What Makes a Marriage Successful? (And Why Divorce Does Not Mean Failure)

Kindness #9

(c) Mary Lou Q

Having gone through a divorce myself, I’ve often wondered why we look on staying married or getting a divorce as a defining success or failure in life.
As I’ve learned more about the person I was married to, it became clear that divorce was a blessing for me.

Some marriages that remain in tact can be abusive and the people inside them become “cell mates” instead of “soul mates”.
Another blogger opened up this discussion with a great post and I’m sharing it with you. ~ Mary Lou ~

(Be sure to click on “Original Post” to read full post!  Thanks!)

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

I’ve always found it funny/sad how we classify marital success purely by its duration. I mean, imagine if we applied this same metric to other areas of our lives –

She was a really great student – she was in school for fifty years!

He was an amazing dog, but he was a failure as a pet because he died before he turned ten.

It was a wonderful dinner. The service was so slow that the meal lasted for hours!

I’m afraid I have to give the book only one star because it ended.

Pretty crazy, huh?

So why do we then so easily apply this faulty logic to marriages? Classifying them as failures if they end and successes if they persist?

I think we all have seen (either from within or from the outside looking in), marriages that go the duration yet are filled with contempt, isolation and misery.

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9 thoughts on “What Makes a Marriage Successful? (And Why Divorce Does Not Mean Failure)

  1. My (ex) husband recently emailed me out of the blue and commented that I should never think our marriage was a failure. He explained that if one scored 75% in an exam, it wasn’t considered a failure. I thought about that very carefully and all I could wonder was … did he ‘score’ our marriage as ‘75%’. If so, then why wasn’t that good enough for him to stay? Or maybe he thought the ‘marriage’ was worth a 75% but I had grown to only be worth about a 30% (or whatever) and so must be discarded so he could try somewhere else for a better score. In the end, the process pained me so much … him “scoring” the marriage (and did he go through all that weighing up in that decision five years ago) and trying to justify it now so it sounded sensible … that I thought it futile to even think about it any further. The way I think of it is that good marriages should not need scoring. They should just feel like a safe haven.
    (Good post by Lisa in looking back at the good, though).


    • Hi Elizabeth, I can’t believe I just found this comment after almost two years! My apologies! I’ve found it very healing to go back and find the joys in my 20 years marriage along with the sorrows. I’m a peace with the knowledge that I wouldn’t have been able to have loved with so much faith and trust if I had know that my husband was going to desert me and my children. What I did (and we did) before that desertion had worth. Once learning that I was used by him and discarded after those years of loyalty it was impossible to build that kind of trust again. That would be up to him and he wasn’t capable of it. I hope you’re doing well and moving forward in your life in a blessed way. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Me In The Middle Of Thinking Out Loud | Me In the Middle

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