Yesterday, I celebrated 18 years of marriage to my wife. It has been an incredibly crazy ride. Richer and poorer; sickness and health; good times and bad; great joys and tremendous sorrows; feeling in love and feeling completely disconnected; making each other laugh and being the reason the other is crying. These experiences have taught me one lesson above all others:
Marriage isn’t for cowards.
You have to have the courage to be willing to give more than you desire to take and serve more than you desire to be served. This takes more strength and fortitude than many are willing to muster.
Five years ago, I wrote a post about what I’d learned after 13 years of marriage. Those things still ring true, and it’s kinda trippy to see where my head was during that time. Since then, life has thrown even more sliders, screwballs, change-ups, and curve balls, all in an effort to test our braking point. Despite life’s attempts to strike us out, I’m happy to report that we’re still swinging the bat.
When you’ve committed to something, you’ve decided to disallow the possibility of failure under any scenario. Setbacks, yes; false starts, yes; temporarily broken promises, absolutely; But the underlying principle once the decision has been made is that “We will see this through together.” Once you’ve made that commitment with another person, the common efforts produce a force multiplier that, even in moments of strain, are stronger than the forces seeking to break you.
The cares of life can be like water; they will find a way to seep into the cracks of your marriage to erode it if you’re not careful. Do your best to seal the cracks. Or at the very least, have plenty of paper towels.