I have told almost a dozen couples over the past month the same thing: There is no such thing as a wonderful marriage.
I don’t tell them this because I am a marital skeptic. I have been married for 38 years. I have a good marriage. But it is not a wonderful marriage.
I believe that the idea of a wonderful marriage is a myth. It is theoretically possible, and I have had many people seek to prove to me that it exists. But the many ways a marriage can be scuttled and disassembled are greater than the ways it can be wonderful. Do the math.
In light of that, I can’t decide how to start this article.
Do I tell you, the reader, about the pastor’s wife who smokes weed every week to cope with the mania of dealing with her husband who constantly changes his vision for ministry and for their family?
Do I tell you about the woman who admits to me her husband’s violent behavior, and his use of prostitutes, and then goes on Facebook to tell the world how wonderful their marriage is?
Do I tell you about the man who came home to find his wife using cocaine minutes before his arrival, a woman who the very next day was leaving on a 20-day tour to speak to Christian Women about their prayer life?
Or do I tell you about the missionary who, after losing a child to a mysterious fever, decided he and his wife should have an Open Marriage to deal with their pain?
I have permission to share their stories, as long as I leave out the kind of details which would identify them to others. They all know they are broken people. They all know if they told anyone about how broken they are–other than a counselor–the world would reject them and look for another shining example of marital bliss.
They are debris from the explosion of the Myth of the Wonderful Marriage. Though good marriages do exist, and I will explain how they get that way, the wonderful marriage does not exist often or for very long. And I don’t say that to discourage you. I don’t believe the goal is to have a wonderful marriage.
I believe the goal is to have a marriage of mutual respect and appreciation of one another. If a couple also develops feelings of affection, Continue reading “The Myth of the Wonderful Marriage – Overview,”