Repost: We Stayed

This post originally appeared on October 10, 2012. It doesn’t happen often, but it feels pretty good to go back and read something that you’re a bit removed from and to say, “Nope. Wouldn’t change a word.” This post falls into that category for me.


Three years ago, when Jason told me that he no longer believed in God, I had questions about our marriage surviving.

I thought he might leave. He thought I might leave.

We could have pointed to the statistics that said that we were now three times more likely to divorce, and no one would have blamed either one of us for taking that option.

Our religious and irreligious communities would have supported us. ”He’s an immoral heathen, with no ability to appreciate life,” mine might have said. “She’s an irrational fool, intent on continuing with her delusion that there’s a higher power,” his might have said.

But we stayed.

We might have stayed out of a sense of obligation. We want to be people who can be trusted, whose words matter. We could have allowed our vows to be the chains that bound us to our marriage; pretty words that explained our duty to one another.

That would have been a good reason to stay.

We might have stayed for the sense of duty because of the four children that we made. Four children who look to us for safety and stability. Four children who we can look at and see bits and pieces of ourselves blended together to make unique individuals.

That would have been a good reason to stay.

We might have stayed because we were comfortable in our relationship. Because learning a new laundry sorting system seemed too complicated or because trying to figure out where different arms and legs go in a new bed seemed too much of a hassle. Because someone else might not tolerate socks put on upside down or kitchen cabinet doors left open after the cereal was taken out.

That would have been a good reason to stay.

We might have stayed for the hope that some day, one of us would come to their senses and join the other. Reject faith, accept faith, either way. Just something that put us back on the same page again.

That would have been a good reason to stay.

But despite all of the good reasons to stay, we chose a better reason. The same reason that led us to make the vows. The same reason that allowed us to join together to create the children. The same reason that allows us to overlook minor pet peeves. The same reason that allows us to sit in that uneasy tension of hope and contentment.


Love has been at the center of every part of our relationship. That love is more encompassing than obligation or duty. It is more powerful than comfort or hope.

Love is why we stayed.

Love is why we will stay.

  • Lorraine

    Hi Alise,

    I’ve just found your blog in a list posted by someone who ‘borrowed’ it from someone else. I’m looking for interesting, well-written blogs to subscribe to and read in the coming year (trying to push the envelope of my brain a bit more open).

    The first one – for a blog supposedly related to faith, it sure spends a lot of time reviewing and rating different brands of beer – naaaaahhhh.

    Yours – wow. Yeaaaahhhhhh, I’m going with yours.

    For the record, I’ll be praying for you; hoping this is a bad case of doubt on your hubby’s part, and that he will come back to the fold.

  • readysm bible quotes

    you could not put a better word there. LOVE, the four letter word that makes and breaks everything the human eye can see. With love even the coldest heart will be warmed. I am glad you stayed together work things out. would you like to check this video on my blog