What Marriage Is


dancing

As I have approached my third year of marriage, I find myself surprised that it has only been that long. Our love feels ancient. It feels stretched. Torn. Weathered. At times faded, but in just the right light it blazes with all of its ethereal, ancient beauty.

I met my husband nearly a decade ago, we began dating a couple of years later and were quickly engaged though not quickly married. A three year engagement would drive most people crazy, but it was perfect for us.

Once we were married, I finally felt like I was home. Our lives folded beautifully together. We got a little house, a little cat, then a little struggle.

My health was not the best. His grandfather died. I went through a huge transition at work. We got pregnant. That was year one.

Year two brought more growth. I quit my job.  We had a new baby. We were submersed in postpartum life and all its unpredictable glory. My grandpa died.

The third year was strained. How do you take care of an ever changing baby? I still don’t know. I started a business. Constant baby talk can make you no talk so good to each other. I got really, really sick. My beloved grandmother died. Oh, and surprise, I’m pregnant again.

Somehow through all of that and the in between that I left out, we managed to hold it together. We still love each other. I dare say we love each other more today than we did two weeks ago.

That’s because marriage is hard. It’s not for the weak of heart. It’s for warriors. Two people fighting for the same cause. Those who do not quit no matter how many times they want to slam open the door and run like hell. It’s for those who say no to other things they find a little more attractive in a fleeting moment.

Marriage is laughing so hard at something that other people would probably find gross or disturbing. It’s safe. It’s even fun. It’s inside jokes, and knowing looks that need no words.

Marriage is going to the grocery store late at night because your pregnant wife needs anything and everything that you do not have in the comfort of your own home.

It’s listening to the same old stories and knowing the inflection and hand gestures that go with them.

Marriage is taking it slow, even for only five minutes because you just realized you haven’t hugged all day in a couple of days.

It is admitting what is wrong and determining to fix it. It is raw, unedited, and pure.

Marriage is holding your sobbing wife behind closed doors when she just can’t.

Marriage is teamwork. You got the dishes, I’ll fold the laundry. You watch the baby, I’ll mow the lawn. It blossoms in the mundane.

Marriage is doing the boring stuff: chores, bills, budgets, making a living. It is planning, home-making, life building.

It is doing something for the other person just because you think they’d like it. It’s giving without always taking, encouraging, and supporting.

Marriage is footsy in bed because you better not think about anything else. It’s learning the difference between quality love making verses quantity and knowing that a little quantity isn’t bad either.

It is hand holding, back rubbing, distant winking, seeing someone attractive across the room and having this sensational realization that, “Hey, they’re with me.”It is random romance. It is passionate. It is intimate, vulnerable, and sacred.

Marriage is Friday night snuggles because there is no place else you’d rather be.

It is trusting, being kind, finding ways to overlook idiosyncrasies.

It is humbling, inspiring, and at times overwhelming.

Marriage is a worthy challenge because every part of you is invaluable to me. Marriage is an honor, a gift, happiness, and fulfilling.

It’s I love you, now and forever not because of this overwhelming feeling or desire I have right now but because I promised to.

Marriage is having the flame go out only to quickly stoke the flame to light it up again.

It is commitment. It is sharing, care-taking, compromise, you give 100% and I will too.

It is forgiving, letting go, fighting hard while choosing your battles.

Marriage is taking care of yourself so that you can better serve the other. It is mutual respect, sacrifice, learning to be selfless.

It is allowing the other to have the space they need to regroup, unwind, and recharge.

It is having a partner, a friend, and ally, and I am so glad you are on my side. Marriage is family.

Marriage is many wonderful and intimidating things, and it’s so much more than this little summary.

My marriage is basically a toddler though our relationship as a whole will soon be preparing for middle school. I only know a very little, and I bask in the wisdom of the marriage elders who have been at it for decades. This little nugget is just what I’ve learned so far, and I look forward to learning so much more.

Here’s to 33+33 more! Cheers, my dear! You are a most cherished blessing.

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