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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Complexity Of Marriage

When I first started dating, Adam, my husband, I told one of my friends "I am going to marry him", very seriously. She gave me an odd look and said "Oh, really..." I knew she thought I was crazy. I had really only went on one date with this guy. Sneaking off to make out didn't count. But,  somewhere deep down inside I knew that I would marry this guy.

It took a long time. In fact, it took almost 11 years, but I did marry Adam. In our long and sometimes dramatic relationship and our marriage (3 years now) we changed. We were no longer those young silly people that were crazy in love. We were just crazy, busy, focused on new and different goals. We had a child. We slowly had faded into older people. In our thirties maturity and immaturity  had crept up on us. It was weird. 

There were times when I wondered... Why Did I Marry Him? That sounds so odd to admit. But it is true. I have wondered that. It seems like there are times when all of the fun vanishes from life and I no longer take pleasure in hanging out with him, and in all fairness it is not like I am always a barrel of laughs. I know there are times that my husband doesn't really enjoy my company either. I am grumpy, I am frustrated and sometimes lonely. I don't always react to things in the appropriate manner. There are times when I am a mess at best.There are times I wonder if the ups are worth the downs. Not just for me, but really is it worth it to him too? 

There are times when I wonder if we will be able to survive marriage. Or if marriage can survive us. I have tried to imagine my life without my husband in the picture. I feel like my life would go on, but it wouldn't be the same. Yes, the ups and downs are worth it. He might not be perfect, but that is okay. I am not either. 

Knowing that a marriage is a lot of work, I have tried to do things differently to make it better. My favorite of all the things I have tried is increased contact. It sounds silly, it really does, but it works. I don't expect my husband to be attached to my hip, but I do expect him to set aside 5 minutes a day to hold my hand or hug me, or put his arm around me while watching television. When we make time to connect in this way, we communicate better. One hug leads to more hugs. We are happier to see each other. Face it a hugging, cuddly wife is a welcome site compared to a frowning, nagging wife.

I used to think 'Oh, we are married, I have to love him. He has to love me. It is easy we don't have to try anymore.' Oh, how wrong I was. It wasn't until my son was born that I realized something vital. Unconditional Love is reserved for your children. You do have to try, you have to keep trying, you have to keep things new.

I had no idea that marriage was so much work for both parties. A promise to make someone fall in love with you over and over again while you remain open to the experience of falling in love with the same person for the rest of your life is...yeah.

I have listened to advice, I have read books and magazine articles and searched the internet. I really want to have a good marriage, a happy marriage, a lasting marriage. Of everything I have learned, heard and read, the key, the secret to having the good, happy, lasting marriage was never mentioned. 

Over the weekend, I finally relaxed a little. I let the laundry pile up and the dishes sit in the dishwasher. I went back to bed. Sleep is amazing.

 I closed the laptop and actually talked to my husband. No distractions. I just listened to him and enjoyed the sound of his voice. We smiled at each other. 

When I saw his smile, not forced, not practiced, his natural happy face, his eyes twinkling with delight and heard his deep rich laughter, all of those moments that led up to falling in love with Adam became apparent again... Remember earlier I admitted there were times when I wondered... Why Did I Marry Him?! I began wondering... Why Didn't I Marry Him Sooner?

My husband has a great smile. I somehow forget just how wonderful his smile is over time. Maybe I hadn't taken the time to get him to smile, or maybe I was oblivious to it.

I think that is it, the secret to a happy marriage is to smile at your spouse. To genuinely, sincerely, happily smile at your other half. Finding ways to make your spouse smile is the challenge. 

Seeing my husband smile led me to wanting to talk to him. I found myself sitting closer on the couch, leaning my head on his shoulder and realizing Wow... My Husband Smells Seriously Good. I don't think I had noticed he is wearing something different and it really works for him... 

6 comments:

  1. great post. Marriage is a lot of work and we get so busy with the kids we forget to talk and spend time together sometimes. But you like said when you spend more time together or even sit next to each other you feel more connected. Marriage is worth all of the work.

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  2. What a great, sincere post. My marriage did not survive past 10 years. But it does require both parties to work. It cannot work if only one person does all the work!

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  3. I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels that way occasionally. I will try the contact thing, see if it helps.

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  4. This is such a sweet post :)!! I love it <3

    I knew my hubby was the one too, when I was 16 I made the mistake of telling my boyfriend at the time that "one day I'm going to marry that boy." It was after my hubby made a scene and tried to embarrass said boyfriend. (Said boyfriend didn't like that and we broke up right away lol) This was in February of 2004 me and my hubby started dating January 1, 2005 and been together ever since. We married in 2008
    I guess I knew what I was talking about lol

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  5. I'm so glad I read this. What a great post. Will be sharing it. :)

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  6. This is a great topic and I will be sharing it. Thanks

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Thanks for leaving me a comment sweet stuff! I am always glad to hear from you!