In all of the things I’ve experienced over the course of my life so far, marriage has definitely been (and continues to be) the most powerful experience yet. Of course I’ve had other powerful experiences – having children, developing other meaningful relationships – but within my marriage, there’s so much more involved than just “a piece of paper”, as some would call it. There’s support when we need it, whether it be achieving a set of goals or trying to make it through a rough season. Accountability is also huge, because we both know we’re not perfect, and sometimes we just need to be reminded of that (in a gentle, loving way). 😉 Finally, there’s a love that continues to grow each day, a love deeper than we may have ever thought possible – until we find that love. Now, I know that not everyone believes in marriage, but in my personal experience, there’s something very spiritual about it that changes the entire dynamic of a relationship. Honestly, it’s one of those things that’s difficult to explain until you experience it – and then you’re like bam – that’s what she was talking about!
A (not-so-little) side-note about my marriage – my husband, Kyle, and I were previously divorced after less than a year of marriage. Two years after that divorce, we were remarried – and this was four years ago. Collectively, we’ve been together for seven years, if you want to get technical and subtract those pesky two. We’re honestly pretty open to talking about it because we believe it’s a testament to the restoration of marriages, but this post isn’t intended for that (nor is it something I’d ever discuss anywhere but in-person). My point in sharing this piece of information is to show you, Dear Reader, that we’ve pretty much been at our lowest and ended up pulling through – so there’s virtually nothing that could ever even come close. Once you’ve hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up.
The thing about marriage is that it takes two people and joins them into one. Most things go from being ‘His and Hers’ to ‘Ours’ (and I say ‘most things’ because you aren’t obligated to share everything. For example, I’m doubting most married couples share underwear). With that two-becoming-one is where that spiritual feeling I was talking about earlier takes place. And, of course, things change … maybe not for everyone, but for us, they did. Such as:
- We defend each other with a fierceness. If one of us is disrespected, then both of us is disrespected. There’s no ‘I like you, but I don’t like your wife/husband.’ Comments like those crap all over the very institution of marriage and the actual marriage itself. Personally, I feel that people who are bold enough to make comments like those should muster up the courage to take a long, hard look at themselves and think about what’s wrong with saying something like that to begin with.
- We can go through the majority of a day being completely sarcastic with each other, and by the time night rolls around, we know it’s all in good fun and we still love each other.
- We talk about things instead of avoiding them. Whether it be finances, or family, or whether or not those jeans make me look fat, we’re open and honest with each other. Sometimes, we might tread lightly because we know it’s going to be a hard conversation to have, but we do it – because that’s part of being married.
- We listen to each other. Everyone knows that one of the keys to being an effective listener is letting other people talk. This doesn’t change once you’re married. In fact, it becomes even more important. Had we listened to what we were both trying to say to each other in the past, that divorce never would’ve happened. When we’re too busy trying to get our point across, we don’t take the time to really hear what’s being said.
Since this post is one giant sap-fest, I’ll end it with this: Make the most of your marriage. Keep your lines of communication open, and above all else, love each other. After all, you’re in this together. 🙂