“Marriage is the collision of two dysfunctional systems.”
Sobering? Just sayin’.
It kind of sounded a little “Eyoreish” (is that a word?) to me when I first heard it. Like maybe it was totally dissing marriage. I think we’re all just a little broken, and then we bring our brokenness into a marriage. This, in turn, collides with our spouse’s brokenness. It’s great.
Discerning the Truth
Now that I’ve had a few decades to ponder this idea . . . I no longer think it’s rude. I think it’s completely true. But rather than making me sad and discouraged, it gives me hope.
The quote doesn’t end by saying, “therefore all marriages will fail.” It doesn’t end with, “so you’re just going to be miserable the rest of your life.” It doesn’t even say, “Ha ha. (Maniacal laugh.) Psych!” There’s nothing more to the quote. It’s simply a statement.
Hope in Imperfection
So why does it give me hope you ask? It’s simple. It’s real. It’s genuine. Guess what? Marriage is hard. There’s a reason they say the honeymoon phase doesn’t last forever. We are sometimes shocked to find our spouse isn’t perfect. (Which is ridiculous. Of course he isn’t. We ALL put our best self forward when we are dating.) But it’s helpful to know that you can love and adore someone THAT much in the beginning – even though they have flaws. Could it possibly mean that we are still lovable even with our flaws?
You Know Me and Still Love Me?
I’ve been married now for 27 years. I have always known I am not perfect. I married above myself. I’ve learned that my husband is not perfect either. BUT . . . he has given me more confidence and safety in our marriage than I had ever known before. A man who knows my flaws better than ANYONE else . . . and he still loves me.
So we all come in with insecurities, baggage, and idiosyncrasies. It’s amazing we even give each other a chance. But this glorious collision can become a tremendous place for growth, pain, love, challenges, and joy.
Dysfunction + Dysfunction CAN = Joy
Ya know . . . I think we can be more gentle with the process of healing this dysfunctional system. When we give each other some space to grow and become who we really are . . . even with all the gunk in tow . . . it can truly be worth it!
How did you learn that marriage is worth it?