Love is Lovelier

11 Apr

One of the areas of my life I rarely write about is my marriage. It isn’t because there’s something wrong with my marriage. On the contrary, it’s because it is the one area of my life that works the way I think it’s supposed to nearly all the time. I’m not bragging. Ok, maybe I am a little bit, but for me it’s all a matter of priorities and getting it right…this time.

You see, I was married once before. We dated off and on for ten years starting in high school. We broke up when he went to college and got back together not long before I graduated from college. We were great friends. We had a great time together, and we loved each other. The problem was that we weren’t in love with each other. In fact, once we were married, we were really bad for each other. I can’t speak for him, but the end of our marriage was one of the lowest points of my life. I felt like a failure as a wife and a human being the day I told him I was leaving. I went from “having it all” to facing the very real possibility of living my life alone and without the children I knew I wanted some day. Shortly before I moved out, a friend who had been through this before me told me I would know the very first night I was in my own apartment if I had made the right decision. She said that if I went right to sleep, I would know it was the best choice for me. If I tossed and turned and questioned myself, I might want to re-think my decision. I slept like a baby. Within weeks, we filed the papers, shared an attorney through the divorce and even hugged each other goodbye on the day the divorce was final. We were both free to live a better life. Little did I know how much better life could be.

The night of my divorce I celebrated with friends and a great guy I had just started dating. The comedian asked if anyone was celebrating anything, a marriage, birth, divorce? Our table erupted into laughter and the comedian had great fun at my expense. So did I. That great guy and I learned a lot about each other very quickly. We shared things with each other that we had never shared with anyone else. We were more vulnerable with each other than we’d ever allowed ourselves to be. We broke down each other’s walls and were ourselves in every way. Then, one night in January, with a twenty degree below wind chill, my great guy showed up for a date in shorts. He didn’t do it for effect. He did it because he detests long pants and because he doesn’t feel cold on his legs. We were stared at all night and giggled through it all, and that evening, after he went home, I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life him. Thank goodness he felt the same way.

In the twenty plus years since then, we’ve weathered so much, including job losses, a preemie baby with health issues and losing our fathers a mere four months apart. We’ve endured losing friends, euthanizing a beloved pet and watching a flood destroy nearly half of everything we owned. We’ve even had a moment or two that we thought we might lose each other either through a traumatic birth or an unresponsive diabetic low sugar episode. It’s no more or less than some couples go through, but in our case, every episode solidified our relationship and our marriage. It created a bond and a trust that we both only dreamed we could have. It made us who we are today, and who we are is better than who we were and is just the beginning of who we will become.

As I was pouring my heart out in this post, I began to wonder why I felt compelled to write about my marriage today. I think it was because of one of my online friends was panicking about wedding details. She’s young and sweet and the wedding is close and like every bride, she wants everything to be perfect. Who wouldn’t want that? But, having lived the life I’ve lived, I realize that it’s the ups and the downs that make you who you are. It’s the fighting through tough times, the lifting each other up through despair and the rejoicing in every joyful moment, and doing it together that create a marriage that will last through the ages. It’s being able to know your spouse inside and out and love them with all of their quirks. It’s deciding what’s important enough to fight about and making sure that is the shortest list you’ve ever made. It’s about forgiving and asking forgiveness and being able to say the two most difficult words in the English language…”I’m sorry”…and really mean it. It’s about staying madly in love with the one you’ve chosen to spend your life with, and knowing that your efforts are worth it. It also helps to choose someone who is as committed to your marriage as you are, and if they aren’t, run away. Run away far and fast and don’t look back. So, you may not read much about my marriage because that sums it up. It works for me and for him and I hope yours works for you. If not, I hope you figure it out because everyone deserves to have a lifelong romance with someone who makes their heart sing every day. It’s never too late to have the relationship you dream of. Thanks for being you and have a great day!

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