Holding nothing back…

Settling for Mr. Good Enough??

Posted on: February 9, 2008

Many thanks to kateharding.net for pointing me to this article at theatlantic.com.

To truly do my arguments against this article justice, I’d have to totally violate copyright law because I’d be copying the entire damn thing!  It’s truly atrocious.

The basic premise of the article is that Ms. Gottlieb has reached an age (which she never reveals, but indicates that it’s 40-ish) where she regrets not marrying, especially after having conceived a child via anonymous donor sperm.  About 6 months into motherhood, Ms. Gottlieb realizes what almost any mother out there can tell you:  Raising a child is HARD WORK that requires more than one person; and is now bemoaning her status as a single mother.

What Ms. Gottlieb doesn’t understand, and her article makes it obvious, is that being married is also HARD WORK.  “Settling” for someone that you aren’t “on the same page” with will just make it that much HARDER.  Ask anyone who settled for Mr. Good Enough and is now divorced!  Ask my mother, who divorced after 18 years of “staying together for the kids.”  Ask my friend of the past 20 years, whose Mr. Good Enough left when things got hard and one of her kids was diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder.  Ask my step-mother, for whom my father is her FIFTH husband. 

After 18 years of marriage, I can tell you one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Love, true lasting love, is something you CHOOSE to DO, not a feeling.  Granted, choosing loving actions is a LOT more difficult when the person you are trying to love is a JERK, but you choose to continue to be loving towards him or not; and that’s reciprocal folks.  He chooses to be loving towards you or not.

No, you don’t choose to fall IN love with someone, but you DO choose to STAY in love with him or her.

A younger friend, recently engaged, asked me what I would say the secret to my long (by today’s standards, since most marriages are doing well to make it to 10 years) and happy marriage was.  My answer was simple:  I choose, daily, to love my husband in little and big ways; and he chooses, daily, to love me.  Somedays that choice is easier than others, for both of us.  There are days when I don’t make it very easy for him to love me.  There are days when he makes it VERY EASY for me to love him.  But whether it’s easy or not, we CHOOSE to love each other.

That’s it.  That’s my secret.  It’s the greatest gift we give each other.  And the greatest gift we give to our kids.  =c)



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