Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Marriage IS Hard . . .

Tomorrow is a big day!  First of all, it is my brother's birthday.  Happy Birthday Bill!
Second of all, it is my 15th wedding anniversary!  Seriously this boy makes me feel old sometimes . . . we must have met in elementary school :)
When we got married, I was good with Vegas.  The hubster and his large family were not too keen on the notion.  So we compromised for fall - my favorite - and a church, reception, the whole shebang.  Our plan then was to go to Vegas for our 10th anniversary.  After having kids, we pushed it back to 15.  And now, maybe 20 or 25 years . . I want the kids to be older so I don't feel guilty about leaving for several days and enjoying Vegas!
A few days ago I saw an article that was something about marriage not being hard.  I only read the first couple paragraphs.  That was all I could read . . . The woman had been married around 9 months I think.  And she was differentiating life being hard versus being married being hard.  I get her point, I really do . . life can be very hard and it doesn't have to mean that being married is hard just because life is hard.
BUT, the honest truth, as she will learn in time, is that yes, marriage can be very hard.  There have been times when I've laid in my bed next to a man that I wanted to punch in the face.  But I love him, so I didn't.  You can love someone and not like them at all.  There was a time for us that I couldn't even stand him being in the same house.  We were separated and I had lost faith in us.  I knew I would love him for the rest of my life, but I didn't believe in us anymore and I didn't believe in our marriage anymore.  Fortunately, that was a time that he found his faith in us.  For me, staying married then was hard.  And we both put in a world of work to get this union rebuilt stronger than it was before.
I think some truths that we have both learned the hard way is that marriage works best when you throw all your preconceived ideas out the window.  And no matter how many facebook memes you read, no . . the other person is not responsible for your happiness.  I do not wake up every morning bearing the weight of my husband's happiness.  I can not make him truly happy.  I can bring him moments of happiness.  But his outlook on life is up to him.  And vice versa.  He can't make me a happy person.  That is up to me.  And if I'm unhappy, he is not the first place I look to, nor should he ever be where I look.  That is an enormous weight to try and lay on someone's shoulders.  God is the one who helps with that, that is where I turn . . putting my husband even with God isn't any place I would ever go, he would fail miserably . . because he's human.
No matter how many quizzes or checklists there are to tell you how to keep the spark going or keep the other person feel treasured, they aren't real.  They may be good suggestions; but that is all that they are.  I can speak for myself and I expect him to use his own mind.  There is no play book for this marriage stuff.
We've been together for 19 years total now and in that time I think we have both learned first hand that "love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails . . "  This quote is from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8.  Another good one is from a country song "Be a best friend.  Tell the truth. Overuse I love you.  Go to work.  Do your best.  Don't outsmart your common sense.  Never let your praying knees get lazy. And love like crazy".
Tonight I am thankful for (almost) 15 years of marriage.  At my age 16, I thought this boy was cocky and obnoxious.  At 21, I knew this boy was bull-headed, but as I took his last name, I knew his heart was good.  At 27, I knew this boy realized that our world together was everything.  At 30, I knew this boy was still learning me.  And at 36 now, I know this boy will always love me.  Even more than that, I know this boy will keep trying.  Marriage IS hard.  Love can get worn down and bruised.  But two people who believe in love and have faith enough to keep trying . . . that's something special.  Happy 15th Anniversary Ron (tomorrow).

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