Life and Lessons Learned
#4 Marriage is Tough Ya’ll
This year Jason and I celebrated our 12th anniversary. Though it didn’t feel like a celebration at all. The day was sad and full of tears. We had been disconnected for months leading up to the day. I had this memory of shopping for our first anniversary card. All of the cards had talked about overcoming hardships together. I remember rolling my eyes as I shoved these somber cards back in the card holder. Where was the card full of hearts and rainbows? I mean add in unicorns and puppies too! We were the picture of happiness. Revisiting these thoughts of wedded bliss made me feel even worse about our present state.
Not long after what is now known as our un-iversary, my friend, Heather posted a very honest status update to Facebook. It read, “On this day, 15 years ago, I married my prince. Instead of flowers and cards this morning, there were tears and heavy hearts. Marriage is TOUGH ya’ll. We have an awesome, loving marriage, but we’re in a struggle right now.” I felt both sad and comforted by Heather’s honesty. My heart was heavy for her and her husband. Yet I was selfishly relieved that my husband and I were not alone.
The entire experience was much like being a first time parent. No matter how much reading I did on becoming a mom, nothing could prepare me. There is no preparation for what exactly NO sleep feels like, the mood swings, and the complete panic as you realize that you are responsible for keeping a human being alive. The first few days of parenting were so overwhelming. It was hard to see that things would get easier. Similarly, all the premarital advice in the world seems distant and fuzzy when your marriage is detached and a happy ending is difficult to see.
One day an article found me, called the Marriage Box. It goes like this, “Most people get married believing a myth that marriage is a beautiful box full of all the things they have longed for: companionship, intimacy, friendship, etc. The truth is that marriage, at the start, is an empty box. You must put something in before you can take anything out. There is no love in marriage. There is love in people, and people put the love in marriage. There is no romance in marriage, you have to infuse it into your marriage. A couple must learn the art and form the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising, of keeping the box full. If you take out more than you put in, the box will be empty.” I realized that we were both taking more than we were giving and our box was emptying. 2014 will be remembered by Jason and I as the year we took too much and gave too little.
Lesson #4 you must continuously give for a successful marriage. Keep that box full ya’ll!
Like many things in my life, we are a work in progress.
Image by, my talented friend, Julie Kulbago Photography.