I mean seriously, we were just in high school, standing by the lockers while she felt my “swollen” muscles from weight class! We were just sitting on that couch watching MTV videos while it snowed outside, eventually leading to me getting snowed-in at her house for the night! We were just watching Titanic, me trying not to cry like a baby while she’s buying a lady a new bag of popcorn that had been kicked over by some punk kids! Heck, we were just standing at the altar with butterflies in our stomachs, wondering how this “fairy tale” of a marriage would go! It’s been a journey, full of turns, hills and off-road adventures. It’s been perfectly imperfect and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Like any marriage, we’ve had our share of struggles. I’ll spare you the details, but many of the arguments and slug fests have come from our differences, from our imperfections and from our pride. Many times, feelings of love and affection just weren’t there. In fact, we still encounter moments like that…I think we all do, no matter what kind of relationship we find ourselves in.
The issue with our culture is that we often view these “lack of good feelings” moments as abnormal or unhealthy. Our instincts then tell us to run from the conflict in search of a recharge or a “solution” to fill the void….sometimes in a pretty unhealthy way. We’re all guilty of it in one form or another.
The truth is that we’re all gluttons for good feelings, especially when it comes to marriage. Maybe we just need to change our focus a bit from the importance of feelings to the importance of commitment.
Don’t get me wrong here…having periods in life where the good feelings flow is totally awesome! We should all strive for moments of peace, joy and inspiration, especially within our marriages! The issue is that a prolonged or permanent time in this good feeling-filled-blissful-state is unrealistic. The mundane feelings that come with the day-to-day stuff can tend to dull life a bit and that’s totally NORMAL!!!
In reality, those calm waters will get hit with some wind, causing that boat to start rockin’ and often, we jump overboard and head for the shoreline vs. riding out the storm together. We think that shoreline will provide peace and serenity when in reality, the same wind that was knocking your boat around is still blowing, just in a different spot and in a different way. The grass isn’t always greener, in other words.
Marriage can be one of the most rewarding things in life and it can also be one of the most frustrating, challenging things in life. How we view conflict and how we view each other amidst the conflict is so key to moving past the tough times. It really does take effort though…daily, tough, roll up your sleeves effort.
I’m not a pro at marriage by any means and my list of mess ups is super long, but I know that every second of frustration and struggle has led to the beautiful, messy, perfectly imperfect union that my wife and I have today. The credit goes to God and God alone.
Fight on friends, be the seasoning when things are bland, be the grace and peace when waters are choppy, be the comedy when things go haywire…just “be” and commit.
Feelings will come and go, but that person with morning breath each day is there to stay…wait, maybe not the most glamorous of endings…well, you get the point 😜.