The institution of marriage has taken a hit over the years, with people opting to simply live together rather than make it official. Fearful of the horror stories and rising divorce rates, people seem to be running away from the altar. And it isn’t only the men. Women appear to be just as hesitant to tie the knot. But try as they may, there's still something about the allure of marriage that still draws many.
Part of the reason people have avoided marriage is because of the illusion of perfection. Either they're waiting for the "perfect" time to get married, or they're fearful that they're marriage won't be “perfect”. It’s amazing that after all these years, so many imperfect people are looking to be involved in perfection.
Over the past few weeks, I've watched on my Facebook page as many of my friends and family have either celebrated anniversaries or simply celebrated their love in the fact that they’ve been married for some time and even through some difficult days, they’re still thriving. Some are celebrating only a few years together while others are celebrating decades together.
Also, there have been people getting engaged all around me, while others are still newly married less than a year. It’s a reminder that no matter the divorce statistics or other fears, deep down inside, people still believe in love and they still believe in marriage. They just need to turn off the television and take a look at some real life, every day success stories.
In this day and age of the celebrity marriage being treated as some sort of barometer of what is and isn’t successful (many young couples fancy themselves the next Jay Z and Beyoncé), people often forget that the best examples of what a successful marriage would be are the ones that they can be a firsthand witness to.
It is those up close and personal examples of people growing together while managing their relationship that will better serve couples that are looking for tangible examples, rather than something that’s always presented as perfect by a PR machine. There’s a benefit to witnessing real-life problem solvers as opposed to something that needs a prepared statement to explain.
This isn’t to suggest that high profile people in marriages have no problem solving skills. There have been celebrity couples whose marriages have lasted for decades. However, if you don’t know them personally, you aren’t privy to them working through whatever they’re working through, and nor should you be. There should be a level of privacy that’s respected. But in the relationships of our friends, family members and associates, we sometimes witness firsthand a hiccup in their marriage.
Watching people we know work through difficulties will not only encourage one that may be going through a struggle of their own, but it can also encourage people that are considering marriage. It shows that even though it rains from time to time, there’s always a brighter day on the other side of the storm.
No doubt, if courtships have their ups and downs, so will marriages. When you see people that have been married 10, 20 or 30 years, you can bet that there have been some rough days. The difference between a failed relationship and a successful one is often finding someone willing to suffer for. It’s finding someone that you’re willing to ride the rollercoaster with. There are no perfect people, only people that are perfect for one another. That’s an old adage, but a true one. Happily ever after still exists. As long as you're willing to work for it.
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