So for a variety of reasons I have been thinking about a couple of things over the last week or so. First I've been thinking a lot about marriage (and divorce). Jason and I just had our fifth wedding anniversary. It seemed like such a huge accomplishment. Five years isn't that long in the scheme of life, or even marriage for that matter. My grandparents were married around 50 years. We have a ways to go. However when I look around five years is pretty great. Really at the five year mark we are still happy, in love, and enjoy being married. I actually enjoy it more all the time. That maybe is what I really feel like is the accomplishment. Everyone telling us before we got married about how things will change and you will feel different...the normal downers people tell you before marriage (and then new ones with a baby :). I don't feel any different about my husband. Things have changed, but I am still madly in love with the man I married.
The other reason I've been thinking about it is because of some of the people around me getting divorced. Some might say I'm naive, but I am mostly still shocked when I hear about a friends marriage in shambles. How does it get there? Were they both blindsided? Did one of them know for a long time? Did they never talk about their problems? Was counseling never an option? I still haven't figured it any of it out. I hope that I never stop being shocked when I hear about things of this nature. I feel like if I stop being shocked it's the beginning of complacency, which might be what happened to a lot of these people. I never want to just accept that is just how the world is.
My other thoughts are on friendship. These are thoughts Jason and I have discussed over and over in our lives. For whatever reason we aren't great with friendships. We want to be good friends to people, and in essence we have lots of friends. However, the few people over the last few years that we have shared our whole lives with (good and bad, deep and dark) seem to disappear. Whether they move or something else happens, things always start slowly, but eventually contact ends and we feel the pain of another lost friendship. It leaves me to wonder if maybe I'm not a good friend. Do I not listen well, or do I talk about myself all the time? Am I full of unsolicited advice or overly opinionated? Maybe I'm just socially awkward. I have those people in my life who only call when there is an issue, do I do that? For whatever reason I return to that place of feeling lonely and vowing not to tell anyone that much about myself ever again. So in thinking about all of this it also made me think about my friendship with my husband, and why it works so well. I can tell him anything and he doesn't feel differently about me. I can be horrible to him, and he always forgives me. The only thing I could come up with is a ceremony where we publicly made vows to each other. We are committed to sticking it out. Friends aren't required to do that. So I think if I am getting to the place in a friendship where it's starting to be deeper I am going to ask that person to make a public commitment to being my friend(because that won't send them running). Then when I say something that hurts their feelings they can just tell me and I can apologize and we can move forward with an even better friendship. Because I truly want to be a better person and friend, it's just that if nobody ever tells me anything I can't change the things that need changed. Changing has to be easier than feeling lonely.
Longing for the community of Christ,