There's no attempt to deny the truth in that statement, and if you're not married or have never been please just take my word for it.
It can be full of fun, and smiles, and laughter and all that goodness, but it can also become what appears as a never-ending ball of tears, fears, and disappointment.
Fortunately, we live in the age of "upgrade the outdated"! So if you feel your marriage has reached its expiration date and you want to trade-in your spouse for one of the 2015 models that will be out shortly, follow these quick and simple steps toward gliding seamlessly into a divorce.
STEP ONE: Be selfish.
Think about yourself a lot. Put the majority of your energy into your own dreams and goals, and spend as little amount of time as you can asking your spouse about theirs. Criticize them for resting after a long day at work because they could be helping you out when they get home. Spend hours (two or more to really get the job done) doing office work at home. Make it known that your lunch breaks and weekends are reserved to catch up on even more work, or spend time with colleagues or people you are mentoring. All other breaks are reserved for you to have your own quiet time so you can refocus on your own peace of mind before tackling your next project. Prepare meals only for yourself, or pick up fast food on your way home without checking to see if your spouse has eaten. Keep secrets from them, and make important family decisions about finances, travel, jobs, your living space, etc. without consulting them. Allow your concern with their emotions and struggles to strict limits because eventually they need to learn how to stand on their own two feet and not depend on you. After all, this is a marriage not a partnership.
STEP TWO: Fail to communicate.
Never communicate your feelings in a productive or respectful manner. Avoid eye-contact as much as you can when you two are together, and keep your responses to "yes", "no", and "I'm not sure", (synonyms for any of these phrases will also suffice). Make it very difficult to start conversations with yourself. Keep some sort of electronic device with you, like your cell phone, laptop, or tablet so you can also be communicating with someone else. Create an atmosphere that does not welcome their opinions. For example, cry the moment you feel you are being attacked or misunderstood, or better yet, become a complete brick wall so you can't receive any of their observations about the negative parts of you. Rarely explain your actions or decisions. They aren't the boss of you! You're the man! You're not his slave! You can do what you want to do and if they have a problem with it it's probably because they don't trust you to make intelligent decisions on your own. And oh yea, switch back and forth from smiling to a placid demeanor quite often so they never know how you truly feel.
STEP THREE: Compare them to others.
Be sure you treat your husband poorly for not being like your dad, or pastor, or another man you admire. Express utter disappointment that your wife is not like your mother, or you ex, or the wife you dreamed of. Wish they dressed the way you want them to, instead of they way they've been dressing since you two met, and make sporadic comments about your displeasure with their appearance until they change. Extend them small amounts of grace because eventually they will get exhausted from trying to meet your demands and will hopefully run to a divorce attorney before they have a breakdown!
STEP FOUR: Tell God what you are going to do and what you refuse to do.
This is a big one! Pretending Jesus is the actual Lord over your life is key to getting a divorce. Pray to Him. Read His word. Share it with others. Hey, even make some note cards or get a cute journal to write things down in. Watch Bible study videos, or even make some of your own. But in the end, only do the parts that sit well with you. Don't step too far out of your comfort zone. Don't fully forgive, love, or reconcile with your spouse after an argument as the Word teaches us. Just tolerate their presence enough to avoid an argument. Blame your spouse for your shortcomings and God for allowing you to choose such an uncompromising life partner.
Now, I'm sure you have caught on that this entire post is satirical. And these are just a few things. I know "more serious" problems can occur like adultery and abuse, but I think it's so easy for us to blame the other person when things go wrong in our marriages.
I know I've done it.
While typing this, I tried to make sure I included a lot of things I know I've done myself. Give it a try. Re-read this post and mentally underline each action you know for a fact that you have been guilty of. If you underline any part of the final step, which I'm sure you will, then you certainly need to take some time to reevaluate your self-perception.
There will be times when you want to throw in the towel and sign the papers. And if some of us are really honest with ourselves, we emotionally checked-out of our marriages and signed fictional divorce papers ages ago. We may not have packed our bags and hit the road just yet, but we certainly aren't giving our all in our marriages and don't really plan to.
We feel like we've done enough.
We feel like we don't deserve to be treated unfairly, or unjustly, or unappreciated.
So, we're just going through the motions trying to honor vows that God knows we have already forsaken in our hearts.
So what do we do?
Let Him do it.
The more we try to do the worse it will get.
I recently read these beautifully honest words from an amazing woman that I'm blessed to have in my life:
"By the grace of God, we slowly started to put our marriage back together. It took both of us committing to the work of marriage to turn things around. And turn around they did! When I say that God made miracles happen in our lives, I mean it in the truest sense of those words. Miracles, people. The work of marriage is the best work I’ve ever done and work I want to do for as long as I live. No matter where you are or what you are feeling, I want you to know that Love is worth it. Love with a capital L! True Love is possible with God. It’s not about changing someone else. It starts with you. 'Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person, it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world in himself for the sake of another person; it is a great, demanding claim on him, something that chooses him and calls him to vast distances.' – Rainer Maria Rilke.
I choose Love. Love never fails."
Amen and amen!
Maybe your marriage is over. Maybe there is no turning back from where you are currently.
But maybe, just maybe, God is about to use your simply magnanimous choice to try again to create a love story that will change the world.
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