Anyone who knows me well knows I adore my husband. Some people think it’s odd to still like my husband after 18 years of marriage and 4 children. If given the opportunity I would love to go on a date with him anytime!
I have been teaching my students about the sacrament of marriage. I was explaining to them how easy it is to get caught up in the infatuation stage. They know that stage all too well because many of them are in it. You know that time when you both love cherry yogurt, country music, and you get butterflies in your stomach when he or she enters the room. All you can do is smile and think of that person that completes you. Most Americans would identify this “stage” with being in love with another person. The problem is this is not the only stage of a lasting relationship, especially a marriage. Time moves on, you get to know the other person on a deeper level, all the bad stuff like habits that drive you nuts, like messiness, or nail biting, or whatever annoys you. It’s at this point that some relationships fail, and if it is a dating relationship and you can’t get passed the bad habits then it is fine that it fails.
Many Americans believe when the honeymoon ends and the bad habits are glaring a hole through you night and day then you must have fallen out of love with that person. So, you get a divorce and search for that heart flutter, infatuation stage, that must be love. What people fail to realize is that love in a committed lifetime relationship is so much more than that. A marriage is a lifetime commitment it means you recommit yourself every day to that one person. Yes, the bad habits annoy you and drive you crazy but you choose to love that person for who they are completely; the bad and the good. Those are the days when you stop and think to yourself I love that person so much that I want to make him or her happy and stop thinking about myself so much. In my wedding video my Dad’s advice to me and my husband was always think of the other. If you both do that you will take care of one another. When arguments happen or tension gets high I slow down, reflect on the situation and 90% of the time it is because I am not putting him first. When I put him first he puts me first. It is a selfless love.
Married couples in today’s world give up too soon. They think that when the butterflies are over then the love is over. Romantic love is unbelievable but it changes into a deeper love the continues to bond and unite the couple body and soul but not with the same feelings as infatuation. If each person who commits his or her life to another would stay when reality sets in and realize love changes and matures then we would have a smaller divorce rate. Too many people go into a marriage believing they can change the other person, or if it doesn’t work I will just get a divorce. As I told my students a person CANNOT change another person. If you don’t like that person as her or she is at that point break up before you ever make that life time commitment! If one enters a marriage with an “out” then when things get tough he or she will use it. Go into a marriage knowing that it is forever, unconditional, that it is selfless love and you may give more than you take and that’s ok because that is selfless love.
The reality of marriage is you will live with a person you have chosen to spend your life with the good parts and the bad parts alike. You vow to love them through the good, bad, rich, poor, sickness, health, and forsaking all others. No one should say those words if they don’t mean them! The reality is marriage is beautiful, difficult, uplifting, supportive, taxing, exhausting, and the most important relationship you will have to work on for a life time. The reality is that marriage is worth it. I go through the ups and downs with my husband and if given the opportunity to go back in time I would take those vows again because the reality is I married my best friend, the love of my life, and the person without a doubt who I want to be with everyday until death do we part.