HomeCommunicationI Call Marriage

I Call Marriage

I don’t watch a ton of TV but I have a new show this year, This is Us. And there was one scene between two of the main characters, a married couple with two kids, that struck me so poignantly.

Randall and Beth were discussing their crazy schedule and how one of their elementary school daughters had a chess tournament that night. Randall said, basically, Can’t make it…I have a work dinner that I have to go to.

And Beth said, without batting an eye, with respect, but with authority, “I call marriage. You’re going to the tournament with us. Sorry but I call marriage.”

And Randall did not go to his work dinner that night.

In my first marriage, I never ‘called marriage’. Okay, that’s not true. I called it to God. I called it in my journal. I called it to my friends. I called it under my breath. I called it while crying on my bathroom floor or as I fell asleep alone or in my car or at AlAnon.

But I never – in a healthy, non-naggy, forthright way – ‘called marriage’ to my first husband.

Until it was too late…

…I never told my first husband what I wanted or what I needed. Not really. I mean, I nagged and criticized, sure. But I never said, just clear as day, I need you to stop this and this and this or we won’t make it, our family will deteriorate, our marriage will implode. I never called marriage.

And I can’t help but wonder what would’ve happened had I tried. Clearly, kindly, respectfully. Holding up the weight and importance and divinity of our marriage as more important than addictions and abuses and arguments.

Read Next on Thriving Marriages  The Only Person You Need ISN'T Your Spouse

Who would we have become? Who could we have become?