"marriage isnt for me" article

posted 3 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
465 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I see the author’s purpose, but as my DH will tell you he married me because I make him happy and I support his dreams. If he put all of my wishes first and got nothing in return we would have broken up long ago. So I guess the author is right to an extent. It takes unselfishness, but make sure your partner is willing to put you first too.

Post # 4
243 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@nearlymarriedlass: I read it earlier today, and I thought it was very counter-cultural. This would not work for most of the US (not sure about NZ). Ideally, both spouses would be committed to living for each other — without that commitment it would break down very quickly, leaving one person taken advantage of. But (by the grace of God) the ideas presented in this article are similar to how my DH are trying to model our relationship. I can tell the days I’m feeling selfish — I feel so much less satisfied! He can’t and won’t meet all my needs, so I need to ease up. He loves me unconditionally, and God’s got my future, so that’s really all I “need”. Days when I really try to live for and encourage him, and recognize how much he’s doing the same for me, are the ones that make me love marriage 🙂

Post # 5
483 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I get his point, but not really sure how marrying is for someone else because you want to see them happy..it implies that only the other person needed or wanted a marriage? idk

Post # 6
2871 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I read this earlier today.  I suppose I read it with the meaning that both people are striving for the other’s happiness/well-being.  Both are working for the good of the other – not a one way street sort of deal.

Post # 7
6812 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

I read it earlier and was going to post it, too. I don’t read negative things into every article (or try to find a fault in everything) which I feel like happens on the bee a lot (there’s always someone cynical, jaded or looking to play devil’s advocate – to each his own).

Personally, I put my FI’s needs first because he puts mine first. It’s how our relationship works and it’s what I had been looking for in a relationship all along. I don’t see how a relationship could work otherwise except where each person puts their own needs first and is fine with that. I’m not fine with that, to me that’s selfish. Sometimes we have to pick between needs and we do what’s best for “us” and “our relationship.” It works.

Post # 8
2460 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I posted it here earlier. I just thought it was sweet, but I’m not the sort of person who looks for a negative side to everything I read and I usually just take things for how they are, without looking for a deeper meaning. 

Post # 9
2474 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I think he had some good points as long as they are taken as intended by the article – if both people work to make each other happy, things should work well. 

I had more of a problem with the comments than I did with the article itself. 

Post # 10
1253 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I loved it, and totally agree with it.  It definitely is an idea that I think rubs Americans the wrong way in some ways, because we are kind of the ultimate “me me me,” individualistic culture. 

Obviously you marry the person that makes you happy, but in order for a marriage to flourish, you have to live it out by working for the other person’s happiness.  If two people in a marriage are first and foremost concerned about themselves, then you are bound to get two different paths going two different ways, and things will break down.

I mean, if you’re primarily concerned about yourself, why not just stay single? That’s the best way to look out for oneself and freely do what’s best for you. Marriage inherently, in joining up two people, is about giving up putting yourself first much of the time, or it just won’t work.

Of course if the other person is a selfish ass, that will be problematic, but oftentimes selflessness on the part of one spouse will cause the other one to eventually break down and respond in kind, which the guy in the article describes happening to him. I suppose one can’t depend on that happening every time, but that’s why you need to be careful who you marry.  The best marriages I have witnessed have been the ones where both parties look out for the other before 

Post # 11
2992 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

A good article and a thought-provoking one at that.

I do know a few select couples with the kind of marriage where after 40 or even 50 years of marriage obviously still adore each other. Not just stay married because it works or is practical. And it seems like the people in those enviable marriages have the attitude described in the article. That the marriage is all about relishing in the company of each other and always putting the needs and wants of their spouse ahead of their own. It is hard to find attitudes like that as we are truly trained to be self-centered about needs and wants. It is hard to make another person the center of your universe.

I think that attitude is incredibly rare. It also requires being with someone really right for you and you are totally right for them. And unfortunately it is all too easy to not be with the right person. Believe me, I have been divorced twice and both times when I married I truly believed that I was going to have one of those rare marriages where the joy of the marriage persists for decades.

That being said, one can not automatically do what is described in the article especially when the other spouse is emotionally, physically or even spiritually abusive. It still takes two making that same degree of effort.

Post # 12
416 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

This reminds me of a conversation that DH and I had early in our relationship, when he was looking out for himself only.  He had never been with someone who really looked out for his needs, so he was used to protecting himself.  I said that we should both look out for each other, so we’d both be taken care of.  He wondered why we couldn’t just each look out for ourselves, because wouldn’t that serve the same purpose, but I pointed out that with that attitude, there’s no point of a relationship. I believe the best part of a relationship is that there’s someone out there looking out for you, so you feel safe and supported, and you do the same back. Once I explained it like that, he stopped fearing that I would ignore his needs, he agreed that that was what he wanted too, and things have been great ever since. 

Post # 13
2630 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

In a healthy, loving relationship then the sentiment in the blog works and is wonderful for a couple to adopt. However, I think it’s also important to keep your own well-being in mind for the times when your partner is being potentially destructive to you and/or the relationship. 

Post # 14
10899 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I like some of the intent behind this article — the idea that marriage isn’t and shouldn’t be about making ourselves happy.  However, as a Christian, I cannot agree that it is about making the other  person happy  either.

I know that this thread is not on the Christian board, nor is it even specifically about faith. However, with regard to this topic and so many others, I can only share my thoughts within the framework of my beliefs.

I believe that my life belongs to God, and that I need to strive to glorify HIM with my life, whether I’m single or married (and I’ve now been both.)  Based on my belief system, whether I’m single or marrried, my purpose is to serve and obey God, and God always must be my number one priority. I need to put HIM first in every area of my life. As a result, I cannot be concerned with trying to make myself happy. However, neither can I be focused on making my husband happy, especially if what he thinks would make him happy were to be inconsistent with what God wants for him.

I believe that God’s design for marriage is for “the two to become one” — not that the individuals actually cease to exist as different people, but that the two must do a great deal of “dying to self” to experience the oneness that God intends for marriage.  Scripture makes clear that Christians are to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, and then goes on to elaborate the various roles involved in that submission. It also says that the wife’s body does not belong to her alone, but also to her husband. The husband’s body does not belong to him alone, but also to his wife. A married person needs to be concerned with the needs of his or her spouse and does not have the right to be selfish.

I’ve found that this dying to self within marriage is a lengthy and painful process, and it is very consistent with the daily dying to self that God requires of all Christians — surrendering our lives and wills to the will and purpose of God for our lives.

To be honest, I have found that dying to self within marriage is much more difficult than dying to self as a single person.  When I’ve talked with God about this, He revealed to me that the reason for this is that I am so used to loving — and being loved by — a perfect God that it is not always easy to love and be loved by an imperfect  man. Likewise, as a very imperfect person myself, I constantly find myself being disappointed in my ability to love my husband the way God wants me to love him. If I’m being honest, I have to say that I’ve seen more selfishness and ugliness in my heart within  marriage than I saw when I was single.

I’ve shared this quotation on several other threads, and I will share it here as well.  When I was in my 20s, I heard a definition of marriage that really struck a chord within my spirit, and I never forgot it.  Even though I did not end up marrying for more than 20 years after hearing it, I always kept this quotation in my heart  regarding the type of Godly marriage that I wanted to have.  The quote, by Christian psychologist Dr. Richard Dobbins, is this:

“Christian married love is the persistent effort on the part of two people to create for each other the circumstances in which each can become the person God intended him or her to be — a better person than he or she could become alone.”

You’ll notice that there is no mention of happiness in that quotation.  However, I can say without hesitation that I have experienced great joy in having been used by God to help my husband become a better man of God, and I am extremely thankful for the many times that God has chosen to use my husband to help challenge and strectch me to become the person God intends for me to be.

Post # 16
5445 posts
Bee Keeper

I read it earlier. Eh, I’m neutral. It was a nice article but not earth shattering. To me, the stand out advice from that article is to pick someone to spend your life with that is your friend even more than your “lover” and someone whose company you enjoy. I feel like too many people miss that. 

I also think this is better than the article:

I find that most interpersonal conflicts result from baggage people bring into their relationships. 

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