Life Lessons: Marriage Is Work!
07/17/2013 § Leave a comment
Oh yea… that’s right, I said it; marriage is flippin’ work! Anyone who tries to tell you differently, well they’re just full of it! I mean if you have to work to want to be in your marriage, that is a totally different bag of fun than what I’m talking about here. What I mean by work is all of those little things that are going on under the surface that make marriage look like a dream from the outside… you need to communicate, you need to listen, sometimes you need to swallow your pride, sometimes you need to practice patience and sympathy, and other times you need to hold your ground and stay true to what you believe in. Most of all… sometimes you need to just take a deep breath and say “I love you.”
My point is this… marriage doesn’t fix anything, and I worry that too many people these days think that’s what marriage is for; a last ditch effort to have the perfect relationship!
Marriage to me is something that you should always and forever be working at. I feel like the day you stop wanting to work on your marriage is the day things are starting to go downhill. It can be frustrating as all hell sometimes when I’m being stubborn and I just don’t want to budge on a single thing, but most of the days it’s all just about learning. No one (at least that I know) goes into marriage thinking.. “Ehh, I’ll give it a year or two… then I’m out!” When we sign up, we’re signing up for life, my friend! When signing up for such a long ride, I think it’s hard to remember that in the next 10 years you will probably be two different people from who you are now! Of course you’ll still be you and they’ll still be them, but life changes us; I’m certainly not the same 17 year old I was 10 years ago… the basics are there, but a lot has happened in these 10 years, and a lot will surely happen in the next 10. I think the point to try and remember is that you have to accept those changes in your spouse, and let them happen.. don’t fight them. If the new versions of yourselves aren’t in love anymore than that may be a different story. Sometimes I think people get stuck being solely in love with the person they first met, and never give themselves the chance to fall in love with their spouse again and again.
I know it won’t be easy, but it’s certainly where I want to be. Compromise is proving to be my toughest challenge, I’m kind of a “my way or the highway” kind of girl. I can’t help it, I’m a perfectionist! A prime time example is our shift from processed foods and junk to clean eating and organic. Now, I’m the one who has been pretty amped up about this shift for a long time, my husband is just recently starting to get on board. I am the one who (like in most aspects of my life where I’m quite passionate about something) will say “Pshhh, money??? It doesn’t matter! I want to be healthier, I don’t care what it costs!!” Some people may be like, “I’d say the same thing,” however my husband will say, “$10 for a bag of organic tomatoes??? No way! I’ll stick with my chemical-laced variety!”… just kidding, he wouldn’t really say that, but he is definitely more concerned about the costs than I am. Thank goodness he is though, because if it were left up to me, who knows what would happen! So here’s where the compromise comes in.. instead of throwing away our entire stock of food and buying new organic goodies, we will finish what is in our home before we buy a new variety of any such item (I mean we’ve been eating it our whole lives, a few more weeks won’t do much worse!), we will start a garden and try to grow as many of our staple fruits and veggies as we can (this one is just a win/win/win for everyone!), and lastly we will try to make as many household cleaning products as we can by ourselves (those suckers add up!!) It seems like it was all easy-peasy and we compromised no problem here.. but in truth this was a battle that had been going on for months in our home, organic/nonorganic/organic/nonorganic, $/health/$/health, it was craziness. The fact was it wasn’t just our singular lives anymore, what I wanted in one aspect of our lives (health) was directly affecting what Jeff wanted for another part of our lives (finance) and visa versa! It all boiled down to communication and compromise, welcome to marriage people!
I think of great romances like my Grammy & Pop, they were married to each other for most of their lives, they made it look so easy, and to this day my Pop still visits my Grammy at the cemetery every single morning, rain or shine…that is what I imagine marriage is. That is what I can hope for of my own marriage, to be in our 80’s and still madly in love with all the versions of each other, forever.
Here’s to another life lesson that I’ll be learning and re-learning for the rest of my life ❤