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Marriage Is Meant To Be Addictive Not Disposable

by Richard Norris on March 3, 2014

Marriage Wedding Ring Marriage Is Meant To Be Addictive Not Disposable

Marriage Is Meant To Be Addictive Not Disposable

Marriage in some parts of the world appears to be treated with contempt. It appears to be endangered. A few decades ago marriages were the norm. Depending on the stats you read, divorce rates are greater than marriage rates. The end is nigh. Men are seemingly failing at marriage. Failing to ask. Failing to commit. And men don’t seemed to be bothered!

I am happily married. Have been for nearly 23 years. Nancy was, is and always will be my wife for life. I’m addicted to her in a balanced way; I’m addicted to our marriage. I will do all I can to keep it thriving. I love getting my fix each day. I am beginning to realize that I am likely now in the minority.

Are you committed to your marriage or just yourself?

Some men see marriage as a commitment. Others don’t. You can tell others don’t because of the declining trend of marriage, the increasing trend of divorce and single mums.

No one said marriage would be easy. Mine hasn’t. Every day it requires intentional effort to make it better than the day before. Marriage is rewarding when you commit to make it the best you can alongside your wife. It’s certainly not a one man show. Marriage is the coming together of two imperfect people who are to serve one another to perfect who God created each other to be. It is a selfless commitment for the best of each other.

Marriage is not disposable.

Today we live in a fast-paced, sound-bite, disposable world. Because we have become accustomed to such a life, marriage by association is seen as disposable. Use it. Abuse it. Discard it. If you don’t like it, you can get a new one. This smacks of a selfish approach to life and relationships. The pandemic of single mums, fatherless kids and divorce underlines the absence of men honoring their responsibilities. Many men are failing their commitments.

This day and age of prenuptial agreements screams at me that there is a lack of commitment. Such agreements allude that before and throughout such a “marriage” the intent is to protect what is the individual’s. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours. But marriage is about “ours”, about “we” and about “us”. It’s not about “me”, “you”, “yours” and “mine”.

Marriage is about commitment.

You cannot write an exit clause in a marriage that God wants you to honor.

Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. Mark 10:9

Commitment is an all or none. You either put all of yourself into something or you don’t – mind, body and soul. You are either committed or you are not. There is no room for “try”. Try means you give yourself an escape clause. With commitment, what you are setting out on is a must! Commitment sees obstacles as exercise. Commitment keeps your eyes on the prize and burns the bridge behind you so there is no turning back.

Marriage is about completion.

Marriage is not two individuals living together where the focus is on what each person can get out of it for themselves. Marriage is the coming together of two individuals to become one. It’s about integrity.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,and the two shall become one flesh; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Mark 10:7-8

Marriage is not a competition. It’s about completion. As a husband you are meant to complete your wife and she is meant to complete you. Nancy completes me. She was and is great at socializing. I was not. She has helped me to improve. I am headstrong and more likely to take risks. Nancy grounds me with her common sense. I am brute force and ignorance; she is a gentle touch and insight. Only with Nancy did I discover that I was meant to be a dad.

Sometimes I think of how I would manage without Nancy if she died first. I know I would be dysfunctional. In many ways, when you are married you become like Siamese twins – inseparable. To separate conjoined twins is very risky especially when they share organs. There is a good chance one or both may die. To separate and divorce runs a risk that a part of each you and your family will die. I don’t know about you but I don’t want any part of me to die.

Marriage is an investment.

Marriage is meant to be about love. Love is a blessing. A blessing is a good thing. And we all want more of a good thing. Your marriage and mine is a blessing not a curse. Sadly, some men see it as the latter. Generally, we avoid what we don’t want. If our marriage starts going south, a brave man will fight for it. A coward will run from it. What you think about you bring about. If you think marriage is tough and toxic, it will be. I imagine not one man who is married entered it in the hope it would be awful.  The truth is marriages only get toxic when you allow the toxin in and you feed it. What you feed you breed.

A marriage is like a good investment – you put it where you expect great returns. 23 years ago if we had invested $1000 in Microsoft we’d be up about a million dollars. The wonderful thing about marriage is that the more you put into it the more you get out of it. A marriage is greater than the sum of its parts. In our house 1+1=4 at least, as there are 4 of us now. It’s the safest and best place to invest your time, energy and resources. After all, your legacy is in your marriage and your family more than it will ever be in your career.

The more you make a stand for your marriage, the more it will stand the tests. The more you give of yourself to your wife and your marriage the greater will be your marriage. Your commitment will determine your return on your investment.

Your Powerplay

Identify one area where you need to step up your commitment to your wife and marriage. Invest your best today.

#BEGREATER

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony March 9, 2014 at 12:30 pm

While I don’t disagree with your assessment of marriage, I feel lead to point out that 2/3rds to 3/4s of all divorces are initiated by the wife, not the husband.
It seems the church has this mistaken notion that men are not committed to their marriages. We even have well meaning folks suggesting men are involved in more affairs than women. Some simple math and critical thinking suggests otherwise. For every man having an affair there is likely a woman as his partner, save for a few same sex affairs.

This isn’t to say that men can’t do things to improve their marriages. But when I see the writings of marriage counselors such as Willard Harley who comments in his article about why women leave men, I observe that he says women are NOT leaving abusive, unfaithful or addicted men. They are leaving because they feel shut out of their husbands lives. Hardly a Biblically sound reason, feelings.

So instead of heaping unwarranted guilt upon men for a behavior that is relatively rare when compared to their wives, why not lift men up and come along side those who find themselves on the end of a divorce he didn’t want, wondering what happened to his family and marriage.
Chances are, two out of three divorced husbands find themselves in this position. Their wife may or may not have given clear messages (my ex always said everything’s fine, right up to the point she had an affair and filed for divorce, so was I clueless or was I fed erroneous information? ) about how she feels. He faces a church who blames him for his marriage failure and far more focused on same sex marriage than it is about its members choosing no fault divorce. If he is one of the majority of divorced husbands, likely not guilty of marital misconduct, but no longer desired by his wife, the notion that men nee to be more committed to marriage is a tonedeaf effort to address the issue.

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Richard March 9, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Thank you Tony for your insight and comment. I had not intended to imply the fault always lies at the man’s feet. Because my focus is on men, it is targeted to challenge men generally to keep in mind the importance of commitment and leading by example. I always aim to be as impartial as possible. There are so many facts and figures around marriage and divorce etc it can be a challenge as to what is valid and what is not.

As you say, somehow, the public view is that the fault lies with men and we can be swayed by it. Sad. It does take two to make a marriage. Sadly, it can take only 1 to break it. As you point out, the one may be so adept at keeping their cards close that the other can be clueless. I confess this issue is foreign to me as I am happily married and made a commitment all those years ago that, before God, I remind myself and my family every day.

For me the core message is the importance of commitment in marriage. It’s a long-term investment not a short-term fix.

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Goose67 March 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Amen. I have 40 yrs with my bride and dread to think of any long term separations.

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Richard March 4, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Congratulations on your marriage prevailing against the trends. Clearly the foundation of your marriage is solid. I just spoke with my wife and she said I’m already dysfunctional even with her! :)

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Paul Byerly March 4, 2014 at 4:57 am

I am SOOO addicted to my wife!

The synergy of a marriage is one of the great mysteries of life – but we can tap into it without understanding it!

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Richard March 4, 2014 at 8:59 am

Good stuff Paul. I would have been surprised if you weren’t based on your blog. The more we invest in our marriage and our spouse the greater the synergy.

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