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Why We Need Our Marriage Stories

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I don’t blog much about marriage, although not intentionally—my two most popular posts last year were Movies for Date Nights at Home and 5 Ways to Nurture Your Man and Your Marriage, published the week of Valentine’s Day—but I left Fawn Weaver’s Atlanta book signing Sunday afternoon with a copy of Happy Wives Club and the conviction that more stories about good marriages should be shared.

A book about happy marriages doesn’t skyrocket to #3 on the New York Times best seller list unless our society needs its content.

Fawn asked if we thought the negative perception of marriage in the media would or could change. Sadly, our group only came up with three positive TV marriages. Only three. {If you’re curious, they were Cliff and Clair Huxtable; a couple from another TV show that I’m not familiar with (sorry! We stream Netflix and watch movies, but don’t have cable); and my addition: Eric and Tami Taylor (I’m still in Friday Night Lights withdrawal).

There seems to be a misconception that for women to look strong men should look weak, or at least less-than competent. Why? I tell my kids that it’s not necessary to tear one person down in order to build another up, but too many think that’s the case.

Parent While Keeping Your Marriage First

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Our average life expectancy is approximately 80 years and your children live at home for 20, give or take. You and your spouse live together for 40-60 years, depending on your age at marriage and other factors. Obviously this relationship needs to work long-term, day-to-day.

Contrary to how easy it is to dissolve this till-death-do-us-part union, marriage isn’t meant to be disposable.

I’ve known moms whose husbands travel so much that they’ve grown comfortable with evenings without him at home; casual suppers with the kids; less pressure to keep a clean house. Some reach a point where they believe it’s easier when he’s gone. Guard your heart against this.

Your relationship with your spouse needs to be protected, treasured, preserved.

Husbands and wives don’t always agree; work to stay in sync on the big issues, like parenting decisions. They get harder as your children age and kids will pit parents against each other if they sense you’re not in harmony. (You’d better believe it.)

Your Kids Need to See You Put Your Husband First

When our kids see us hugging or stealing a kiss they call it awkward, inappropriate, or the most amusing: a middle age moment. I think your parents not liking each other would be more awkward, but I guess that’s logic speaking, not kids.

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A Marriage is More than Just One Day

There’s an insane amount of pressure to do Valentine’s Day right. I read this week that while women want a meal at home, men plan on taking them out to eat (obviously nobody polled me). Our Valentine’s will involve new floors laid in our home; attending a friend’s book signing; and maybe a night in a hotel. With the kids. Because our insurance company is paying to get us out of the way during our floor installation.

My perfect Valentine’s Day? Hula steak and fried rice at my favorite Japanese steak house plus a good movie or the Valentine’s Day thing at the High Museum.

What will I get? A hello hug and kiss and an occasional wink across the room while we scramble to move furniture for the Saturday phase of our floor install. But that’s okay.

A marriage is more than just one day.

Do you blog about marriage? Do you want to read more about marriage? Do you think marriage in the media is skewed toward the negative?

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{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Erica - Let Why Lead February 13, 2014, 10:47 pm

    Hi Dawn! I’m a new reader, visiting from pinterest. I can tell I’m going to like it here. :) I really believe that marriage needs to be talked about more – and not just the positive but the REAL, too. A community of honest, optimistic, faith-filledwives is a force to move mountains!
    Erica – Let Why Lead´s last [post] ..It Was Never Random

    • Dawn Camp February 13, 2014, 11:47 pm

      Welcome, Erica! I agree that we need more honest conversations about marriage and I want to contribute.

  • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect February 13, 2014, 11:38 pm

    Yes, YES – I am so very thankful for women who write honestly and encouragingly (is that a word?!) about marriage. So here’s my question for you (feel free to thank me for giving you a post idea, haha!): for women whose husbands are gone a lot, how DO we guard our hearts against growing too comfortable with his absence? Because we have to be practical and make do when he’s gone…but we shouldn’t get to the point of preferring our lives alone. How do you think we can find that balance? (For real. I don’t think I’m alone in needing guidance on this one!) :)

  • Dawn Camp February 13, 2014, 11:50 pm

    Mary, I think encouragingly is a word, and I’m just impressed you were able to begin it with an e and not an i. :)
    You have *definitely* started the wheels spinning for a post on this topic! I have three kids who’ll spend the night with our pastor’s family tomorrow for a variety of birthday celebrations (they have a lot of kids like us) and I’m examining the difference in how I feel when there are a fewer kids in the house compared to if my husband is gone and maybe I’m onto something. Thanks for the thought to ponder!

  • Vicki February 14, 2014, 12:47 am

    Loved this post, my friend. So many things to really take to heart. :)

  • SharonB February 18, 2014, 9:45 pm

    Dawn I couldn’t agree more!! Positive, godly marriages need to be talked about. While I do not write a ton on marriage I do find when I do they are my most popular post. ;-)
    SharonB´s last [post] ..What My Words Tell Others

  • Hope March 7, 2014, 3:28 pm

    I LOVE this post. I think we need many more blogs and posts and teaching and books about healthy marriages. Maybe we could even make one up :-) Getting couples together from all over the world, all ages, all stages and write people’s stories.

    I come from a family where marriages do not last and my mom and dad were no example either. I mostly grew up with my mom and men (or man) were absent from our lives. Leaving me with no clue about marriage. Besides my culture (Holland) teaches it is very okay to leave a marriage when love is gone and things have dried up. Here am I, having been married for only 17 months… working hard to keep it something good, beautiful and worth fighting for. I even hear when I write or talk about marriage that my standards are not realistic. Sure… we fight in marriages, but do we really have to raise our voice and yell for instance? Why can’t we learn to always be respectful and speak in a respectful kind of way?

    Anyways… I loved reading this and think you should write more often about marriage…;-)
    Hope´s last [post] ..Being a woman

  • Hope March 7, 2014, 3:29 pm

    … and I have heard from so many people know that keeping your marriage while raising children is VERY important. It can’t be just about the kids. I am so glad to hear that from all over, like it is a trap women (or families) fall into. I’m glad to have heard this wisdom before hand. Thanks!
    Hope´s last [post] ..Being a woman

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