I see so many things on social networking sites about marriage. It's like a box, you have to know what you have, that one who makes you smile when you feel like you're going to cry etc.
They are true for the most part, I think what people don't realize about marriage is that it is a job. 24/7 it requires maintenance. But there is a way to be happy and have fun and enjoy each other too. It's called boundaries. Yeah, no one ever thinks of that. They get married because they are in love with this person, then when the initial feelings of love dissipate (the chemical bond between two people that makes them feel on top of the world) they feel trapped and alone and are asking themselves "who is this person?!" I personally believe that if two people are open, understanding and stubborn enough that 90% of marriages can work and last. Then again I don't believe in divorce. Some people should get divorced, in some cases. There is the obvious, cases of abuse, infidelity etc. But there is one more good reason to get divorced that people don't quite understand, being held back.
I am Christian (I know OMG, I must be judgmental and cruel because I believe others are beneath me) Which I am none of those things. My being Christian simply means that I believe that the Bible gives us strong guidelines to live by and that God has a plan for each of us individually. Where was I going with that? oh, right, I believe that God has a path for us to follow, some of my non religious, albeit spiritual friends say it's the universe, same difference to me. Your path is designed to be difficult. You cannot learn if you are not challenged. So you are young (maybe you're not) and you marry this person and you love everything about them, and it is wonderful, then one day you wake up and you realize you don't love them anymore, and you panic.
Resentment begins to build because you feel trapped, and you begin to question everything about your life. After a while you come to a divide in your path. On the left you see your life as it is now, unchanging and you definitely don't want the misery, on the right you see the life you wanted, but have no idea how to make it come back. So you panic even more and turn around and eventually get divorced.
The problem with this is, people who are young and newly in love how no idea how to build a foundation for a lasting marriage, and they do not understand that EVERY marriage goes through hard times. It makes you stronger as a unit. Where was your path to fix it? On the right. You saw your life as you planned it (granted nothing ever goes as planned) but that would have been your opportunity to fix it.
Be interested in what your spouse is interested in. Yes, it's easy in the beginning to go out fishing or rock climbing or flea marketing or whatever it may be. After a while you get tired of it and you don't want to do it anymore, so you stop going. That activity that once represented both of you, now only represents one. You don't have to do everything together, that is just as bad. A single friend of mine, April put in beautifully, "Now, the way I see it, after this perception changes, "I" becomes "we" and "us." But this does not mean that everyone loses their identity. I think that is dangerous. And could lead to resentment and perceived lack of freedoms and all the rest of it. You have to be separate but on the same page and in a partnership, not up the other's asshole. There must be separation in order for both partners to contribute to the marriage. Losing of one's identity is just as detrimental as being completely selfish. A marriage is not becoming a mish moshed pile of everyone being up the others ass. A blob." I seriously could not have put that better myself. And she is SINGLE (as in not married she is in a relationship), and she has the presence of mind to understand and analyze a relationship where 2 people get together from radically different pasts and try to make a future.
Marriage is NOT easy. It's not designed to be easy. You have to learn and accommodate an entirely different human being from yourself. You are being challenged on a daily basis to come together and work as a unit, a well oiled machine. The best way I can describe this to non-married people is if you have ever worked at a good restaurant. The hostess, managers, waitresses, cooks, dish washers and bus boys (I am not going to be PC so people don't get offended. Get offended I don't care) all work together to deliver excellent service and hopefully food and overall experience to you, yes, even the A*holes who don't tip. If one person is not pulling their weight everyone is going to suffer for it. A marriage is the exact same way. You must learn to work as a well oiled machine. Separate, yet, one. it is not easy to learn to work together like this. Any Marine can tell you, team work is amazing, but it is miserable to learn.
Let's revisit boundaries. What are boundaries? They are lines in the sand not to cross. Terminal offenses. Some times they are small, and sometimes they are big, and sometimes they are completely ridiculous. But they build confidence and trust in a relationship. Here's an example. When my husband and I were first married, every time we had a problem I thought we were heading toward D-town. I grew up in a big family and I like to talk, so I would talk to all of my friends and family about it and get their advice, and meanwhile I was making my husband seem like this big mean brute, when he is not (he is really more of a spoiled brat) So when I would go back and talk it out with my hubbs, the conversation was filled with "Well, my sister said this, and you best friend said that..." How would you feel if you suddenly had the entire world pitted against you? So one of my husband's boundaries is, if I have a problem or am upset about something I have to go to him first. I can speak to whomever I'd like, but I had better hash it out with my hubbs first. It's that simple. I don't feel restricted, I no longer panic when we have an argument (which is not often these days) and I feel more secure knowing I can trust my husband with whatever is on my mind.
Speaking of trusting your spouse with your thoughts... When you sit down to have "a talk" you need to shelf your emotions. You cannot expect to work something out if you are getting your feelings hurt throughout the entire conversation. Be open minded. Your spouse is telling you the things that most upsets him (FINE or her) you need to understand that these things are sacred. There are people out there (like myself) who do not trust their feelings with anyone. It is incredibly difficult to come forth and say "this really hurts. It makes me upset." Rather than let it sit and fester. I cannot stress this enough, put your feelings aside. This is the one person who has found your crazy acceptable. (yes you are crazy, accept it, we all are) If you want them to continue to put up with your unique attitude, then you had better accept their crazy, and love them for it.
Finally, people ask me every day, how I find it in myself to put up with my husband. He is like a gigantic 5 year old. (for those of you who don't know, I married a few days before my 20th birthday and his 22nd. We have been married for 5 years he is now 27) We had known each other for 3 months. Yes from the day we met to the day we got married was 3.5 months. I love my husband in every manner it is possible to love. I love him as my spouse, my best friend, I love him like I love my brothers, my son and my father. He has the capacity to be all of those things to me. ( I know some of you are probably confused, it's either because you are not married, or you refuse to love your spouse in this way) My husband loves me the same way. He loves me as his wife, his best friend, his sister, his mother and his child. This makes our relationship stronger. When he is teasing me, I don't get offended (sometimes I get really irritated, but that is besides the point) I roll with it. He accepts my crazy. My ability and drive to over-analyze everything in my life, the obnoxious way I tell stories (ask my family I am terrible at it) my bad jokes, my extreme shifts in emotion (more so than most women) and my constant need to want to grow. My irrational way of understanding abstract concepts. He loves me for all of it. Find someone who accepts your crazy, because I am almost positive they are the only one, if not they are among a small few.
<3 life is a journey, who do you want on the road beside you?