Every Friday, I join a special group of writers to write for FIVE MINUTES on a one-word prompt. No editing. No revising. Just WRITE. This week, the word is FIVE. Go! //
“Beware the 5’s.”
It wasn’t the typical advice given to a young couple just about to ‘tie the knot,’ but it has been advice that has followed me regularly throughout our 23 years of marriage.
Spoken by a dear friend, but he wasn’t telling us to be superstitious… it’s not the same as ‘lucky number seven’ or ‘don’t break a mirror.’ He was gently and kindly cautioning us to guard against the UNSAID EXPECTATIONS that silently sabotage a marriage.
What are you talking about?
Well, we all have expectations about what we want in a spouse, and what kind of marriage we are DETERMINED to have. “I’m not gonna be like that when I get married.”
He went on to explain that most divorces take place around the time of major landmarks in the marriage―5 years, 10 years, 15 years, and so on. It’s as if the wife (or the husband) suddenly realizes that “We’ve been married for 5 years and you still do THAT?!” or“We’ve been married for 10 years and you still don’t do THAT?!” (You get the picture.)
Beware the 5’s.
Over the years, this advice has often come back to my memory. I’ve noticed that it’s easy to become more critical about Erwin and the state of our relationship, and his ability or inability to make me “happy,” when we are close to a landmark anniversary. It’s then that I sense a greater danger of growing discouraged and ‘throwing in the towel.’
But we actually need to step back and // ask ourselves, not “Is this marriage gonna make it?” but rather
“Do I have another five years in me?”
THAT’S THE SECRET! Another five years of kindness and forgiveness. Another five years of selflessness and servanthood. Another five years of love and gratefulness. Five is easier to swallow than 50. Just take it 5-at-a-time.
On this side of 20 years, I can honestly say that… Yes, there are definitely hard times along the way (EVERY marriage has them), but IT IS POSSIBLE to do this well.Choose each day to be kind, to serve quietly, and be grateful for all things! Click To Tweet
Erwin and I REGULARLY look at each other now and say,
Yes, I’ve definitely got another 5 in me!
// marks the start and stop of five minutes.
For more information on Five Minute Friday, check out Kate Motaung’s site!