Flirting with Faith

Flirting with Faith


Al and Tipper Gore Separating After 40 Years: Can Anyone Sustain Marriage for a Lifetime?

posted by Joan Ball

“Al and Tipper Gore Separating After 40 Years of Marriage.” 

The headline is here, there and everywhere accompanied by pictures or short videos of the much discussed (and rather awkward) kiss at the Democratic Convention in 2000. Pundits and insiders are expressing their shock and dismay about the couple’s parting ways and Tweeters are wondering with tongue in cheek who will take custody of the Internet. 

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Jokes aside, the Gores have a reputation as an ideal couple. Theirs has been described as genuine love story, marked by public displays of affection and romance, romance, romance. 
So what happened? Fame and the distance that came as a result appears to be bubbling to the surface as one culprit. 
But isn’t distance supposed to make the heart grow fonder? 
I’m not sure what it takes for a marriage to last a lifetime. As a once-divorced, currently married woman I have a perspective but few answers.
And what does a lifetime look like? Forty years seems like a lot of time to devote to something to throw it all away. That said, living in a bad marriage is one of the most toxic, soul-deadening experiences one can endure. The stigma surrounding divorce that once existed in this country is all but gone – both in secular culture and in many faith circles. This poses an interesting dilemma for young people coming of age in this society. Is it possible to sustain a happy marriage for a lifetime? Should sustained happiness even be an expectation for marriage or does the expectation itself set marriages up for failure?  
 


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Katie Angel

posted June 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm


Marriage for a lifetime is possible and should be the expectation. My parents just celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary this past February and they are still very much in love and very much a love story. As they have grown older, they have grown even closer – now that the kids are grown and married they have rediscovered each other. Their fondest wish for their death is to go together holding hands as they sleep – in about ten more years. My parents-in-law were married for 52 years before my extra mom’s death in 1996.
It is their example that led my husband and I to wait to find our “true love” before we married. George and I were deliriously happy with each other for the entirety of our 23 years of marriage and 25 years as a couple – and would be still had he not passed away last September. We gave our daughter, who is marrying this October, an example of what commited love looks like and I have every expectation that she and her new husband will also be a love for a lifetime. They waited over 3 years to get married, just to be certain that they did want to spend a lifetime together.
It isn’t the expectation of sustained happiness that sets up marriage for failure but the expecation that it is, or gets, easy. Marriage is hard work and requires commitment, communication and understanding – something that is in short supply in our society. It isn’t easy at the beginning and it doesn’t somehow become easier as you go on because both of you are changing and those changes have to be incorporated into your marriage. I think far too few people actually take the time to work on their relationship with the same intensity with which they approach their jobs and hobbies.



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credis

posted June 2, 2010 at 10:24 pm


is it possible to sustain a happy marriage for a lifetime?
should sustained happiness even be an expectation for marriage or does the expectation itself set marriages up for failure?
the answer to your first question: yes.
the answer to your second question, which is two questions: it depends, and it depends.
many people get “married” because it is what their parents want/expect/demand them to do. they are brought up to believe – and maybe even think themselves – that marriage is a pledge of committment.
here’s what the bible says: http://www.gotquestions.org/marriage-bible.html
one may observe the behavior of mr. and mrs. gore from a distance and attach his or her best assessment of what they might be doing or thinking.
but it certainly won’t be me.



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sharongilo

posted June 3, 2010 at 1:35 pm


From my many years as a marriage therapist I believe that most are seeking a marriage and companion for life. My clients have shown me that it’s about choices/decisions/behaviors/habits that partners make day-in and day-out — I’ve put these thoughts together into a little, inspirational book, “A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage” (Boston Globe #1 pick)
http://www.ashortguidetoahappymarriage.com



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Barb

posted June 10, 2010 at 5:40 am


Many people sustain a loving caring marriage for years and years but I do believe it can only happen when each partner shares mutual respect and genuine regard for the other. Good marriages just don’t happen but take an unselfish attitude and concern for the well being of the other…and remembering that we can not expect others to make us happy…that is, our happiness is up to us..don’t look to others to provide that…they can’t.



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