Thursday, May 23, 2013

In sickness and in health

Day 23, Thursday: Things you've learned that school won't teach you


     What is something that I have learned that was NOT taught to me in school. I didn't learn anything in school about marriage. I have learned it the hard way. I have been married twice. The first marriage was, like most first marriages, stupid. I should never have gotten married. I was 18 years old. What did I know about marriage? Nothing. That is what I knew. I got married because it was just the thing to do. I had dated this dude all through high school. My mom wasn't that crazy about him. My brothers didn't really like him. So that made him perfect marriage material. He was in the Navy and we got married one 10-day leave when he was home. He left. I stayed home. I spent a total of 6 months with him over the next four years and when he got out of the Navy he had a wife and a 2 year old son he had NEVER lived with. This marriage simply did not work out. I had another child. And then things went from bad to worse and we divorced. I do NOT regret this marriage as from this union I have two sons. Two sons that I would not have had if not for the marriage.

     

     When I married the second time I paid more attention to the vows I was saying. My current husband and I lived together for 17 years before we got married. We bought a house together. We bought cars together. We worked and obtained careers (well, I did anyway. He was pretty established in his career). We raised my two sons together. I wanted to be certain when I spoke those vows the next time, that I really meant them.

     What does it mean for better or worse? No one taught me about that at school. If you are in a marriage with another person and things are better, then it is not very hard to be married, is it? But when things are worse it is much harder to stay together. But that is the promise that you made. When things aren't going well you still love each other. When one of you loses a job you stay together. When a child dies and you want to die also you don't draw apart, but you cling to each other. That is for better for for worse. Kind of like saying 'in thick and thin' we are in this together no matter what.

    No one thinks when they repeat the marriage vows there will ever be a time of sickness. Nope, we think about the good times. We think about our healthy young lives. But what happens when one of you get sick. Have you thought this through? I know that I never did. I never thought what would happen if my husband couldn't feed himself. I never thought what would happen if he couldn't get up and go to the bathroom or if he didn't make it in time. I never thought about what would happen if he couldn't walk. Or talk. Or help me make decisions. Or we couldn't travel any longer because he is sick. Who thinks about these kinds of things? And what happens when something happens?

    Well, I will tell you what I have learned. And I didn't learn it at school. I married this man for better or for worse. We have seen both. I married him for richer or for poorer. And believe me we have lived at both ends of this spectrum. We have had the really, really good years. And then the lean years. And now the years of only a social security check with a small pension coming in. That stresses a marriage. But it is the sickness and in health part that one needs to think carefully about. Don't take those vows lightly.  The one thing I DO know for sure is that I love and cherish him and I will stick this out until 'death do up part'.

     What is it that You know for sure, but did NOT learn in school? Please share


16 comments:

  1. I really admire what you're doing for your husband... Truly wonderful of you :) It's nice to know that people value what they have an can make a marriage last! xx

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    1. I have found that marriage is HARD and takes a lot of work.

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  2. I really like this post Paula. You took those vows to heart and I admire you so much. You seem like such a strong woman. It makes me think of my Momma and how she was with my daddy to the very end.

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    1. Thank you Aleshea. I am only doing what I promised before God to do!

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  3. Beautifully written Paula. I would hope most of us do think of those things before getting married. But, perhaps some don't. I think anyone that had older parents or grandparents witnessed the sickness and health before taking the vows and so they would have meaning. Sadly, I think too many today live together for convenience and a reduced rent bill, then after they've done everything else they get married as a matter of course and it doesn't mean much. I've even heard some say going into it they didn't know how long it would last....then why get married people? Marriage is truly a commitment. So glad you've found the right guy the 2nd time round. Your email is listed on your profile by the way. After all the posts yesterday, thought I'd check a few out. It still troubles me that so many in the May linky make it pretty clear they will only be emailing and not blog visiting and I'll be making a point to to not give them blog traffic anymore.
    Oozing Out My Ears

    FYI, people don't need to join Blogger or Open ID if they leave hyperlinks.

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    1. I followed that whole thing on Jenni's post yesterday and I don't really understand it all. It is too frustrating for me to send emails when I can't do it that easily. I always answer here and if they want my reply they have to come back :) I think that few really want to see replies. I have come to decide that most aren't really building a community but only building their blog. Thank you for your comments

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  4. Thank you for sharing about your life, I"m sure it wasn't easy.

    As a bridetobe this post was very informational. I'm going into this expecting THIS IS IT and I'm going to do everything I can to make it right. I believe in the vows too.

    have a great day!

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    1. Yes, you have to know exactly what those vows mean when you hear them. And being a negative thinker I always look at the 'dark side' LOL Have a great day

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  5. You are so right. I got married young too, and I wish I had been more mature. I'm still married to the guy, we are doing fine, but we've struggled b/c we were both young. Marriage is WAY more serious than Hollywood portrays it. But it IS the foundation for a healthy society, and I hope the upcoming generation can learn from our mistakes.
    from The Dugout

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    1. Wouldn't it be wonderful if they did? But I bet they will have to learn the hard way, just like we did!

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  6. Hey Paula, thanks for stopping by my blog. In reading your current post about marriage and caring for your husband, I suspect we have quite a bit in common. I will be following you through the email option. I am eager to return and learn more about you and your life.

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    1. Good to meet you Retired Knitter

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  7. Beautiful post! It is all to true too. Marriage is hard. Living with another person voluntarily is hard. Putting kids on top of that is hard. We haven't had any major sickness, but we will go through it when we get there. Like you, I believe in my vows I spoke and I stand behind them. Paula you are wonderful.

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    1. It takes a lot more hard work that I ever thought it would. And I never once gave thought to the in sickness and in health.

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  8. I loved this post. I never learned at school about healthy relationships with my own sex, never learned that i would rather be hurt with the truth than protected with a lie. I have tried to protect a lot of people over the years, that lesson would have been priceless.

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I love to hear what you might think. Leave me a comment. I guarantee though that I will delete your comment if you are just here to cause trouble. So tread lightly!