It Matters Not How YOU Define Marriage
Written by
Meagan Frank
July 2010
Written by
Meagan Frank
July 2010

If you are not my husband, your definition of marriage is of little consequence to me. I might bend my ear to hear what you think, but in the end, what has any effect on my marriage is how my definition lines up with my husband's. I recently asked him, as far away from context as I could (I waited until we were talking about sausages---NO, not those sausages!) "Hey, I have a question for you, and I want you to say the first thing that pops into your head." "Okay," he looked at me curiously. "What is your definition of marriage?" I love that he barely moved his gaze from mine. He was somber when he listed, "Companionship. Friendship. Someone being there through the hard times and good times. Being there to listen." I wrote it down, internally calculating how we were doing. My definition was almost exactly what he had said...which is a good thing. We both think that marriage should be a relationship built on friendship and propelled by commitment. "How do you think we are doing...this time of year?" I pressed him. "Horrible." He admitted. He's right. We can hardly call ourselves companions when I see him maybe ten hours in a week. We are comfortable roommates during the summer months. The difference between us, and other couples who find themselves regularly passing each other in the hallway, is that the current state of our relationship is temporary. We will be close companions in a few months when we huddle in for the frigid Minnesota winter. One of the questions on my marriage survey, distributed during my book research, asked about a definition of a successful marriage. There were 173 responders to the survey, and there were 173 unique definitions. The only way I could analyze the definitions was to take out the keywords and categorize them. Two words won out for the most important things to remember in a marriage relationship. RESPECT and COMMUNICATION. Thankfully, no matter how often I see him, I can still wholeheartedly respect him, and we can maintain good communication, even if we talk for a few minutes at a time. For the concluding definition...visit my blog: Choosing to Grow

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  • RYCJ Revising

    Now Meagan, you must know I smiled a bunch on that dialogue. A classic it is! 

    Respect and communication is a monster to deal with however. Like 173 responders penning different meanings to marriage...that number as well likely translates to the meanings individuals put behind... O MI OH MY... communication and respect. 

    My definition of a successful marriage is garnering 25+ plus years going through all the lops and hoops, and maybe (like you) writing a (unique) book about how we did it. (*a wink and a smile*) I'll look for your book when it comes out. An interesting topic of mines too.

  • Rev. LaWaughn Rouse

    Hi Meagan I've enjoyed this blog post and will continue with it on your blog choosing to grow. I'm new here so I've just been getting to know some of the members and read all the wonderful posts. I for one love anything about marriage because my husband and I have a marriage and relationship ministry and we blog about Christian love. We always say that every couple must make their own kind of love in their own kind of way. What may be good for us may not be good for you. If ever you get the chance and just want to visit a sweet little Christian marriage and relationship website or would like to read our love journal blog feel free to visit.

    Take care and I'm off to choosing to grow

    Rev. LaWaughn Rouse

  • Phoebe Wilcox

    I'd wager that left to their own devices most men would let their toilets turn into Cousin Its, but then, what do I know?  You have yours "well-trained"!

  • Meagan Frank

    I withheld food and water until it was done...

    Just kidding.  We have a chore expectation, and it was his turn this week.  We take our teamwork pretty seriously.

  • Fleur de Lys


    How did you get him to do that?

  • Meagan Frank

    Well today my son did, but it can be any of the five of us on a given day. I don't care if it's perfect, so my husband actually does it often

  • Phoebe Wilcox

    Part of my online "persona" is that I'm a man-hating bitch--I hope you don't mind if I don't say anything positive about men or marriage (wink wink).  Men tell me that I freak them out with my man-hating but it's all in good fun, isn't it?  That being said, I will weigh in with this:  who cleans the toilet at your house?  Beside respect and communication, one needs a clean bathroom.  The way to a woman's heart is through a clean bathroom.