out of it.  Having someone, even someone you’re not very interested in any longer,  is apparently better than having no one.  This may be especially true if they hold the balance of financial power and you don’t.  Let’s face it, the prospect of living in one room with a bare light bulb and a can of tuna cat food for dinner isn’t an appealing prospect now, is it?

The other thing that she said that caught my ear was this, and it also relates to the balance of power in a relationship:  “Some people live in fear that the one next to them will be the one to leave.”  I thought that was pretty interesting because it infers the one thing that we can never really know:  what’s going on in the other person’s head?  How do they REALLY feel about us?  Are they just ‘happy not to be apart’ or are they really present and fully participating?  And if THAT’S participation, what are either of us doing here?  LOL  (I just had to throw that in for a giggle.)

What about all the people who make it, like the numerous couples at last night’s wedding who remained on the dance floor as the DJ called out – ‘all those who’ve been married under 35 years leave the floor’ – only to be bested by the one couple who’d been married for 64 years!  WOW!

All those couples suggest another possibility:  There are people who, when they make that promise at the altar – the ’till death do us part’ promise – they actually take it seriously and mean it.  For them, there is no ‘if’ in the equation.  There’s just determination to see it through – ’till death do us part’.


When’s My Lucky Day?
September 9, 2010, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s rare that two family members face similar opportunities on the same day.  That’s what happened for my husband and my daughter. 

When she knew this was happening, she said, ‘Well maybe this will be our lucky day!’  To which I replied, ‘When do I get MY lucky day?’

Even as I typed it in the text box, I was overwhelmed with thoughts about all the days in my life so far that I would consider ‘lucky’ – or in my case, because I don’t think there is such a thing as luck – blest might be a better word.

I was blest to have Jesus receive me as His believer and know that He will always walk with me through the rest of my life.  The most fortunate day of all.

The day I got a step mom was a blest day for me because it meant that my dad would be loved again.  Okay, so a little selfishly it also meant I didn’t have to worry about him any more – she could do that and I could go to college.  (grins)

I was blest the day I got engaged.  The guy was pretty cute and he seemed to like me enough to shell out for a diamond ring so how bad a day could that have been?  It was wonderful!

I was blest each of the days I learned I was pregnant and again when first our daughter, then our son, arrived.  I loved them on sight and I haven’t stopped loving them for even one second of their dear lives.  They fill my heart by just being and I can’t think of anyone who matters more to me in this life than them, except my husband and my dad.

I’ve been blest to work in jobs that I’ve loved and blest to be able to move from one to another over the course of time and learn new things all along the way.  I’m actually glad I never had just one ‘career’ but have had many experiences that interested me.

I’ve been blest to get to travel to many parts of the United States, Canada and Mexico.  When I was a kid, I never dreamed that would be possible.   I’ve loved many of the places we’ve gone and hope to go back to at least a few of them and maybe even stay longer.  I also hope to get to go to a number of places we haven’t yet been!

I’ve been blest to have several really good friends in my life.  They are women who have stuck by me through thick and thin over the course of a good 30 years or more.  I love them dearly. 

I’ve been blest to be able to pay my bills, have a comfortable home and still have something to give to others.  I don’t drive the newest car but the one I have is dependable and, having a few cars that weren’t so dependable, I’m thankful for this one.

I’ve been truly blest to have a wonderful mother-in-law.  In truth, she has been more my mom and for longer than either of the two women who I called mom.  She is the epitome of who you want your mother-in-law to be:  doesn’t butt in, listens when you talk, likes you for who you are and keeps your comments to herself.  We marvel at how long we can talk on the phone about everyday things.  If the world would let us, I’m pretty sure we’d solve all the problems.  I strive to be just like her.

I’m blest to have been in pretty good health most of my life.   I understand at this stage what value good health really holds in this life.  I hope to have it for many years to come.

So, then, when is my ‘lucky’ day?  Pretty much, it’s any day that I’m given and will take the time to enjoy all the good that it holds for me and for those I love.  Today is my ‘lucky’ day.