Life Partners Until the Bitter End

Life Partners Into Eternity

The three of us are together in silence, not an awkward silence, but a peaceful silence. Her shallow breaths are interrupted by a sudden gurgle. I look to my father-in-law as he is reading the paper, questioning him with my eyes. We exchange words, so he can explain to me the gurgle and we continue our peaceful silence.

My mother-in-law lies in a bed and is under hospice care. Her diagnosis was difficult for her to accept. She lived a healthy lifestyle and made good choices through out her life. Why did she have lung cancer when other seemingly unhealthy people lived full lives? She was bitter towards the end, but had Christ to reconcile her feelings.

She is approaching her final day. It is my father-in-law she wants by her side. Both are Christians, so their relationship will continue into eternity.

He is her life partner.

Life Partners are together until the end until one partner dies.

What makes a good life partner?

My FIL was the peaceful presence in their marriage, while my MIL was high-strung. Over the years of marriage they balanced each other out. An important quality of being a life partner is to be the Ying to someone else’s Yang. Marriage is made up of two unique people and each has their own contribution to the relationship. We need to accept the bad with the good.

My in-laws are a prime example of how a marriage should be done. My husband learned from the best. Most of his traits are acquired from his mother. She was a woman you didn’t reckon with. He is his mother’s son.

My husband’s high-strung personality traits at times lends itself to unrest in my life. He is negative, pessimistic, and easily excites, but with these behaviors he is competitive, goal-oriented, and driven.

This offers an explanation of my marriage and how our partnership handles struggles. I am accepting of my husband and his personality traits because he gets them honestly. With his negative demeaner comes his positive qualities. What he brings to our marriage is invaluable. I have a man who values his commitment to our marriage and is in it for life.

Although I think I am God’s gift (actually I am!) to my husband, he has to put up with me. The new me doesn’t want to fixate on the past or dwell on the future which frustrates my husband. While my husband thrives on life’s uncertainties I can be his peaceful presence.

Life Partners Until the Bitter End

Lets discuss my folks…

Bitterness can grow for some couples when they are expected to be life partners until the end.

My parents celebrated over fifty years of marriage before my father passed away. My mother remained faithful to their marriage until the end, but she was not his life partner. I drove my mother to the airport the day prior to my father’s demise. She had had enough and for the first time left my father for some respite care. I have no ill-will towards my mother.

The next morning when I was unable to reach my father by phone I contacted my sister with concern. Together her and I found my father unresponsive at our parent’s home. My mother was unable to stay with him until the end. And he apparently could not live without her (this actually makes me cry).

Life Partners The Marriage Can Die Trying

Marriage is so difficult that even the most committed spouse may not be able to last until the end. A bad marriage can feel more like a prison. Sadly, when a couple doesn’t have their hearts in the relationship, this leads to a slow death of the marriage.

I wasn’t planning on having an emotional breakdown as I write this blog post. My tears are a very good indicator of how I feel about marriage and divorce. I am very torn and conflicted. Not on my own marriage. My husband and I are in it for the long haul. I look forward to growing old with him even if he doesn’t change his ways to suit me.

As a wife and mother when my life broke so did our family. I needed to heal for our family to heal. I was surprised to learn that many of our friends thought our marriage would not be able to pull through our difficult time. Even one of my closest girlfriends told me she gave our marriage a fifty percent chance of survival.

My husband and I have never entertained the idea of divorce over the years, even at the height of our dysfunction. Instead, we lean into each other, lifting each other up and supporting one another. We both want our marriage to work which is what saved our marriage.

Sadly, when a couple doesn’t have their hearts in the relationship, this leads to a slow death of the marriage.

Why is being a life partner so difficult?

At the time we say “I do” how can we expect to commit a life to someone we barely know? A marriage is created over years of getting to know each other. It is the life trials, the ups and downs that shape our marriage. It is about persevering. And it isn’t for everyone.

My parent’s marriage wasn’t pretty, at times it was quite ugly. But the lessons I learned from my mother have taught me perseverance. She was, still is a Christian woman who married a man with a lot of baggage. See post for a brief history of my father My parents had a codependent relationship which leads to an unhealthy marriage.

As an adult being a product of a dysfunctional marriage at times I do wish my parents would have divorced. My parents did not seem happy together. I feel my mother deserved more out of their marriage. But my mother made a commitment to my father. Her intention was to be his life partner.

Life partners each adding value till death.

A marriage should make both parties happy. My husband and I need to give and take. The bible mentions the husband and wife become one. While in recovery I constantly tell my husband that I need to do me and him himself. He likes to remind me we are one flesh together. We can not fix one another but when we fix ourselves we are bringing the best possible person to our marriage.

When trials arise which are expected throughout the life of our marriage at least I will have the tools needed to sustain my end of our marriage. And as long as we both are willing participants, our marriage will survive.

Now, dear brothers and sisters—you who are familiar with the law—don’t you know that the law applies only while a person is living? For example, when a woman marries, the law binds her to her husband as long as he is alive. But if he dies, the laws of marriage no longer apply to her..

Romans 7:1-2 NLT

4 responses to “Life Partners Until the Bitter End”

  1. Someone explained it to me once that marriage is a triangle with both parties seeking God. Funny how that mirrors the trinity and then the church is called the bride of Christ. It’s all intertwined, and it all comes down to where we are with Jesus one-on-one. Only then can marriage, parenting, friendship, etc. flourish.

    Love your posts as always, Karen, and I particularly like your cut and dried writing style. I thought I read somewhere on your site that you wrote case studies at one point, and I marveled how God has used that to help create a straightforward and transparent blog in His name. Awesome stuff, friend!

    • The triangle approach should be implemented in all relationships. Two people and God. The relationship is no one else’s business.

      God certainly works miracles 😉 thanks you and Happy Mother’s Day 😘

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