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Committed: The Ties that Bond

with Angella Dykstra

I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.

Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.

Is your marriage ‘Good Enough’?

Categories: commitment, divorce, marriage


A post I read yesterday at The Motherlode — ‘Is the ‘Good Enough’ Marriage Good For The Children‘ — grabbed my interest and also made me shake my head a little bit. The author refers to an article in The Atlantic where the author talks about how she may never find a husband.

She broke up with an “exceptional person, intelligent, good-looking, loyal, kind. My friends, many of whom were married or in marriage-track relationships, were bewildered. I was bewildered. To account for my behavior, all I had were two intangible yet undeniable convictions: something was missing; I wasn’t ready to settle down.”

Here is where she is now:

I am 39, with too many ex-boyfriends to count and, I am told, two grim-seeming options to face down: either stay single or settle for a ‘good enough’ mate. At this point, certainly, falling in love and getting married may be less a matter of choice than a stroke of wild great luck.

The Motherlode ended her post with a number of questions, one of which stood out for me:

Is, indeed, the message that we should marry for love — passionate, soul-fulfilling love — and never settle for less now outdated?

Passionate, soul-fulfilling love. What does that mean, exactly? If it’s of the movie-style variety, a parody commercial I saw recently kind of hit a truth spot. The couple knocked stuff over and fell off the bed and comically showed how the movies do not equal real life.

Is my marriage passionate? Yes. Were we passionate when we first met? I’m not sure if that’s the right word. We were lusty and twitterpated but the passion is something we’ve forged out of a trusting, committed relationship.

Is my marriage soul-fulfilling? Yes. It always has been, because we share the same faith. Faith ties into soul and, so.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you think that you need to have movie-level passion (I watched Dirty Dancing on a flight last weekend, so that comes to mind), or is ‘good enough’ (which is AWESOME, outside of movie-land) where you are at?

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3 comments so far...

  • 98% good enough, 2% passionate. Real. Mundane and good enough get us through life. 2% flashes of passion remind us why we chose to get through real life together.

    Eileen  |  October 20th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

  • I think there’s a happy medium. Or maybe a combination of the two? Passion shouldn’t be underrated, but of course if you can’t survive the day-to-day with someone, your relationship isn’t likely to be that successful. There’s very little sexy in changing diapers and taking out the trash. :)

    It’s funny to think that marrying for love might be “outdated” when not too long ago love was the last thing people were marrying for because women needed to count on marrying “well” (read: moneyed) in order to have the best chance. All things considered, love is a luxury.

    agirlandaboy  |  October 21st, 2011 at 12:45 pm

  • I bumped into my husband in high school (17 years ago) and haven’t looked back. That could be lucky or stupid, but it’s turned out lucky for me. We’re pretty different, and day-to-day life isn’t always easy, but we spark big-time. So higher on the passion than the “good enough,” I guess.
    As far as “settling” (don’t like that expression), I think we all do that every day, in small things and with everyone we have a relationship with. Even couples who are happy together for a long time eventually encounter some kind of issues, and hopefully those who stay together do so because it’s worth it. The basis has to be there, though. If I had reservations about someone going in, I doubt I’d want to put up with any of the imperfections that, with a long-term partner that I genuinely like, are just part of the package…

    Dani  |  October 21st, 2011 at 9:19 pm