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Commentary: Love might keep us together

Jon Hauser

In 1975, the dynamic duo of Captain and Tennille were married and they released their hit song "Love will keep us together." In 2014, the Captain and Tennille divorced after 39 years of marriage. In 2016, Tenille wrote a memoir that, despite her success, she felt lonely and isolated from her husband: "The man whom I'd thought was my soulmate was in many ways just as remote as a stranger passing by through the fog."

According to the Washington Post, Tenille characterized the Captain as emotionally closed off, controlling, obsessive about maintaining his macrobiotic diet, self-conscious about the loss of his hair and rarely, if ever, demonstrative toward his wife.

In February at Prairie Heights, we are asking, "Is it possible for people who fall in love to stay in love and stay together for good?" And not just stay together but to actually stay in love? It seems like in our society, the only thing required to fall in love is a heartbeat. If you are breathing you can fall in love. With the addition of social media and dating services, it is easier to find someone and fall in love than ever before. Never in the history of our world has it been easier to fall in love and more difficult to stay in love!

Last December, I was preparing for a series of talks on marriage that I will give at Prairie Heights in February, and after a long day of study I went home and said to my wife of 28 years, "I am so sorry. I realize I suck at marriage, but I am going to get better." I am convinced that many of us have no clue how to stay in love, and we are paying a huge price in our society for this.

Very few people grew up around a healthy, romantic marriage relationship that grows deeper and expands over an extended period of time. We end up adopting the laws and the rules of relationships that we see and hear modeled for, us and they are somewhat, if not majorly, broken.

I researched many lists of what children need emotionally and relationally growing up in order to build healthy relationships and marriages as adults. My summary is that we all need massive doses of: respect, security, encouragement, compassion, love (physical touch, time, and words), acceptance, support, approval and appreciation. Does that sound like the family you grew up in?

Many factors can affect our home life growing up. The result is that many of us go into adulthood missing some of the emotional deposits that we need. So we unknowingly look for someone who gives us the missing deposits and we fall in love with them. But as time goes on, we strangle each other because we are squeezing the life out of each other.

My conclusion is that many of us head into marriage and we simply are not equipped to stay in love! Hope begins when we become self-aware. When we realize we have to continually work on ourselves and on our marriage in order to build a great marriage we can have hope!

God bless you. See you next Sunday!