Thursday, September 10, 2009

What Does Marriage Mean To You?

This post is inspired by MamaKat's Writing Workshop.

Age 20: Marriage is a goal that I must achieve. Marriage is all about me finding someone perfect. He must be average build, not too tall or too short, have good breath and good teeth and a good family. Preferably with blond hair.

Age 25: Marriage is about meeting someone who has the same goals in life that I do. I will marry someone who loves me and respects me and who understands the responsibilities of being a husband.

Age 27: I have married someone with a mind of his own. Dammit.

Age 30: I want to be married to someone who agrees with me more. I want to be married to someone who is more quick to forgive me my screw-ups ('cause I make a bunch of them). I want to be married to someone who makes me feel comfortable.

Age 32: I wish I were married to my best friend's husband. He has a regular 9-5 job and they have a date night once a month. Plus he's hot.

Age 34: I am so thankful I am married to a man who still finds me desirable after the stretchmarks from 4 pregnancies and lots of moles and he's even smelled my farts. And, as much as I hate to admit it, when we don't agree it causes me to stretch myself. He makes me think.

Age 36: I am so glad I'm still married. So many of my friends have been divorced or are on the brink of divorce. I'm so blessed that my husband is willing to make our marriage work no matter what it takes. And, I have come to recognize that he really DOES respect me, in his own unique way.

Age 37: I have realized that marriage is not about finding your perfect match. Marriage is not about projecting the image of a perfect couple or perfect family. Marriage is not about growing ourselves personally. Sometimes marriage is about picking your battles. Marriage is not about romantic evenings or in-laws or money. Marriage is about honor. Encouragement. Respect. Keeping your mouth shut sometimes. And speaking up sometimes. It's about trusting that the other person will not think you're weird if you reveal a secret about yourself. It's about giving the other person space but also being their safety net. Marriage is not about one person. Marriage is about giving more of yourself than you expect to get in return - honestly, not with resentful feelings.

And, for me, marriage is about faith. Faith that sometimes I need to trust someone else. Faith that God knew what He was doing when He put me together with my husband. Faith that whatever problems may come my way in my marriage, I can handle them somehow - by solving the problem, or waiting until the problem passes, or by asking for help - because no problem is so big that I can't handle it with trust in God and the help of my husband.

I know, not everyone is the religious type, but I feel pretty strongly that I could not have found my special guy on my own. God's hand was in it. Definitely.
Texan Mama and Texan Papa

26 comments:

Jennifer said...

I agree.

I remember after my parents divorced praying that when God sent me someone to marry he would have certain qualities. He would work hard, he would never leave me, he would never cheat, he would preferrably have blue eyes and blond hair, and most importantly he would love me more than anything else in the world.

Thank God for answered prayer.

Gigi said...

What a beautiful testament to your marriage - it brought tears to my eyes.

Stephanie said...

Seriously so glad you wrote this and I got to read it. I just got to your age 27/ age 30. We are trying to work this out because I think he's thinking the same thing. Haha! But its fun! I really am glad to read this though and just remind me of a few things I should be doing better ;) Seriously great post!

Nori D said...

Such a great perspective =)

Gwen said...

Love you post!!! I totally agree with you and my husband has smelled my farts too. :) XOXO

jori-o said...

Awesome post!

Yeah that realization that he has his own mind? What a bummer, eh? =)

Emily said...

Great post and very cute picture. It is funny how our thoughts evolve over time. I was discussing with a friend last night about marriage and how so many friends who are now divorced claim, "he/she isn't the same as when we got married." Well, duh! They shouldn't be...you should grow and change together. It sounds like you and your husband are pretty much on the same wavelength!

Erin said...

What a great post! Thanks for sharing!

withoutadornment said...

Thanks for sharing - I agree with you completely. I've only been married for just over a year, so we haven't weathered that many storms together but we both want to make it work!

Stopping in from SITS.

Vicki said...

FANTASTIC post! Isn't is funny how we all think we want something just because we don't have it. My husband does forgive my every mistake, and sometimes I wish he would just get mad at me and show a little emotion! I love the comfort that comes with each passing year, the settling in, and the knowledge that you have just done SO much more together. Thanks for sharing!

Christine said...

A really sweet post that shows just how much we can change our views. From fairy-tale wishes to realistic and achievable love.
Thanks for sharing!

StaceyC4 said...

That was wonderful. I read it to my husband who was sitting here having lunch with me. We both agreed that it's funny how we view marriage when we are younger (and unmarried). My husband never had a normal job with a 40 hour work week or even a guaranteed pay-check and for a long time, I thought that THAT meant a good husband (meaning, he should have all of that). But after 20 years together, I realized that it is so much more. Thank you for sharing and for such a great post!

Kathy said...

I am the only member of my family not divorced. Divorcing is easy for the person doing it, the kids are the ones that suffer. Marriage is a good bottle of scotch, if it is good in the beginning it only gets better with age.

Being glad you are married is the best thing you can say in today's world. This life is filled with absolute uncertainty and having a partner for life is comforting.

Glad you posted this.

McVal said...

What a great post! The family that prays together definitely stays together! Your marriage is a great testament of that!

J said...

Agreed! Great post!!

Bridgett said...

That is wonderful and honest and a great tribute to your husband and yourself--and what you've built together with God.

Foursons said...

Fantastic post! I can relate to all of it right up to age 34, because that's what age I happen to be. You are so right on the money about all the earlier ages, that I can only assume you are right about the ages to come. Thanks so much for a look into my future! You've just made me your newest follower. :)

Grammy Suzzy and DJ Doran said...

Here from Mama Kat's...Oh, my goodness, Lady, you are singing my song! I so agree. And sometimes when I get angry I feel so alone. You really said what i sometimes want to say! And how blessed you are to be together!

Margaret said...

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful time line of your view of marriage. here from Mama Kat.

jude8753 said...

A very enjoyable and honest look at marriage. I'm not religious, but I certainly believe in God and you two make a great looking couple, all the best for your continued union.

Samantha said...

How very well put together. I love how you progressed through the years. I've only been married a short time, but already I know that marriage is such a learning experience and a growth process. Thanks for sharing!

Visiting from SITS :)

Jen said...

this is a beautiful post.

Karen said...

This was so beautiful.

Brandy said...

That was so true and so beautiful! Read it out loud to my husband. I must say I have felt the same way through the years and am thankful for the man I get to call my husband every day!

Great job!!!

Brandy

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Wise, and what a lovely picture.

*blessings*

theycallmejane said...

You hit the nail right on the head - at all of the stages! I love this post!