Monday, July 23, 2012

some thoughts on love & marriage part deux

I'm sure that y'all remember my previous post on love & marriage.  I think I've been slowly pre-marital counseling myself through all these blog posts.

Sometimes other people can say it better than I can.  So I borrow their words.  Because sometimes their words just move me to my core.  And I can only hope that they'll have such a impact on me and in my love with the boy.

"The Art Of Marriage"
by Wilferd A. Peterson 

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things...
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude
of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation
and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience,
understanding and a sense of humour.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.

Seriously.  Wowzers.  "It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner."  It kind of goes back to what I wrote last time.  You have to be the perfect partner for your spouse, you have to love them the way they need to be loved-not the way you want to be loved.

However, I know that essay is a whole lot of words.  It's a lot to read, to digest, and to put into action.  Sometimes I think it's better to read something that's just written in a real and honest way.  And that's why I love this article and its take on 15 ways to stay married for 15 years.  And you know, any article with the following quote, "...stay angry, bitches. Don't let the sun go down on that awesome fierce wrath of yours..." is just bound to be a winner winner chicken dinner in my book. 

And honestly, I think I just now realized that I've been doing all this thinking about how to make my love & my marriage a success....instead of just being confident in the fact that my love is already a success.  It's #10 in the article, and it goes a little something like this....

"...Marriage is not conditional. It is permanent. Your husband will be with you until you die. That is a given. It sounds obvious, but really making it a given is hard. You tend to think in "ifs" and "thens" even when you've publicly committed to forever. If he does this, I won't tolerate it. If I do this, he'll leave me. If I get fat. If I change jobs. If he says mean things. If he doesn't pay more attention. It's natural, especially in the beginning of your marriage, to keep those doubts in your head. But the sooner you can let go of the idea that marriage is temporary -- and will end if certain awful conditions are met -- the sooner you will let go of all kinds of conflict and stress. Yes, you may find yourself in a horrible situation where it's absolutely necessary to get a divorce. But going into it with divorce in the back of your mind, even in the way way way back of your mind, is going to cause a lot of unnecessary angst. Accept that you're going to stay with him. He's going to stay with you. Inhabit that and figure out how to make THAT work, instead of living with the "what if"s and "in case of's."

I can be the first to admit that sometimes I live in a case of "what ifs."  I can blame it on society, on highly publicized divorce rates, I can blame it on all of the people around me that have played vital parts in sabotaging their relationships.   But ultimately, I need to blame it on myself.  I get too wrapped up on what has happened to the people I know, too caught up on what I've seen go wrong in love.

Remember at the beginning of this post?  Where I said that I thought I was pre-martial counseling myself?  It's not a thought anymore, I know I just did.  I'm ready to see what love and marriage can be at its best.

Here's to the next 15 years...and 15 more after that....


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