One must enter marriage with the single eye of loving the other one, not getting loved. Dashed expectations ruin marriages. This single disorientation about what marriage actually is has caused the skyrocketing divorce rate around the world. Marriage is the last chance to grow up--to face one’s OWN ability to get outside one’s self and love lavishly and unselfishly, expecting nothing in return.
If one hunts for joy in marriage, it will always be elusive, like trying to catch a butterfly. But if one’s focus is on serving and loving the other person, then you will find that you are surprised by it. The butterfly will repeatedly come and sit on your arm.
This is why commitment in marriage is so important. Merely living with one another results in a daily rejection at a profound level. Commitment is what enables one to have the safety to uncover one’s own selfishness and grow beyond it. Otherwise, without a lifetime commitment, one is always plotting how to get OUT of the relationship, for every cantankerous day between the two.
For more on this topic, order Renee’s book, Wise Womanly Ways to Grow Your Marriage.