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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Shock Waves of Marital Selfishness

Life is good...yes. But life is also hard...especially relationships. And no relationship can be harder than the one between a husband and wife in the context of marriage.

How can I say that? Because my 16 years of marriage (this month) to my amazing wife, Kelly, tells me that much. Hard painful realities about me, she, we, and everything in between that scream we are selfish, prideful, and hurtful people (me more so than Kelly) who are in desperate need of saving, healing, and loving. Our marriage takes tons of work (more work than I'm sure I give it).

And what's crazy is that my marriage is a cake walk compared to other marriages I have seen up-close or from afar. I have counseled, married, re-counseled dozens upon dozens of couples who have struggled with trust, abuse, power, anger, violence and affairs in the context of married life. It's brutal what many endure/have endured in the name of "love".

Marriage is hard. Plain and simple

So when I saw that Jennifer Lopez broke her silence about why she and Marc Anthony decided to divorce, I was curious as to what she had to say. An affair? Domestic violence? Financial deceit? Nope...none of was this:

"'It’s not that I didn’t love myself before. Sometimes we don’t realize that we are compromising ourselves. To understand that a person is not good for you, or that that person is not treating you in the right way, or that he is not doing the right thing for himself—if I stay, then I am not doing the right thing for me. I love myself enough to walk away from that now,' she says."

There is so much in this statement I don't know about, but if I take it at face value, it reeks of selfishness. And that kind of selfishness is already running rampant in so many marriages. But when a star of J. Lo's prominence states it "for the record", the shock waves can have a huge impact on marriages calling it quits simply because "I love myself enough to walk away."

Marriage is easy to enter into. Marriage is hard to live out. Divorce is easy to enter into. Marriage fallout is hard to live out. I would suggest entering into either having done all the hard work of seeing if marriage/spouse is right for you and then divorce if you've done everything to save it, seek understanding about yourself and serve the other.

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