If you’ve been married for any length of time you’ve heard this statement. And the longer you are married, it seems, the more frequent you hear it. And we heard it, again, as we are drawing near to our 24th year of marriage. We were out for a coffee and in the course of chatting with our server she said it to us, “Wow, 24 years, you guys are one of the lucky ones.” Now, I like to see the best in everyone and that includes this server; I really don’t think she (or anyone else who has said this) means it in a demeaning or hurtful way. I just don’t think they understand what, exactly, they are saying to those who have not been divorced.
Now what makes this such a bizarre pattern is that the only people who tell us we are ‘lucky’ are the ones who have been divorced. Those who haven’t been divorced will give a, “congratulations to the both of you,” or “awesome, keep at it,” or sometimes its just a smile and a knowing nod; anyone who has been married for any length of time would never ….. Never, use the word LUCKY.
For they know, luck has squat to do with it. And that blood, sweat and many tears has everything to do with it.
Some of the ‘lucky’ seasons in our marriage have gotten so ‘lucky’ that we’ve been like two boxers in a ring, neither one willing to throw in that towel; yet both of us are so physically exhausted that we can hardly stand up; and so emotionally drained that our vision is blurred and we can hardly see were that opponent is dodging to, to grab them for another shot to the head (metaphorically speaking of course).
No, luck is the furthest thing away from what keeps you in the ring of marriage. Its sheer diligence and an unwillingness to go back on our word of promise, and the biggest dose of faith in God you can imagine, to stay where we are at and continue in the marathon race called marriage. Interestingly, when you train for a marathon race it requires all the same elements, commitment, diligence and a willingness to stay the course. Can you imagine, saying to the winner of an Iron Man Triathlon … “wow, your lucky to have won!” … talk about diminishing all of their efforts they put forth to actually win.
Seen from the prospective of someone who is married and striving to hang on; to tell them they are lucky is just like negating all the work they are doing.
Its about choosing to stay married and giving it your all. Giving until you are empty and it aches … and then giving more.