We Stayed


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.

  • http://sarahaskins.com Sarah Askins

    I love this post, Alise, and you too!

    I think in any relationship love should be the only reason we stay. Otherwise, we become bitter and hard and insufferable.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Indeed. Sometimes we might have to look to find those things that we love about the other person, but I’ve found that they’re usually there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JanetOberholtzer Janet Oberholtzer


    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Thanks, Janet!

  • http://somewiseguy.com/ ThatGuyKC

    This is beautiful, Alise. I agree all those reasons are good, but I’m glad LOVE was at the foundation. God bless you both and your family.

    P.S. Is the discrepancy between you and Jason’s religious beliefs (or lack thereof) ever a subject for playful teasing? Just curious.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Yeah, we definitely tease one another. Really, laughter is pretty much the other foundation. I would say that it also supersedes things like obligation & duty. ;-D

      • http://somewiseguy.com/ ThatGuyKC

        Laughter has been a pillar in our marriage as well. If you can’t laugh at/with each other marriage would be so dull. :)

  • http://bohemianbowmans.com/ Jessica

    Love . . . this. :)

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Thanks, friend. I appreciate it!

  • http://www.servingjoyfully.com/ Crystal

    Wow, this is heartbreaking but I’m glad the two of you love one other and honored your commitment!

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Me too. He’s pretty much my favorite person ever.

  • http://twitter.com/betsyhenning Betsy Henning

    Good for you! Worth tweeting, or retweeting as the case may be.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Thanks, Betsy!

  • pastordt

    Preach it, sister. This is lovely. In every way imaginable. Thank you.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Thank you so much. I definitely don’t want people to think it’s some kind of “we have to” thing. I genuinely WANT to be with this man – since day one.

  • http://www.inamirrordimly.com/ Ed_Cyzewski

    Boom! Love this!

  • http://teamaidan.wordpress.com/ Heather Bowie

    Always the best reason. This is beautiful.

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    Beautiful. My heart goes out to you. God is love, He never turns from us either.

  • http://www.redletterbelievers.com/ David Rupert

    Prayers that you will grow close together in spirit and purpose. A stunning post. Glad you chose to stay.

  • Leanne Shirtliffe

    I’m late to this, but sheesh it’s nice. Poetry. (Do people say sheeesh anymore? Do you think they’re more likely to divorce if one person says sheesh and the other doesn’t? Forgive my humour; the final bell of the school week just went and took my sanity with it).

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