Today, in the US, it is Election Day. By tomorrow morning, we will have a new president elected.
We talk a good bit about the responsibility and the right to vote, to let our voices be heard. Sometimes, especially when you are on the losing end of that decision, it can seem like a lesson in futility. So many voices shouting to be heard. So many voices not heard. But that is the nature of a democratic process. It is not the individual voices, but the combined individual voices that make a difference.
You may be wondering: what does this have to do with marriage? You see, I am not here to convince you to vote for a specific candidate, or even to vote in today’s elections (however, if you choose not to vote, you do give up your right to complain later).
My interest in this context is your marriage. You see, we vote in lots of ways every day. When we decide, for example, to work on our marriage, we have voted for the marriage. In fact, I have often used that analogy with couples struggling to decide on whether to stay married or not. Often, one will want to stay in the relationship, and the other is undecided. That feels like pressure on the one that is undecided, so I will note that the reality is this: one has voted, and we are waiting for the other to cast the deciding vote. In order to stay married, it requires an unanimous decision. One vote for and one against or two against end the marriage. One for and one undecided means we still have to wait for the final vote. Two votes for, and the marriage will survive.
As I see it, every day requires at least a tacit vote to be married. Sometimes, when we make that more conscious, we get better results. If, every day, we say, “I choose to be married. My vote is to stay married,” we are much better off.
May I invite you to cast your vote of “be married?” We will have to wait for your spouse’s vote.
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