I believe in marriage. Not just the love you mushy, gushy, all is well stuff, but the ugly stick-with-it-ness that is often needed when the going get’s tough.
We all get frustrated…learning to love is the best thing we can do with our time…marriage is the one value I hold to be non-negotiable. My husband isn’t perfect, nor am I. Let me tell you about a time when things weren’t so great….and what I learned.
Three and a half years ago my marriage was quickly falling a part. I loved more the person I wanted my husband to be then who he was. (This was a HUGE mistake that I made, one I believe sadly that quite a lot of couples make. Your spouses’ faults become such a wall. It’s hard to see the light at the time. I didn’t realize that a lot of the problem lied with me and my inability to love my husband for who he was. I got so frustrated that he wasn’t doing things the way that I would when a series of career miscalculations left him unemployed, and desperate. He “moved” away for several months and I was so close to giving up and just filing all the paperwork (I had attended a workshop on how to do a divorce without the assistance of a lawyer.) I prayed constantly about my decision to wait and see. I didn’t know if I should just let him and our marriage go for good. I was so very hurt and disappointed. Fortunately, one of my daughter’s teachers at St Mary’s cared enough about my family and gave her a flier about an upcoming Retrouville program. I decided to check it out and I’m ever so glad I did. It was quite a difficult time for me, though I was a single mom for an entire school year.
My husband Dan and I attended the Retrouville program in April, 2005. We had been separated for about 6 months at that point and Dan was living over 1000 miles away in Florida. Our future as husband and wife looked bleak at best. However, I refused to give up on my commitment to marriage and our family.
To decide to love someone you must really work on trying to understand that person. You need to love and understand yourself as well. Forget about foolish pride, sometimes you need to compromise in a relationship you may feel that you may have the short end of the stick or even feel like you are the only one compromising. Allow them the space to grow. To minimize their suffering in this world. To feel secure in knowing someone has your back and is there for you through it all. The good, the bad and sometimes the ugly. Love is, and your commitment to marriage is indeed, a decision. One that makes your life worth living.
Dan and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary this January and have two daughters age 14 and 19.