Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What is marriage?

Marriage is many things.  What you normally hear about is the love, the romance, the companionship, and the intimacy.  All of which are true.  Most of the time.  Well some of the time.  Well hopefully more times than not.  What you don't hear much about are the times when it is not.  What about when the romance and intimacy are missing?  What about the times you feel lonely and unloved?  Is that marriage?

My definition of marriage has grown and changed over time.  When I was young the above definition was mine.  Then I got married.  We got jobs, he went to school, we tried unsuccessfully for many years to get pregnant, then had two kids, I became chronically ill, and well, life happened.  There were many times where there was no intimacy, try getting romantic after putting a screaming toddler to bed.  Most nights we just wanted to be alone and sleep or watch TV.  The last thing we wanted was someone else "needing" something from us.  There were times when we both felt we were in this alone.  

So why are we still married and even happily married?  Well, because through all that misery, I still chose him and he still chose me.  We didn't want to be going through all that with anyone else.  See, marriage is choice.  You feel attracted to someone, they feel attracted to you.  You fall in love.  And you choose to spend the rest of your life together.  Your life.  That means the mountaintops and the valleys.  That means when one is hanging over the toilet spilling their guts.  That means when one of you is being a complete asshole.  That means when one of you is totally depressed and can't get out of bed.  That means all of it.  You choose to be with that person.  Now it doesn't always work.  The other person has to choose you back and you can't make them choose you.  They may choose the easy way out and leave.  Because believe you me, staying and choosing during those times is hard work.  You have to listen, you have to compromise, you have to fight for what you believe, you have to tell what you need.  You have to communicate.  You choose to do the work, because you choose to be with that person for life.  And oh the joy when it works.  Man!  The comfort of knowing you have someone in your corner for life will let you jump off cliffs you never imagined.  The thrill of being wanted will help you conquer the world.  

"You reap what you sow."  How true.  Sowing is hard work.  You do it in cold, brutal weather.  You sow in hot, scorching weather and sometimes in beautiful weather.  But oh the joy when the crop comes in!  Of course, then you have to sow again, reap, sow, reap.  Marriage is like that.  You work hard and reap the benefits, then a new stage of life hits, you work hard and reap those benefits.  And pretty soon you have reaped a whole heap of benefits! 

If you aren't married, then you might not have enjoyed this article.  But, you might be counting your lucky stars you don't have to work that hard!  If you are married, go choose them.  Let them hear you say it.  Go do the work, for the benefits will come!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful. And I agree. BTW: When you write about marriage, you write about all the kind of relationship shared by two people - male/female, male/male, female/female ... same, same, same.

    Thanks for this ...