Wednesday, August 5, 2009

on behalf of marriage.

I finished reading Julie & Julia about a month ago, and I’d been looking forward to seeing the movie. After all, Amy Adams and Meryl Streep? Count me in.

Although the book wasn’t as awe-inspiring as I’d been told it was (then again, I’m not much of a cook), I distinctly remember being thrilled with one portion of the plot:

Finally, a happy marriage.

In her memoir, Julie Powell discusses her marriage in detail. Imperfect, but full of love.

It’s a powerful storyline missing from a lot of books and movies these days.

All the heroines I read about or watch flouncing about the screen are independent, strong women out in the big city, pursuing their dreams.

Spending money.

Planning weddings to people they don’t love.

Wearing designer shoes.

Living in apartments they could never afford.

Breaking up with men who are pigs, who laugh at their dreams.

It’s all a little disappointing.

Especially since I’m married.

And if I believed what I read, what Hollywood puts in front of me, I’d believe that marriage ruins independence.

Strength.

Ambition.

Dreams.

That joining forces with another causes destruction, frustration, and disappointment.

Well, guess what? I don’t buy it.

Did I have different dreams for myself? You bet.

Did Jordan ruin them for me? Not on your life.

The husband I was blessed enough to get supports my dreams, plans ways to make them come true.

Supports my ambitions.

Provides the strength and encouragement I need to do great things.

I hope I do the same for him.

I don’t think I’m alone in this, either.

I know plenty of other happy, together, supportive, trying-hard-to-get-it-all-right couples out there. But they’re not being portrayed on TV. On the big screen. Or in the books I read.

So when I picked up Julie & Julia, I breathed a little easier.

Finally, a marriage where the spouses supported one another.

Loved each other.

Strengthened each other.

A marriage that was far from perfect, but it was theirs, just the same.

And in a world where that’s just unheard of, it was nice to read about (in between the expletives Julie is so found of).

Imagine, then, my disappointment when I discovered that right after the success of her book, little Julie Powell had an affair.

Cheated on the husband who’d given her the idea for her successful blog in the first place.

The husband who’d supported her.

Who’d stayed up late helping her read through stupid Julia Child’s cookbook.

And disappointment doesn’t really begin to describe my feelings.

Because, truthfully, I’m ticked off.

Doesn’t anyone believe in the power of marriage, the power of love anymore?

I’m not talking about happily ever afters.

I’m talking about hard-working couples who try to put each other before themselves.

I recognize, of course, that it doesn’t always happen that way.

Dinner is late, and dates go by the wayside.

Sweatpants replace skirts and acne medicine replaces makeup.

But there are couples out there who are trying.

Loving, and trying.

Why can’t someone make a movie about that?

About a man who supports his wife’s dreams. Without impatience and frustration.

About a woman who supports her husband’s dreams. Without bitterness and malice.

Isn’t that what marriage is about, really?

Helping each other.

Encouraging each other.

Seeing the light when the other can’t.

Why don’t people write about that?

It’s a beautiful story.

And Julie decided to ruin it.

Why? I guess I’ll never know. I guess that it’s really none of my business.

But it is my business how marriage is portrayed in the world I live in.

I am not weaker because I picked marriage.

I am not stupid because I took a job to support my husband’s education.

I am not crazy for adjusting my dreams to allow room for his.

It’s time for the world to wake up and acknowledge that sometimes marriage is messy.

And involves a little bit of compromise.

But mostly, it’s just good.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen Sista! Preach on...I agree with you 100 and 50,000 percent! That's why I didn't like the movie He's Just Not That In To You, portrayed marriage in an awful light, I thought! Anyways, I love you! Keep writing! ~Jennifer

Anonymous said...

I agree. Keep writing the story. We all need to write on behalf of marriage.

sashyjane said...

Obviously I don't have enough to do at work today so I'm going through your "the husband" archives. :)

This is intriguing to me because now that I've figured out my dreams and am taking strides to make them happen, I've elected to completely shut off the marriage desire. After seeing my friends' marriages and how they've had to sacrifice all of their desires (meaning desires to be something other than a stay at home mom or just a wife with a menial job) to submit to their husbands, I realized that is not something I want. I didn't believe that marriage could be different and that any Christian men would support the kind of dreams I have. (Not that I have any beating down my door with an engagement ring) This has given me something to ponder and pray over.

The Lord is still going to have to change my heart and make me a whole lot less stubborn and selfish but it's encouraging to see that marriage doesn't equal the end of dreams.

Ps. What denomination are you affilitated with? I'm guessing you're not PCA/Reformed?