“My Marriage Wasn’t Meant to Be”

Bullet points from an article by Matt Walsh

________________________________

We think that our task is to find this preordained partner and marry them because, after all, they’re “The One.” They were designed for us, for us and only us. It’s written in the stars, prescribed in the cosmos, commanded by God or Mother Earth. There are six or seven billion people in the world, but only one of them is the right one, we think, and we’ll stay single until we happen to stumble into them one day.

And when that day happens, when The One — our soul mate, our match, our spirit-twin — comes barreling into our lives to whisk us off our feet and take us on canoe rides and deliver impassioned romantic monologues on a beach in the rain or in a bus station or whatever, then we’ll finally be happy. Happy until the end of time. We can get married and have a perfect union; a Facebook Photo Marriage, where every day is like an Instragam of you and your spouse wearing comfortable socks and sitting next to the fireplace drinking Starbucks lattes.

Yeah. About that. It’s bull crap, sorry. Not just silly, frivolous bull crap, but bull crap that will destroy you and eat your marriage alive from the inside. It’s a lie. A vicious, cynical lie that leads only to disappointment and confusion. The Marriage of Destiny is a facade, but the good news is that Real Marriage is something so much more loving, joyful, and true.

I didn’t marry The One, I married this one, and the two of us became one.

We’ve got it all backwards, you see. I didn’t marry my wife because she’s The One, she’s The One because I married her. Until we were married, she was one, I was one, and we were both one of many. I didn’t marry The One, I married this one, and the two of us became one. I didn’t marry her because I was “meant to be with her,” I married her because that was my choice, and it was her choice, and the Sacrament of marriage is that choice. I married her because I love her — I chose to love her — and I chose to live the rest of my life in service to her. We were not following a script, we chose to write our own, and it’s a story that contains more love and happiness than any romantic fable ever conjured up by Hollywood.

Indeed, marriage is a decision, not the inevitable result of unseen forces outside of our control. When we got married, the pastor asked us if we had “come here freely.” If I had said, “well, not really, you see destiny drew us together,” that would have brought the evening to an abrupt and unpleasant end. Marriage has to be a free choice or it is not a marriage. That’s a beautiful thing, really.

God gave us Free Will. It is His greatest gift to us because without it, nothing is possible. Love is not possible without Will. If we cannot choose to love, then we cannot love. God did not program us like robots to be compatible with only one other machine. He created us as individuals, endowed with the incredible, unprecedented power to choose. And with that choice, we are to go out and find a partner, and make that partner our soul mate.

That’s what we do. We make our spouses into our soul mates by marrying them. We don’t simply recognize that they are soul mates and then just sort of symbolically consecrate that recognition through what would then be an effectively meaningless marriage sacrament. Instead, we find another unique, dynamic, wholly individualized human being, and we make the monumental, supernatural decision to bind ourselves to them for eternity.

It’s a bold and risky move, no matter how you look at it. It’s important to recognize this, not so that you can run away like a petrified little puppy and never tie the knot with anyone, but so that you can go into marriage knowing, at least to some extent, what you’re really doing. This person wasn’t made for you. It wasn’t “designed” to be. There will be some parts of your relationship that are incongruous and conflicting. It won’t all click together like a set of Legos, as you might expect if you think this coupling was fated in the stars.

It’s funny that people get divorced and often cite “irreconcilable differences.” Well what did they think was going to happen? Did they think every difference would be reconcilable? Did they think every bit of contention between them could be perfectly and permanently solved?

People go into marriage with the mentality of children, and I really think that pop culture has a lot to do with that. Marriage is a choice made against the odds. That’s what’s so exciting about it. Thankfully, I made this choice with my wife. She is now my soul mate, my other, my completion, but I could not say that about her until we said “I do” to each other.

We could have not said it, you know. She could have met someone else. I could have fled into the hills to be a celibate hermit for the rest of my life. She could have moved to the city and married some rich lawyer or banker. She could have never called me back after our first date. We could have dated for years until eventually the relationship flickered out, as they almost always do.  An innumerable multitude of possible outcomes, but this was our outcome because we chose it. Not because we were destined or predetermined, not because it was “meant to happen,” but because we chose it. That, to me, is much more romantic than getting pulled along by fate until the two of us inevitably collide and all that was written in our horoscopes passively comes to unavoidable fruition.

We are the protagonists of our love story, not the spectators.

There’s no doubt that certain personality types might gel better with you; you might have a few specific traits and characteristics you’re looking for in a mate. It’s good to have standards, obviously. I’m not saying that you should just throw yourself into the mosh pit and say, “hey, I have no soul mate so I’ll just marry anyone! Who’s game?”

But I am saying that, if you’re single, there are probably hundreds of options out there. None of them soul mates, but all of them possibly potential soul mates. You don’t have to sift around for that one custom made, personalized grain of sand in the desert. You’ll be alone forever if you do that, and you don’t have to be alone forever.

There’s a very real danger inherent in the “there’s only one particular person out there for you” mentality. Think about it. If you are “meant” for one specific person, who’s to say when and if you’ve met them? Who’s to say that the person you married is them?

My wife and I weren’t destined for each other. It wasn’t fate that brought us together. We are bound not by karma, but by our choice. ”

Source: “My Marriage Wasn’t Meant to Be” – The Blaze Article- by Matt Walsh

___________________________________________________________________________________________

A few comments i found interesting on this article:

Jill S. said –  “This was a good article but I disagree. I was married to someone who abused me and only through God’s grace and protection did I get away. A few years later I became reacquainted with whom God had meant me to be with all along. It all happens on His timeline, and He gets all the credit for where I am now: a loved, appreciated wife and mother.”

Jared H. replied to her : “Actually,you chose poorly the first time. God wants you to be happy so you chose to escape the abusive situation and chose a much better man with your newly acquired wisdom. God gives us free will. You’ve learned to use it.”

Advertisements

I can’t live by what I feel, but by the truth Your word reveals

The chains of yesterday surround me
I yearn for peace and rest
I don’t want to end up where You found me.
And it echoes in my mind, keeps me awake tonight.
I need Your peace to get me through this night.
I can’t live by what I feel, but by the truth Your word reveals. I’m not holding on to You, but You’re holding on to me. (Casting Crowns lyrics)

Your attitude is something that you’re doing. It’s not a character trait.

From an article by Geoffrey James.

Everyone who pursues any goal will inevitably run into obstacles. Your attitude determines what those obstacles mean and therefore how well you deal with them.

If you have a lousy attitude, you’ll see obstacles as threats and annoyances. Even if you overcome them, you’ll find the process frustrating, which will make future obstacles harder to cope with.

If you’ve got a positive attitude, you’ll see obstacles as interesting or even fun. Even if you fail to overcome them, you’ll find the process invigorating, which will make future obstacles easier to overcome.

I was trying to find a parking space in a covered car lot. Suddenly, another car zipped around a blind corner and we would have crashed if we both hadn’t quickly braked.

My first thought was: “Wow, I’m sure glad that we (meaning me and the other driver) have fast reflexes!” I’m not exactly sure what the other driver thought, but she gave me the single-finger salute accompanied by an expletive.

Now, it’s never pleasant to be the target of that kind of animosity, but my next thought was to feel sorry for her. She was in a small car with four kids and clearly having a horrible day.

Clearly still furious, she drove off even faster than she’d been driving before. I, however, slowed down because I took the almost-accident as a warning that I needed to pay more attention to my driving.

Same event, different attitude, opposite outcome.

Everything in business is exactly like this. Stuff happens. Your attitude determines how you interpret and experience those events, and therefore strategies and tactics you’ll follow in the future.

This is not to say that people who suffer from lousy attitudes don’t win sometimes. They do, but it’s always with massive hassle and complaint. When they finally win, they feel exhausted.

Similarly, having an upbeat attitude doesn’t bulletproof you against failure. You’ll fail sometimes, but your attitude makes it easy to learn from your mistakes. And when you do win, you feel exhilarated.

Some people believe that their lousy attitude is part of who they are. Not so, your attitude is something that you’re doing. It’s not a character trait.

Regardless of what you do for a living, your real job–the foundation of what you will or won’t accomplish–is your attitude. The more upbeat you are, the more likely you are to be successful at whatever you do.

Source: ” How an Upbeat Attitude Makes Success Simple ” by Geoffrey James

It’s Not the Skills We Actually Have That Matter

Getting over Perfectionism

a paragraph from Peter Bregman’s book : “18 Minutes” 

According to the World Database of Happiness (yes, there is one) , Iceland is the happiest place on earth. That’s right, Iceland. Yes, i know it’s cold and dark six months out of the year there. I’m just giving you the data.

The secret to their happiness? Eric Weiner, author of The Geography of Bliss, traveled to Iceland to find out. After interviewing a number if Icelanders, Weiner discovered that their culture doesn’t stigmatize failure. Icelanders aren’t afraid to fail – or to be imperfect – so they’re more willing to pursue what they enjoy.

That’s one reason Iceland has more artist per capita than any other nation. “There’s no one on the island telling them they’re not good enough, so they just go ahead and sing and paint and write”, Weiner writes.

Which makes them incredibly productive. They don’t just sit around thinking they’s like to do something. They do it. According to the psychologist Mihaly Csikzszentmihalyi, “It is not the skills we actually have that determine how we feel, but the ones we THINK we have.”

So if you think you’re good at something, whether or not you are, you’ll do it. The converse is also true: If you think you aren’t good enough at something, you won’t do it.

Perfectionist have a hard time starting things and an even harder time finishing them. At the beginning, it’s they who aren’t ready. At the end, it’s their product that’s not. But the world doesn’t reward perfection. It rewards productivity.

Three ideas on how can you escape perfectionism:

1. Don’t try to get it right in one big step. Just get it going. Pick  small manageable goal ad follow through.

2. Do what feels right to you, not others. The key to perfection isn’t getting it right. It’s getting it often. If you do that, eventually, you’ll get it right.

3. Choose your friends, co-workers, and bosses wisely. Critical feedback is helpful as long as it’s offered with care and support. But the feedback that comes from jealousy or insecurity or arrogance or without any real knowledge of you? Ignore it.

It’s all in your head

“Every time  i ask a room of executives to list top 5 moments in their career that took a leap forward-not just a step, but a leap-failure is always on the list.

Yet most of us spend tremendous effort trying to avoid even the possibility of failure. According to Dr. Carol Dweck, professor at Stanford University, we have a mind-set problem. Dweck has done an enormous amount of research to understand what makes someone give up in the face of adversity versus strive to overcome it.

It turns out the answer is deceptively simple: It’s all in your head.

If you believe that your talents are inborn or fixed, then you will tr to avoid failure at all costs because failure is proof of your limitation. People with a fixed mind-set like to solve the same problems over and over again. It reinforces their sense of competence.

Children with fixed mind-sets would rather redo an easy jigsaw puzzle than try a harder one. Students would rather not learn new languages. CEOs will surround themselves with people who agree with them. They feel smart when they get it right.

But if you believe your talent grows with persistence and effort, then you seek failure as an opportunity to improve. People with a growth mind-set feel smart when they’re learning, not when they’re flawless.

If you have a growth mind-set, then you use your failures to improve. If you have a fixed mind-set, you may never fail, but neither do you learn or grow.”

Source: “18 Minutes” by Peter Bregman

Too many choices

“In a study led by Sheena Iyengar, a management professor at Columbia University Business School, one group of people was presented with samples of 6 different jams available for purchase while another group was presented with 24 different jams. The 24-jam group showed much greater interest when sampling, but the 6-jam group was ten times more likely to actually purchase a jam.

We’re ten times more likely to take action when choice is limited!

It’s easy to become paralyzed when so many choices exist. We can’t decide among them so we end up not choosing.

But life goes on, and no choice becomes the de facto choice, and suddenly we look back and feel like our talents have been wasted.We leave the store without buying any jam at all.

We need a way to get started NOW, to move in the right direction, even when we don’t have a plan.

These are 4 behaviors around which you should shape your next year:

1. Leverage your strengths.

2.Embrace your weaknesses.

3. Assert your differences.

4. Pursue your passions.”

Source: “18 Minutes –Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done ” by Peter Bregman

Recognizing your own potential

“Who among us does not move trough life with the hidden sense, maybe even quiet desperation, that we are destined for more?

That underneath our ordinary exterior lies an extraordinary soul? That given the right opportunity, the right stage, the right audience, we would shine as the stars we truly are?

“There is grace” a friend once wrote me, “in being molded by your own gifts.”

To allow yourself to be molded by your own gifts takes courage. You have to be willing to stand there, exposed and authentic, while the audience rolls their eyes at you and sneers, expecting failure.”

Source: “18 Minutes –Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done ” by Peter Bregman