Day 24: Whatever tickles your fancy
Lately, I've been realizing that some people take the commitment of marriage way to lightly. Of course I've always known that some people don't understand what they're getting into when they decide to get married, but I never realized how common that was until now.
I'm not sure if it's because most of my friends are still young (mid 20s or younger) or that a lot of the couples I know have the stress of the military lifestyle to overcome, but it seems as if so many relationships around me are ending in divorce or on a collision course for disaster.
When Robert and I began dating we were still kids. We were both 17--hadn't even began our senior year in high school yet. We moved in together at 18, the week before graduation. We bought a house together at 19. Got engaged and married at 19 & 20. Moved to Chicago at 20 and began this Navy life. Had a child at 21. We definitely understand being young and in love. We know what it's like to grow up together, literally.
We've gone through bootcamp and A-school together, one deployment, several underways, and we're already preparing for deployment #2. So, we get the military stress as well.
The day I said "I do" I understood that meant forever, no matter what, under all circumstances. It didn't mean "I do..unless you're gone for a few weeks and I get lonely." It didn't mean "I do..unless you make me mad." It didn't mean "I do..unless life becomes stressful." It didn't mean "I do..as long as you change." It didn't mean "I do..unless I change." Stress is inevitable. Sadness, loneliness, fights..all inevitable. Change is inevitable. When you get married, you're not saying that you're always going to be exactly the way you were on that day..you're saying that although you know you're going to change and grow, you're choosing to grow together rather than to grow apart.
I'm not saying that there won't ever be doubt..arguments..hurt feelings. We all have that. And, I also understand that some people just truly aren't meant to work out. When you thought you felt one way and you realize you don't..when you've exhausted all your options and tried as hard as you can..I know sometimes it still doesn't work.
It's just the people that don't even feel like they have to try that get to me. In just the last week or so, I've come in contact with a girl who is married, yet texting dirty photos of herself and planning rendezvous with an ex..a girl who removes her wedding band when she goes out dancing just because it's "just for fun", one who exchanges numbers with guys she meets while her husband is deployed because she's "not really going to call."
They could all be the same girl, honestly. None of them understand what marriage is. None of them get that you're married 100% of the time, whether it's more convenient not to be or not. When temptation sneaks in, you refuse it..you don't go searching for it. It's not "just nothing" when another man is kissing on your neck while your husband is overseas wishing he could be home with you.
It truly infuriates me to see this. Of course it's not just women..the men do it too. And it's not just young relationships or military relationships. It's every relationship. Of course everyone makes mistakes, but before you allow yourself to be in that position, why not think about *why* you're even drawn to that. Why do you think it's okay to behave that way? What do you expect out of your partner and are you giving him or her the same thing?
Life is hard. Building a life with one person is difficult as well. There are going to be trials, arguments, distance at times. There are going to be people who realize they aren't supposed to be together. But, please, if you want to live the single life, stay single. And if you choose to make the commitment to be with one person and one person only, honor that commitment and show others that are true to their marriages a little respect.