Marriage is hard. We hear it all the time. The fake statistics, the unwarranted advice from divorced couples, the culture that seems to shine light on all the nasty bits of marriage. It’s all out there. And for the most part, the nasty bits are true. Unfortunately, marriage isn’t long walks on the beach and making out in the rain. It’s more like holding each other, for dear life, weathering every possible natural disaster known to man, while standing on a gang plank. I’m writing to say it’s true. Marriage is hard. But so, so worth it.
It’s probably the most exhilarating and frustrating thing two people will ever put themselves through. So why do it? Why put yourselves through such turmoil? Why risk the most emotional part of yourself… your heart? Your heart is the most protected thing in your life. What you’ve worked so hard to keep solid, break, and rebuild again. These aren’t easy questions to answer. And do you know why? It’s because we cannot readily define Love. Plain and simple. We may be able to explain what we believe Love is. We may even be able to point out actions and consequences of Love. Some people in the world will say Love doesn’t “exist.” That it isn’t something supernatural or faith driven. They say Love is a figment of our human world. That chemicals and senses control our actions and drive us to perform our duties as beings, to procreate. Ok, good argument. But why do I feel such Love so deep, I would give my life for another person? Honestly. I would give up my life so that another person could continue with theirs. I don’t know about you, but that can’t be chemicals.
We feel Love. I absolutely believe that. And we feel it on many different levels. I love my dogs. I love expensive whiskey. I even love my car. But Love… real Love is what I feel for my wife. It’s what I feel for my children. It’s what I feel for my life. It’s what makes life worth living. Humans are insanely crazy creations. I could do without whiskey or my car. But I could never do without my family. Family keeps us going. Family destroys us and builds us up. It evolves and mutates. It’s family. And guess what? Marriage starts it all.
I didn’t grow up with a great view of what marriage is supposed to be. How longevity in marriage is supposed to work or why people even decide to get married. I just knew that when that time came, I would know. And oh how I knew. When I met my wife, I knew. Through some trials and tribulations, it came to be. That I met my person. The person that would give me everything and I would give my everything to. Rocket boosters, fireworks, long walks. It was all there. But we knew, somehow, that it wouldn’t be easy. That marriage just isn’t about having a fun wedding and a spectacular honeymoon and cute nicknames. I knew it would be about energy, compromise and conflict. But it didn’t matter. I knew we had Love. THAT Love. We couldn’t explain it and we still can’t today, but it’s there. And now we’re living it. The nasty bits. Life is rough. It’s hard and has no mercy. You can’t sugar coat it. You can’t just forget the issues at hand. They aren’t going away. You have to face them head on.
And this is when the real work becomes reality. The continuous battle to get through life. And hear me when I say this. YOU CAN’T DO IT ALONE. I cannot tell you how irritated it makes me to see that marriage in our culture has become an ‘alternative’. It’s become a stigma of something old or dated. Not needed or obsolete. It makes me sick to think that people are making the conscious decision to have a significant other and deprive themselves of the beauty that is marriage. It’s a sacrifice that knowingly or unknowingly deprives you of feeling true Love. I just revel in the fact that I found Love. I found Marriage. And two baby carriages.
In marriage, you must never let go of your hands. Cement them together and weather the storms. The floods, the lightening, the fires, the swarm of bees. All of it. Together. This is what marriage is all about. This is what makes you strong. THIS is what Love is. Sticking together no matter what happens. You are one flesh. One being. One family. No amount of science can explain this Love and bond. It’s just there.
Are you exhausted yet? You should be. And you better be. It means it’s working. It means marriage is there. That Love is there. In the end, it isn’t about the fights, the financial struggles, and the stress of children. It’s about the good times you have together. It’s about the tough times you have together. It’s about living your lives TOGETHER. So in the end, Why? Why marriage? With all the bad things that can happen and the suffering you go through, why do it at all? Because it’s magical. So magical and mysterious and inexplicable that you have to experience it to believe it. It’s about holding on and never letting go. And when you think you just can’t hold on any more, you keep holding on. Because Love is the glue that binds us. Love is the strength that keeps us on our feet. And Love is the beauty in our hearts.