It has been coming up a lot recently that most marriages will not only likely end in divorce (as I have seen often) but that many people are not even interested in the commitment entirely. I was not always of the mindset nor was it a goal of mine to get married when I was younger, not even in my early 20’s. Truly, I had other priorities but I was not against marriage – just had no clue if it would happen to me. Once I hit 30, many of my friends began making it more of priority to find “Mister Right” and take that walk down the aisle. Although I was in no way an expert on the topic, many friends came to me seeking advice on their relationships – what I always said was to make sure love all of him and not just parts, because you can’t fix a man. To recognize that things change but can you change with them and finally, remember why you fell in love. It seemed like good advice. Many of those friends are still married.
It was after walking down MANY of those aisles as a bride’s maid that I recognized what was so special about marriage.
For me, it was not the party, the wedding gown, location or even the guests but it was how two people decided that for the rest of their lives they would be there for each other.
In 2009 it was my turn to take that leap! I sat down before my wedding day and really thought about what marriage was going to mean to my now-husband and I. Fortunately or unfortunately I saw the things I did not want from those same marriages that I was a witness to. This is not judgement but rather a very conscious awareness of what I would do differently. My vision was that this man that I was committing my life to would be a partner, best friend, co-parent (one day) and my champion. What I didn’t know was how things would evolve and make me better for being married. Granted, it is a tough thing and requires work and regular reminders that the union is special. In 2015, as I approach my 6th wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks, my marriage is wildly different.
Marriage to me today is loving, kind, hard, rewarding, reassuring, crazy, supportive, shocking and the very best decision I ever made. My choice in partner is truly why I see the union as I do. Recently someone said to me, “If you need to declare you love or rave about your spouse on social media, then you are overcompensating”! At first, I was offended, but then I laughed! Why should I not make it public that my husband is better than I imagined?
People are so quick to openly discuss how terrible their spouses are or what their man does wrong. I decided to celebrate what he does right. What our marriage does right.
I am not saying that my marriage is perfect or that my spouse is, because it is not…at all. It is simply that I choose to focus on what works, well. This man that is my husband and the father of my two children is loving and surprises me every day with the kind actions he takes to demonstrate his love. Actions speak louder than words! So in an age where divorce is prevalent and marriage is sometimes entered into with the thought that there is an easy way out, I want to be the one who says that marriage is still alive and well. Choosing a spouse to travel through life’s wacky times with and recognizing that despite disagreements, I choose this life over anything else.
Finally, I’ll share some words of wisdom that have been passed onto me from some incredible women on what has helped me navigate the wackiness of married life:
- Always go back to the reasons we fell in love.
- Keep “dating”, it reminds us to appreciate each other regularly.
- Although cliché, don’t sweat the small stuff – unmade beds, socks on the floor or forgotten flowers are not what will keep the bond of marriage going!
I hope that this blog inspires all of us to put an extra effort into our marriages!