Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"This is true love -- you think this happens every day?" -- The Princess Bride

Commemorating 8 years of marriage, what a splendid thought. With the consideration that about 50% of marriages in America ends in divorce, well then it is unarguable that we should celebrate sticking it out. Because let’s face it, marriage is tough. What an awful thing to say, you are thinking. Especially on her anniversary, she is such a mood killer, but what better day to say it?

I will go ahead and say, yes raising children is tough. That yes struggling through a terrible economy, yeah, that’s pretty tough too. But marriage is something that should never ever be taken lightly, or assumed that it will be easy, since you found your soul mate. What a silly thought. That since you have found the love of your life, your perfect match, that all things will go splendidly. Let me tell you, I married the love of my life, there are times things are going swimmingly, there are also times that I want to hit him over the head with a 2 X 4, and I am certain he thinks the same exact things.

Foundationally, God’s purpose for marriage is uniting two people to become one. Two people to become one? When you really sit down and think about it do you know how difficult of a task that is? That everything, our baggage, our opinions, our faults, our interests, our emotions, and our histories, need to come together and become one. I really think that after about 50 years of marriage that is why you start to look like each other. You have become one so much so, that there is nothing else but the outside appearances to become one. Becoming one is an ongoing task to me throughout marriage. On the day of your wedding the pastor will most likely make mention of this. I think on that day, the staples are placed, uniting the two of you, but in no way does the perfect couple just balance it all, accept it all, and live happily ever after from that day forward. Marriage is work; it is sifting through everything, sorting out what makes you a complete couple. It’s getting rid of the garbage; sacrificing, adjusting to make room for things you don’t necessarily want; compromising, and placing the things that you love about each other and about being with each other on the mantels of you married lives; creating unity.

I will tell you this that marriage is worth fighting for. I think people quit way too easily. I won’t lie, I will say that I have been so frustrated that for certain walking away would be the easy way out, and I am certain Andy will tell you the same thing. But it is this whole unconditional love thing we have going on. It is this contract that we have with each other and God to stick it out. I can pretty much guarantee that we will be blessed more for combating through the hard times. I can also guarantee that we will be given a pretty difficult time if we had and were to quit on each other. There are for sure times that I do not like Andy, but I will always love Andy. Here is the thing, to me ‘like,’ is a variable, and ‘love,’ that is a constant. I many not always like something someone is doing, but if I first loved them, that love never goes away, and that is worth staying together for.

I do think God has a sense of humor. It of course is a loving sense of humor, not a spiteful one. And I do think he laughs sometimes when he chooses a soul mate for some people. But he also has a purpose. I do think when he created Andy and me, he snickered when he decided to pair us together as partners for life. ‘I will take this bossy freckle faced girl, and pair her with this lanky domineering boy; this should be a good one, lots of fun.’ Forget reality television; tune in here every day for some live entertainment. “Blessing” us both with extremely dominant personalities is one thing, but I still don’t understand where in God’s eyes that makes for a perfect match? But we are living proof that when God does something that doesn’t always make sense to us, it is clear as a bell to him. Andy and I do indeed fit. However, we have yet to figure out exactly what we are to do with that purpose, except bang heads together every so often. We are just at year 8, so we have some time. I think at year 8, we will both agree that we have finally figured these dominant personalities out, and how to live together with them, now we are moving on to what to do with them.

You know those personality quizzes you take at premarital counseling with your pastor? You find out what the personality of you and your partner is and then get advice on how to compliment each others personalities as a married couple? Andy and I took this quiz, and our results were both, ‘D’s’, which is Dominant, now Andy is a high D. You are thinking really? Andy is highly dominant? Never would’ve guessed, right? I am a low D, but really no one’s dominance can compete with Andy’s he wins the title, hands down. However, that was the only difference between us, a few measly points. My pastor looked at us, and said, ‘well I have never had two people take this quiz and both be dominant, best of luck to you both.’ And that was the end of premarital counseling. No, not really. He did really say those words, but we continued through the counseling. And he did share that we would have our work cut out for his, but that there was a specific reason for this pairing. I don’t know maybe we are supposed to be the next Bill and Hilary Clinton, and unite our dominance for good, like freeing American’s from foreign prisons. However, the most important thing is, is that we were paired together for a reason, and it’s our purpose to continue to strive to continually become one, dominantly or passively.

I make it sound as if all we do all day is puff our feathers at each other trying to prove who is the biggest ruler of the roost, and that is the furthest from the truth. There is more to Andy and me as a couple then being domineering. However, I bring up the dominant personalities, because this is our biggest hurdle as a couple, in my opinion. And when it is put out there like that, sharing that it is something we are tackling together, doesn’t it make marriage seem worth fighting for? There is no problem too big or too small when you love each other this much.

Marriage is something I whole heartedly support. Yeah Marriage! You will find me on the picket lines. When you find someone you truly believe you are to spend the rest of your life with, I say go for it. You will not be clunked on the head by some board that has a message for you, ‘you are to marry so and so,’ but I can attest to the fact that when you know, you know. I also think that giving up is copping out.When you marry someone, you have everything and nothing to lose, and that is what makes it so rewarding, really, I promise. I will not tell you it is easy, but I will tell you that marrying Andy, deciding to spend the rest of my life with him, is hands down the best decision I have made. Well besides deciding on my living room furniture, which has also survived 8 years, and has really held up.

Beyond all of that, Andy is my best friend. Those of us who are doing it can attest to the fact that going through life with your best friend makes it all the more enjoyable. I cannot imagine my life without him. Awww…But really, I love this man with everything I have. Sure sometimes he is my punching bag, and I throw all that is wrong with my world right onto him. But that is what is so great about having a 6’5, 220 pound man as your spouse; he can catch every one of the blows.

Andy is the most familiar thing I have, and it is so comforting. The way my hand slips into his is perfect. My world has the potential to move at 100 miles an hour and I can count on him to slow me down.

8 years with him is nothing in comparison to the milestone of 40 or 50 that we will someday reach. But in comparison to 8 years ago, and what we have become collectively since then, I think 8 is great.

How did I meet my prince, and how did he win me over and get me to marry him?

To Be Continued…

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