Saturday, January 03, 2009
Marriage and Mentors
I was searching for some contact information in my email this morning when I found the following from a single, thirty-something-year-old woman:
“Most of my friends are single or divorced women. They are supportive and loving, and it is good for me to see the single ones who are my age and older who have full, wonderful lives on their own. But, having the perspective of friends who have managed to have a sound marriage would also be helpful. A friend who divorced a couple years ago, was telling me that her strategy now is to hang out with this couple she knows who have a beautiful marriage that she admires. She wants to learn how wonderful marriage can be and to orient herself so that in the future she will be better prepared for that sort of marriage herself.”
From the perspective of mentorship, this seems like very profound advice. Many of us were raised by less-than-deal families. Our parents held on to their marriages by a thread or at some point may have divorced. This is our seed bed for learning how to be a spouse, a mother or a father. If my father dominated my mother then this is what I learned. If my mother dominated my father I learned that instead.
Even if we take the best of marriage preparedness classes, we may fail to learn the ways of harmony, of willing sacrifice, of setting proper limits and other skills that are required for a happy, healthy marriage.
But most of us can recognize a dysfunctional marriage when we see one and most of us are attracted to a harmonious marriage.
So, whether you are single or already married, the advice my friend received is important, spend time around couples you know that “have a beautiful marriage” – a marriage that you admire. Watch and listen and learn. We are never too old.