Okay, so I become a bit irate when I hear people talk about the ‘old ball and chain.’ Many a stand-up comic has dished out routines about how horrible marriage is and how life ends when you get married.
I’ve also been known to get my back up when people make comments about asking ‘permission’ for David to go out with the guys. I guess they didn’t get the memo about my husband leading. It’s probably been about 10 years since I told David ‘no’ to anything and that includes going out with the guys. It’s just not how I roll.
It makes me consider the importance of modeling a good marriage. We’ve all heard the staggering divorce statistics. I recently read a study that showed the chances of divorce in the first four years of marriage increasing 87% if wives had a history of parental divorce, and 620% (as in: six hundred and twenty percent!!!) if both partners did. Does that not astound you? Does that not want to make you sit up and take notice of the example we’re setting for our kids?
With figures like that, you’d have to imagine that eventually, we may reach a point were virtually all marriages end in divorce. It’s like divorce rates are applying compound interest.
It’s horrible! And it can be prevented.
I remind myself now and then to reflect on the marriage example David and I are setting for our children. I want to make sure we’re painting our relationship in a positive light, effectively demonstrating our affection, our roles, conflict resolution, and especially mutual respect. Demonstrating these things will help my children to see what kind of spouse they need to be, but also what kind of person they should be searching for when the time comes. I want their standards to be high.
Is it obvious to my children that David comes first?
Do they see that we are both making choices in our marriage, and that we’re working at it?
Do my children see me leaving decisions to David, allowing him to lead the family and especially me?
Are they seeing his respect for me, both outwardly and in his respect of my opinion in those decisions?
Do my children clearly understand that their mother, through her words, attitudes and actions, is in love with their father?
Have you ever seen a couple in their 80’s or 90’s, out for a walk and holding hands? Does it not make you go “awwwww….” in your head? Or maybe out loud?
David and I are not particularly shy on the PDA front (public displays of affection). We don’t go crazy in public or in front of our children, but we certainly hold hands, share a kiss, an affectionate glance, an embrace…many of them. I almost always greet David at the door at the end of the day, with a hug and big ol smooch. I think it’s important for the two of us to keep fanning the flame, but it’s also important for our family. It gives our children both security and an example.
(Side note: Eden started kissing me with her head tilted to one side. I had to explain that’s for Mom and Dad only. She gets it now. LOL)
We even have t-shirts.
Oh yes. We do.
Actually, there’s a great story behind them. David was in Toronto on business on the day I was browsing on the Union 28 website. (I love them and what they are doing!) I told him I wanted to order a “My husband rocks.” shirt and asked him if he’d wear one that says “I love my wife.” Not only did he say he’d love to wear it, he told me he was *this* close to buying one a couple of days prior that said “I love my hot wife” (blush) but didn’t because he thought I’d be embarrassed. We laughed and marvelled at the fact that we both thought the same thing in a matter of two days. How cool is that?
The shirts arrived and we’ve both been wearing them. He loves his, but is disappointed that the ‘hot’ part wasn’t on it. (double blush)
It feels pretty good to know that my husband wants to wear his love for me across his chest for the world to see. And why not? In this age of high infidelity, it makes my heart smile to see a man who is proud to say he loves his wife. And let’s face it, that’s just downright sexy!
So, in all this work of a marriage and in all the choices that go along with it, we are choosing to model for our children. We want to give them as good a chance as possible for a healthy marriage of their own one day.
I wonder if another study would show marriages 620% more likely to THRIVE among adult children who regularly witness love, respect, and affection between their mother and father…?
Food for thought.
And here’s to kissing in public! 🙂