Marriage is a work in progress.

Marriage is beautiful.  It’s rainbows and sunshine.  It’s simple.  It’s very cut and dry.  Getting married  automatically instills open communication in the two people getting married.  It causes the two people to be so changed as to become perfection in the relationship.  It’s angels singing and endless smiles.

I’m sorry.

Give me a minute.

Gotta control the laughter and catch my breath.

If these are lines anyone has every fed you, they are so very misguided.  Sure, those are all partial truths, but not complete truths.  Marriage is beautiful, but not for the reasons listed above.  Parts of it are simple (and cut and dry) but we are complex in nature, joining with another person is bound to be complex as well.  The open communication comes with hard work – a lot of hard work.  Marriage changes us, yes, but not always in the way that we think.  There are moments – so many moments – when it seems like everything is perfect and you swear you can hear angels singing, but those are moments to look for and try to attain.  They aren’t constant and they aren’t necessarily the norm.

There is beauty in marriage, no doubt.  There is beauty in the sacrifice two people make for each other – make willingly.  There is beauty in seeing two different people functioning together as one unit.  It’s cohesive and unified……and it’s hard.  These very significant examples of beauty are often examples I have to seek out.  I tend to get very caught up in my head.

There are moments of rainbows and sunshine, even though it will never be all a marriage is (see: two different people coming together….Usually opposites).  Those moments are there in gentle touches, small smiles and caressing glances.  I also see those moments in times of intuition – when my husband knows just what I need when I need it.  As great as those moments are, they are not constant.  We have to learn and train ourselves to look for them.  Sometimes we have to teach ourselves to create them.

All the other stuff (simplicity, open communication, etc) doesn’t just happen.  You and your spouse are not the same person.  Being married is a huge adjustment (anyone that tells you different is either extremely naïve or a great big fat liar) and it takes work to develop these skills.  It takes a desire to make your marriage good.   It’s something you have to work for and work at.  All of the things I am really proud of in my life are things that I have had to work for – things that were hard but I stuck it out until the end (adolescence, high school, my faith, this morning, my wedding day – see the irony?); marriage is no different.  My marriage is not perfect, we will always have work to do.  We have a lot of days that feel pretty darn difficult (thanks mostly to yours truly), but we have a lot of days that are filled with bliss.

I’ve been married to my husband for 8 years and we’ve been together for 13 (side note: holy crap that’s a long time).  I still have to work against my expectations – expectations that I clearly think he should be able to pluck right from my mind – nearly everyday.  With that comes revelations about my marriage.  On some level I understand that I probably should have already known these things, but that’s not the important part.  I won’t go into detail on those revelations, just know they prove I’m only about 80% as smart as I think I am; still a win.

My point is this: marriage is hard.  It’s work.  It’s hard work, if you will.

Don’t get married because you want to wear the pretty dress or the cool suit; not because you want a party or free gifts.  Don’t get married for the fantasy (“he/she will change and be who I want if we just get married,” “all we have to do is get married then we will be constantly happy;” you get the jist).

Get married because you know, at the end of the day, your spouse will be the one who brings out the best in you, and you in them.  Get married because you really love the other, and I’m not talking about the love found in romance novels; I’m talking about pure, real, sometimes hard love.  Get married because this other person is the one you are able to start/end a journey and maybe can’t wait to start a family with.

More importantly, get married armed with truth.  Knowing there will be bad days mixed in with the good.  Knowing your spouse is someone you should and need to be able to trust implicitly.  Knowing that your spouse is not perfect, and neither are you.

Marriage is joy and sorrow, it’s rain and sunshine, it’s hard and soft.

Marriage is good and I highly recommend it.

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