Today, I walked past the church where my husband and I got married almost three years ago. The church is beautiful and I fell in love with it the moment I stumbled upon it walking home from work one evening in 2012. I had to get married there. And we did. I sometimes walk past it just to be nostalgic and mushy and today one of those days. It looked the same, except, one door was open. Typically I walk by in the early morning or late evening during the weekday and the doors are closed. But not today. It seemed to be inviting me in. I said to the open door jokingly, “What? You want me to get married again?” Joke or not, truth is, I do get married again. Everyday.
When we were planning our wedding we were excited and giddy. We would tell couples who had been married for 10 plus years that we were getting married and I remember this look they all gave. It was a mix of joy, hope, “poor baby”, “who left the milk out?”, and indifference all rolled into one. I didn’t understand it then but now I do. As a mother for almost ten years now, it’s the same look I give childless people when they share their “tips” on how to be a good parent. Chile, THE DOOR.
And my issue is this:
As married people, we say “I am Married.” Like a title, a descriptor. It’s really cute to say when you first become married. You feel proud. Accomplished. After a couple of years though, I sort of cringe when I say it because I feel like marriage is not something I am, it’s something that I’m actively doing everyday. Working on it. Getting better at it. Getting stronger in it. Yeah, you’re married. But are you in a marriage?
“If I have to pick up your clothes from the floor one more time I will die.”
“You wait until the last minute to tell me we have to do something. What’s up with that?”
Those are both things that my husband and I have said to one another in the past week. The first one is mine. Couldn’t you tell? DRAMATIC! The second is his. We get on each others nerve. But if you ask either one of us, right after we said these statements, if we’d want to do marriage with any one else we’d both answer “Not a chance.”
All married couples have aspects of marriage that they do really well. Some are great at getting one-on-one time in with one another, or running a business together, meeting financial goals, or planning family activities. Me and my husband are excellent communicators. We kick all categories of ass in communication. Our disagreements are level headed, inclusive sessions of seeking understanding. We don’t get petty and hurtful.
That right there? That’s not us. But what was brought to my attention through my church family recently is that evil will use what you so believe in against you in an attempt to get you to fail (like Satan tempted Jesus). Take us for example: we are so good at communicating and understanding each other that sometimes we forget to verbally do it! Isn’t that a trip? We just think the other gets it and understands but they may not. We still have to actually communicate. Because if we don’t, other things will start doing it for us. When other things in this world like Facebook, “friends”, and work start doing our marriage for us we are bound to fail.
The game changes constantly so it’s impossible to just BE married. You have to DO it daily. You have to revive it, rebirth it, and readjust it constantly as your marriage grows and changes.
I choose to forgive everyday. I choose to work on getting to know him more everyday. I choose to get better at being a companion. And it’s work, but it’s not hard work. It’s the easiest thing I’ve ever had to do because out of all the things I don’t get to choose in life, I got to choose him. And I’m going to be active in my choice. The title isn’t enough for me. Saying “I am Married” is outdated and speaks of a moment in our marriages lifetime. It was born on October 26, 2013 but its toddler now. It’s fearless, independent, emotional, pure, and full of potential.
So to my soon to be married ladies and gentlemen… Enjoy the wedding. Enjoy checking the “Married” box on your tax forms. Enjoy calling him your husband. Enjoy calling her your wife. But also enjoy getting married again every morning until your marriage is potty trained, graduates high school, and has 401(k). *Disclaimer: This will likely take a lifetime.