In most states divorce are granted for mental cruelty or simply “incompatibility.” It means “unable to get along.” But why do second marriages usually suffer more than a first?

The answer is rather simple. Incompatibility did ruin or destroy the marriage. The incompatibility is not with the mate but with self. People who cannot live with themselves certainly cannot live with others. This statement is trite yet true, “marriage is not in finding the right person but in being the right person.”

One of the hardest lessons of life is to admit that getting along with others begins with loving self. Jesus simply said, “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Persons must have a genuine self-respect and an inner self-harmony before they can successfully enter relations with others. No one can be “right” for me if I am “wrong” with myself. This is why oft-married people continue to make the same mistakes in the same old way.

Tidal waves do not wreck marriages–it is always ripples. Insecure people allow petty annoyances and frustrations to accumulate. These things happen to everybody in all marriages.

Mature people withstand these tensions. Immature people either fight or run. Both fail! Fighting makes matters worse; escapism merely postpones it. Tensions have to be met and mastered.

One must also accept himself and be at ease with himself. The sooner one comes to terms with himself the better. Too many people marry prematurely; this always causes undue heartache.

Learn to live with yourself.

Taken from “Writing Out Loud”
By Charles Hodge

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