From the Series: What Nobody Tells You About Marriage (explaining the truths behind the dumb comments people make)
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
I love this one. Truly, I do.
Truth: Despite all of the aforementioned hardships/boring realities of marriage, the struggles are worth the security and growth a marriage can bring you.
After I married Husband, people would ask me if I felt different, or if my relationship felt different. The best way I could explain how different I felt was like this: “Husband and I should have gotten married a looooong time ago.”
Husband and I dated on and off for years and years. We couldn’t stay together or apart. And we couldn’t figure out why both cases were irresistible.
Because our attempts to stay together always exploded in failure, Husband and I secretly lived in fear. We were petrified that we could never love another person more than we loved each other, that we would be stuck pining after someone we knew we couldn’t get along with.
We danced this tiresome, nuanced dance of on-and-off love for years. Finally, when we reunited for the final time, I decided I’d had enough.
No more dance. I looked myself in the mirror and told myself that, if I was going to give it another go with Husband, I was going to play for keeps. We were too old to waste our time on each other if it wasn’t meant to be, so this time, I was all-in. I intend to marry him.
At least I would have closure knowing I’d actually given it everything if it failed yet again. This was important for me, because I had never considered marrying someone before. Not really.
I told him I wanted to marry him a few dates in. He chuckled with surprise. I knew he was thrilled to hear it. He had always wanted to marry me. Even though I’d broken up with him 40+ times. For him, I was the one, and that was that. He’s bizarre like that, always making up his mind when he’s really young and following through with it.
What my fresh intentions did for me was enable me to realize that it was actually ME preventing us from being together.
My fear of marrying the wrong person kept me from considering anybody for Husband’s role. I ran away from anyone who mentioned moving in together or seriously talking about marriage. No dice! Goodbye!
The funny thing is that Husband was the constant undercurrent in my heart all those years. He never stopped swirling through my thoughts. I texted him every time I ended another relationship, just to make sure he was still there. Waiting for me.
The thing about running from things is that your speed, alone, prevents you from facing your fears. Those fears are often the key to your unhappiness, though. If you never confront them, you never find out if they’re actually frightening. So they remain frightening. Fears forever.
And that’s why I should have married Husband a long time ago. Because marrying him forced me to face my fears. And, unbeknownst to me, I was terrified of trusting him! I was terrified of trusting a lot of things, actually.
I have to say that I’m pretty sure trust issues are permanent. They linger within you, just in case you are wronged and they need to jump out and say AH-HA! Told you trusting was a bad idea!
They linger within me. They linger within Husband. They only linger, though. They no longer prevent.
If I hadn’t married Husband, I wouldn’t have identified and faced so many of my fears that have made me the person I am right now. I might not even be writing this blog if I hadn’t wed Husband. I’m a stronger, better person than I was before I took the plunge.
And the great thing about strength is that it breeds strength. Gaining it allows you to face even scarier things than you can imagine. It allows you to open up, to communicate more fluidly. Once you realize that sobbing in front of your Husband doesn’t mean sudden death, it occurs to you that trusting him with other parts of yourself might not be that bad either.
Marriage lets you expose your whole heart to someone who intends to make sure it’s never broken. They will probably break it, but they’ll hate themselves for it and do everything in their power to put you back together.
You marry someone because you love them. And when you love someone, you want to make sure they’re protected.
When you marry someone you want to protect, you are getting your own guardian in return.
Both of you will forget that you’re the other’s guardian, but when marriage pries your lover’s lock-box heart open (the way it tends to do) and reveals those actual feelings, the darling face of the person you swore to guard with your life reemerges.
So, no matter how strongly you feel about wanting to abandon your spouse, remember that there came a time when you depended on them with your whole heart. And in order to have that feeling again, you must be the crusader you promised to be.
Never giving up means you’re never given up on. To be married is to continue what you started, together.
To be gifted with the kind of marriage that makes you a better person, the kind you read about in fairy tales, the kind that will always be worth it, you must never stop saying “I do.”
Previous in the WNTYAM Series — Marriage is Hard Work. Harder Than You Can Possibly Imagine.
So, there you have it! The series is now complete! Dumb comments will no longer rule the world! Not this tiny-blog-world, at least.
Check out the rest of the marriage truths if you haven’t, already!
I seem to have a knack for learning marriage lessons the hard way. What are some marriage truths you’ve realized that I haven’t detailed in this series? Have you heard any dumb marriage comments that you can spell out for me? Please leave all of your questions, answers, and marriage truths in a comment below!