Wednesday, July 11, 2012

some thoughts on love & marriage

I think that I've been on the brink of bridezilla craziness.   It's the endless to-do lists, it's the vendors, it's the crazy nightmares.  And some of it might just be the fact that in a few more months, I'll be married.  Forever.  

Forever is a big word.  The typical marriage vows are downright morbid.  I will be his, he will be mine, until death splits us apart.  As Henrietta-Bonham-Carter-esque as those words are, they are the rarest of truths.  Commitment is often promised but rarely obtained without trust, stability, and lots of forgiveness.  

At the end of the day, there are probably 100 problems in everyone's relationships.  But it's how you choose to handle those problems that determines if you'll be one of the lucky ones.  My grandparents will have been married for 65 years this month.  I guarantee that they haven't been blissfully happy for every single moment.  But you know what, they still hold hands.  They still love.  

I can only aspire to have a love like theirs.  A love that only death can separate.  So from now, until my dying day, these are my goals for a happy life and marriage. 

1. Leave love notes.  Our relationship started with the sweetest of email exchanges.  Now a days, those exchanges are few and far between and are typically more along the lines of to-do lists than proclamations of love.  You better believe I'm about to YOLO up some love sonnet post-it notes. 
2. "Love your other how they need to be loved, not how you need to be." So, a key to a good marriage is trying your best to focus on what your significant other needs you to be to him, instead of what you want him to be to you. {a cup of jo}  If I love the boy he wants me to, I'll probably be naked a lot more.  But at the end of the day, he'll be happy.  And so will I.  
3. Tried and true advice..."Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud. Love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable. Love does not keep a record of wrongs, love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and it's faith, hope and patience, never fail."
4. Embrace imperfection.  No one is perfect.  I'm accepting that I will make mistakes, the boy will make mistakes, and that we will always forgive each other. 
5. Go on adventures.  Any trip that the boy and I have been on up until this point, has been just that.  A trip, not a vacation.  But you know what-we have done remarkable things together.  We've jumped out of a plane, slept in a tent, hiked Acadia, eaten Maine lobster in Maine, snowmobiled in -3 degree weather, and love each other more for it all.  I never want to stop exploring with the boy.  
6.  Support each other's dreams.  At one point in our life, the boy wanted to essentially become a carnie.  That idea was, and will always be, pure craziness.  But I never once squashed his idea, his hope, or his dreams.  
7. Lighten each other's load.  We are each other's support system.  The boy counts on me to lift him up when he's down.  Sometimes a hug, or a bouquet of fresh flowers, are all you need to make the world right again. 
8.  Tend your garden.  "One of the smartest things anyone ever said to Josh was that marriage is like a garden. You have to tend to it every day lest it become overgrown with weeds. Now we try to nip any issues that may come up in the end. Just today, for example, Josh left me holding our 21-month-old daughter while he ran inside to grab a last-minute item before we set off to catch a ride into town. He checked his email and (as happens so often when you run your own business) got caught up in a work-related emergency that needed immediate attention. When he emerged ten minutes later explaining what was up, rather than a) blowing up or b) seething and saying nothing, I chose option c) gently reminding him that he left the two of us hanging and that a quick "hey, something's come up, I'll be a few minutes" would go a long way. He apologized, we both felt better, lesson learned, annoying afternoon averted!" {a cup of joe}  Obviously, the exact scenario won't happen the same way for everyone.  But the basic moral rings true for everyone.  In the Y, we called this being proactive, not reactive.  It's a lot easier to make a small action now, than it is to go back later and fix a huge mess.   


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