Wednesday, December 2, 2009


After reading through the wonderful comments I received on my last post, (thank you so much ladies,) I felt I needed to clarify or expand on my #10 honest answer.

Hugh and I both have close childhood friendships of the opposite sex. And we would never think of asking the other to cut off those friendships. Hugh's friend, Reagan is a perfect example. They've been friends for over twenty something years. She is a wonderful woman, whom I've had the pleasure of getting to know myself. And I trust her completely, and I'm very comfortable with their friendship. But, a big part of that is also due to the fact that they have always been just friends. There has never been any attraction between them. They've never dated, kissed or even held hands, in a more than friendship kind of way.

Hugh developed Hydrocephalus shortly after he was born, and has had to have a shunt and several surgeries throughout his childhood to correct the problem. When he was in the seventh grade he returned to school after a surgery, with his head shaved. Kids being kids, he was teased about it. And Reagan, being a good friend, offered him a ball cap she happened to have at school with her that day. It was against policy to allow students to wear hats during school, but they made an exception for him because of his recent surgery. -I love that story. Reagan was a true friend, a good friend to him when he needed it most. She was even in our wedding on Hugh's side. She wore a black dress and stood on his side, and I don't think it was at all awkward or out of place. I share all this to make the point that I am not a jealous or insecure woman in my marriage. And I think we as woman take for granted that we need to protect our marriages at all costs.

I don't think we, as a whole, are prepared for what marriage is really like. We begin life together many times completely idealistic, with tunnel vision on our own happily ever after. But, anyone who is married, and has been for more than a couple of years, knows that while marriage is a blessing and offers fulfillment, it is also hard work. There is growth and change, and it will not always sustain the same intensity that you once had when you were dating. There is a ebb and flow to every relationship. The problem is most people think that the minute they aren't being payed enough attention to, or treated like royalty, being waited on hand and foot, well, it must be over. And our society ends up going through relationships like Kleenex, once that relationship loses that shiny newness. They never get to the deeper, stronger and more mature stages, where you are known inside and out, and are loved and appreciated, even when you aren't perfect and you make mistakes. Because let's face it, at times, we are all inconsiderate, or ungrateful, or even selfish. But, if we can make it passed the disappointment of our imperfections, we get to a place that is deeper and more real, where you become best friends and lovers. It's the imperfections and changes, disappointments and trials you face together that either cement you together, or rip you a part at the seams. The excitement in the beginning is what draws you to one another, but it's not the part the keeps you together. It's getting knee deep in the knitty gritty of it all , keeping your communication open and honest, and above all treating each other with respect that cements you together.

Communication is a key element. You can't pout, sull up keep an account of every disappointment til you become bitter, and except things to just magically change or become better. You have to love each other enough, and love your marriage enough to share what's on your heart, respectfully. Good and bad. Husbands and wives both need to hear the good to encourage one another, uplift one another and keep each other going through the hard times or even the day to day that can sometimes feel mundane. And when you have to face up to the harder stuff, you can not nag or condescend one another. Have my husband and I had disagreements or or even arguments in our marriage? Yes, of course we have! But, we never raise our voices to one another, call each other names, curse or use any kind of foul language when speaking to one another. That is part of respecting ourselves, as well as, one another and our relationship. Have we perfected our communication, and are we able to solve all our disagreements? No, we will continue to learn how to communicate, and understand one another throughout our life together. But, when we hit a rough patch, we don't quit because this is not how we thought it was going to be or how we think it is supposed to be. We walk hand in hand through it together, keeping our communication honest and our hearts open to hear each other. And we pray for the Lord to keep our hearts tender toward each other and open to change when it's needed.

I strongly feel that sharing your heart, above all else should be between you and your husband. And I think that it is disrespectful to your spouse and the marriage you share, or if you are developing a close relationship with someone of the opposite sex. Be that a co-worker, someone at church, or whatever. If you and your husband are OK with keeping friends of the opposite sex from your pasts, as we are, because there is a trust established, then do so. As long as both of you are truly comfortable, and you have bathed it in prayer. Hugh and I even have other married "couple friends," but he would never spend time with just the wife, and I would never spend time with just the husband, out of respect. And the same applies to those we've dated or even "friends" we may not have officially dated, but shared an attraction with or flirted with. You have to be able to be real honest with yourself and your spouse to admit that, but, if you love your spouse and your marriage, it's not a big sacrifice.

The Bible tells us that the devil roams to and fro in the earth, looking for something or someone (my emphasis,) to devour. And I can guarantee you that Christain marriage is at the top of a very long list of what he looks to destroy. My husband and I have made the decision to do whatever we have to to stand against how the devil would seek to destroy our marriage. If this is not your view, that is perfectly fine. How you protect your marriage is between you and your husband and the Lord. I always appreciate hearing others' perspectives and points of view. Perhaps I can learn something new from you. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and Blessings on your day!


Christy said...

I LOVE this post. You are dead on :)

I know of three couples whose marriages ended this year due to affairs-the affairs all started as friendships that led to something else. It is tragic that this happens and it is not being insecure to be aware that we must be careful.

Tiffany said...

Thank you Christy! I've recieved a lot of hits on this post, but, I wasn't sure if I was going to get any comments on it or not. I was hoping it would start a dialogue of good conversation about marriage, but no one seems interested. Oh well. But, thanks again for the comment:)

Sarah Denley said...

Okay, first of all, I'm just curious--how do you know how many hits you get on a specific post? I didn't know there was a way to tell!

I'm sorry I haven't commented yet, since I feel like maybe I played a part in your writing it. But it is the most BUSY time of the year!

Anyway, for the most part I totally agree with you. I would be uncomfortable with Peyton developing a close friendship with a woman and I'm sure he'd feel the same way. My best friend was in our wedding, but he stood on Peyton's side because they have grown to be such close friends (truly, my husband would count him as one of his own best friends, now). That brings unspeakable joy to my heart! He's also our daughter's godfather.

Ellis (my friend) and I kissed on a walk when we were fourteen years old. I kissed him and it was the most awkward thing ever. We laughed and went home. I'm so glad it happened though, because it made me never, ever question what "could be".

I'm also glad that you said what you did about the reality of marriage. Peyton and I dated for four years(!) and marriage was still an adjustment. We were totally surprised to find out we were having a "honeymoon" baby and honestly, those first few months of realizing that our plan was not THE plan were some of the hardest of our lives!

Sorry for monopolizing your comments. I love your blog.

P.S. My degree (that I've yet to put to use) is in elem. ed.!

Tiffany said...

Sarah, please don't feel like you need to appologize for monopolizing the comment section. I welcome your comments and points of view here. And don't feel bad about my writing this post. It's not a bad thing. It wasn't a defensive move on my part or to attack your point of view. I love to hear other's points of view or perspectives on things, situations, ect. I think it's interesting to see where people are at in life and why? Just my curious nature I guess. I like to know what makes people tick. I'm not at all offended if you don't agree with me, and I didn't write this to try to convince you to think like me. I just wanted to expand on what I said so that I would be more understood by you or whoever else that may read this blog, post whatever. Oh, and to answer your question...When I posted this particular post my counter was at 102994, and when I posted my next post it was at 103069, and I know how many times I checked my blog. The counter also counts when you yourself click onto your page. And I know from my other, blogfrog, who has visited more than once. So, I could discount those that clicked back by to see if I had a new post. And that's kinda how I put it all together. I am enjoying your blog as well. i hope you'll visit and comment when ever you like. ~Blessings!