CAN THIS MARRIAGE BE SAVED?

It’s June – traditionally the month for weddings. My wedding was anything but traditional. The pastor that married Jon and me said it was the first Hippie wedding he had ever performed. My wedding dress was a mini. Jon skipped the tuxedo scene and rented a Civil War suit from a costume shop. While our relatives sported more traditional wedding attire, our friends came in assorted blue jeans, t-shirts, mini-skirts and purple suede fringe. Some even wore shoes. Our wedding gifts would not be found on any bridal registries that I know of. One friend gave us a marijuana joint the size of a Cuban cigar. My gift to Jon was a carved wooden Buddha mug to keep his weed in. That alone should have raised a few warning flags of what was to come. Jon and I were married on May 30, 1970. Our marriage was in trouble before it started. We truly loved each other, but our shared love of alcohol and mood-altering drugs often resulted in conflict. For years the Ladies Home Journal has featured a column titled, “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” In the spotlight is a marriage about to go under. A husband and wife take turns presenting their side of the picture, and then the marriage counselor offers insights and suggestions. Not all the stories have a happy ending. The question, “Can this marriage be saved?” could easily have been asked of me and my husband within the first two years after we said “I do.” One payday during the first year we were married, when Jon wasn’t home by a certain time, I knew he was cashing his check at the bar near his workplace, buying rounds with his co-workers – again. It was predictable what stage of intoxication he would be in when he finally made it home. I entered our marriage as an angry Feminist. I wasn’t about to be the “good little wife” waiting for Jon to come home. I put dinner away, packed a bag, and arranged to spend the night with my college friend. She and I also shared a love for alcohol. I didn’t leave a note for Jon. As I drove away, I took smug satisfaction in knowing he would wonder where I was.  Two could play that game. (Unfortunately, there were no winners.) That was just one of many such scenarios. We often drank or used more than we planned, and said and did things we would never have said or done sober. There were times we both said, “I’ll never do that again!” And then we did “that” again. Fortunately, our story had a happy ending: our marriage was saved. Actually, we were both saved. Desperate to change the self-destructive course I was on, I asked Jesus to be my Savior on Good Friday 1972. I told Jon of my decision and that I was going to start attending church. I told him I would not be drinking or using drugs again. Although respectful of my decision, Jon said, “I am not going to church with you, and don’t ever tell me to quit drinking.” The next eight months were very difficult. I fully expected Jon to leave me. Once when I refused to go with him when he was using drugs, he gave me an ultimatum: “Make up your mind about what you want. I’m getting tired of this!” Just a couple of months later, in December 1972, Jon surprised me by announcing that he had also prayed and asked Jesus for forgiveness. That night he told his best friend about his decision; he added, “I am done with alcohol and drugs.” Sobriety was just one of the gifts God gave us when we turned our lives over to Him. God did an extreme makeover in each of our lives and in our marriage. It’s June. Love-struck couples are saying, “I do.” Considering today’s divorce rate, before long, some will be asking, “Can this marriage be saved?” Some issues may be complicated and require professional counseling, but know that God is still in the business of saving marriages. He did it for us. He can do it for you. Today’s Challenge: Are you asking “Can this marriage be saved?” Whether asked of your own situation or on behalf of loved ones, with God’s help, the answer is always, “Yes!” Think you may have a problem with alcohol? Click here to take a...