Can I just tell you something on the real and raw side? Marriage is hard. Insanely hard. There have been more moments in the last 12 years that have left me fragile and weak and broken than I would ever want to expose out loud. And you might not have ever experienced a moment in your “till death do us part” adventure that comes close to that. To which I would say to you friend “That is amazing. I hope you never do.” But here is a truth in marriage (and definitely in parenting): you might not have reached your hard yet. You might not ever. But you may. And you're not alone. I think that is always okay to let one another know that we are not alone. Because that alone feeling can lead to many shades of darkness. And the thoughts that come under darkness are beyond frightening. So let’s find the light. Together.
The reality is that marriage, to me, is like the ocean. Sometimes we just need to ride the waves. Sometimes we are up so high that we forget what it feels like to be down. And just as fast as that high came on, it all can come crashing down before you had a chance to brace yourself for it. And then there is the ripple effect that always follows when you are nose down in the sand. You yell. You take it out on the kids. Or the dog. Or your cell phone provider. And that's when the septic system breaks and there's a car accident and someone gets sick and we are late to practice. Again. And Christmas is just staring at you in the face alongside the Halloween decorations. And between it all you feel like you are drowning.
That my friends is marriage. And life.
It rains sometimes. It is dark sometimes. And then it is light and beautiful and so full of future that you could just burst open. And it has the power to make you melt and crack then feel whole again once more.
And sometimes all it takes is breathing in that other person. And listening to them. And
turning off muting the football game in the background. And getting out of the way of your own hurt so that you can listen to them. And to not instantly pounce on judgement or defense but to just listen wide open. To own your imperfection, not to just point out theirs.
Wine usually helps these conversations.
And you have two choices here: to harden or to soften. What outcome do you want? To build a wall or to break one down. It is as simple and as complicated as that. The softening isn't admitting defeat. It is saying: I choose you. I choose us. This day and maybe just maybe everyday, just one day at a time, I am going to pick you on this path. Our path. The softening just may be the key to the lasting.
Yesterday was my husband's 36th birthday. We met when we were 20 years old so we haven't yet grown old together but more trying to survive growing up to adulthood together. I usually try to write something (irritatingly) gushy and romantic for his birthday. But this day, nothing feels more romantic than to be real. And to open. And to soften.
And to say:
I am ridiculously imperfect. And I'm sorry that I enjoy shopping so much. I'm sorry that I despise laundry. And I'm not so great at cleaning but amazing at procrastinating. And googling (it is an art, thank you). But I love to cook and laugh and sing loud when I don't know the words and I love to dance like the world depends on it and in my eyes that is not such a bad combination. And I choose you. Everyday. At the end of the day there is no one else that I want to dance with. Or laugh with. Or love out loud.
So let's keep riding the waves. And to pull each other out of the sand. Movies can keep the romance. I'd rather have the love.
Here's to all of us. Cheers.