Wise in the Ways of Matrimony

Marriage. Marriage is what brings us together today.

How you read that line says a lot about how old you are. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

So I’ve been married for a year. Now I’m all wise and knowledgeable in the ways of holy matrimony. Have I learned anything in the past year? Yeah. Marriage is hard. It’s not all lovey-dovey and swelling romance like you feel when you pop the question. Most of it is mundane: Grocery shopping together, being tired and cranky together, foraging for something to eat together. When you’re dating or engaged all of those things seem so exciting and wonderful. You only do them together occasionally and it makes the mundane special. But when you do those things all the time it becomes part of normal life and running to the grocery store becomes a chore again.

A bit of the magic disappears when you live together. You find out what’s like after you hang up the phone or go home at night. Before you could hang up the phone and go back to your own little world. But marriage is all about sharing a little world together. You have to put up with one another no matter what.

That’s a lot harder than you think. At first it’s easy, but then things start to get touchy. It can go downhill from there, if you’re not careful. You have to remember a few things about the kind of commitment you made, and the kind of love you’re supposed to have. I always have to remind myself that the world doesn’t revolve around me, that sometimes other things are more important, that sometimes I have to let things go. Sometimes you have to sacrifice. And sometimes you have to sacrifice a lot. That’s what makes a marriage work. It’s communication. It’s working together. It’s learning when and how to be apart. It’s self-sacrificing and others-focused. That’s probably why most marriages don’t work today–most of us don’t know anything other than self-centeredness.

I guess that’s what I’ve learned this past year. I make it sound like a pretty rough year, and now my mom’s probably all upset and worried and I’ll get a phone call later tonight. But it’s not really that way, those are just the occasional hard parts. The times that make you want to throw up your hands and walk out the door before you say something you regret. But it’s not always like that. There’s the times when you hold one another close and let the day drift away. There’s the times when you just float around, not really caring what you do as long as you’re together. There’s the times when you wash the dishes together and you can hardly resist the temptation to soap her nose. There’s the times when you need one another, and you can feel that need deep inside, and you know you’d go to any length, put up with any crabbiness or ill-tempered attitude to have one another.

Marriage. Marriage is what brings some of us together today.

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