Love. Hatred. Resentment. Sadness. Arguments, Misunderstanding. Loneliness. Beauty. Laughter. Possessiveness. Growth. Death. Life. Marriage. is all of the above. It translates the deepest emotions into the most aggressive actions at the drop of a dime. It is the
effervescent mirror that reflects our behaviors and tendencies. The mirror that we naturally avoid as we settle comfortably in our respective ways of life. And sometimes, life, is no match for marriage. Its been 2 years, 6 months, 2 weeks and two days since I said I do to this beautiful fallacy. Though a blimp in time compared to the forever that I signed up for; in this short time, I’ve questioned my decision to get married at least twice. We did it the “right” way. We were armed with the tools that were taught to keep us afloat. Taught to keep us sane and sustained. We waited until marriage to have sex. We prayed to God. We invited Him as our third strand. We went to premarital counseling and consulted God before we made the decision to hold hands and declare love and forever in front of 170 people. Yet and still, I’ve found myself asking if our love is enough.
Hopefully at this point you’re more intrigued than afraid or disappointed. I write to expose my reality not to diminish the hopes or discredit that of anyone else. Marriage is individual and unique to its members. One marriages’ beauty is anothers’ death. It just is that way for reasons that we shouldn’t try to explain because love and life are both relative. While I believe that I came into marriage a tad naive, I also don’t know if anything that I could have been told would have prepared me for what marriage actually has been. It’s been beautiful. It’s been filled with good times, hard times, arguments, blindness at times and then extreme focus and clear vision at other times. I’ve had to find contentment in the reality that sometimes, we’ll have a month or two where we aren’t particularly happy with each other. We wont be in the mood to take selfies all the time or give each other a daily kiss. We won’t be in the mood to hold hands or reminisce on the reason we fell in love.
I’ve also recently learned that as time goes, it gets deeper. Potentially, we begin to grow and change. And potentially, we may not approve or be comfortable with the growth and the face that change may take. We often walk into a situation with a preconceived notion of the outcome. Ignorant to the fact that our outcome may not reflect the reality and path of our marriage. It’s deeper than having to pick his clothes off the floor everyday even after expressing distaste in doing so. It’s deeper than having to buy two different soaps because he’s particular about his brand. It’s deeper than my often irrational obsession with cleanliness. Its deeper than the fact that I shut down when the conversations get too real. It’s just deep.
Marriage is making a conscious decision to love someone forever without actually knowing what forever looks like. Its romantic in theory, scary mentally, and dany near impossible in reality. Dang near, but it’s possible. I remember when we were dating, my husband would ask if I was really ready for this. Naively, I said yes every time because not being with him appeared worse than taking the chance on whatever forever brought us. Now, when I complain he reminds me of my answer. Like with most things in life, in marriage, you never know what you’re signing up for until you actually get into it. My mentor said something so true one day:
” People treat marriage like its a dating relationship. Like when things go south or something bad happens, they can just walk away from it. But its marriage. It’s something you committed to forever.”
The reality of marriage is that you will get hurt. It’s a guarantee in most cases. And when those times come, you have to really assent to your ability to withstand challenge. You have to challenge yourself and your commitment to the words you said at the altar. Whatever those words were. Your promise to keep going in the midst of struggle. Life has a way of making you question whether love is enough. Is history enough? Is commitment enough? And I don’t believe that it is. I believe that it takes all three, God, and so much more to get to forever.
Marriage is an aggressive testing of your faith and your ability to stay committed. Its’ circumstances define for better or for worst and your mindset is tested. You’re asked over and over “Can you withstand?” “Are you really committed?” Sometimes you have to ask yourself the important and daunting questions, “Am I willing to be unhappy for a moment in order for my marriage to work?” “Am I willing to sacrifice two years of my preferred sanity in order for our foundation to be solid?” “Am I willing to compromise my desires in order for my husband/wife to feel loved and respected?” “Am I wiling to die to my ever annoying, present flesh in order to keep our love alive?” “Do I really want this?” “Will I choose to check myself and pray for my spouse as opposed to checking them and praying for forgiveness?” “Am I entitled to my happiness more than my love is entitled to theirs?” Real questions that everyone answers differently. But they are real questions. Perhaps these are the questions that we should ask ourselves when standing at the altar before our impending dive into forever.
I would never want to scare anyone away from getting married by sharing the side of things that don’t make the Facebook status’ and the Instagram posts. However I will say that if reading this makes you think twice about marriage, maybe you weren’t sure about it in the first place. Maybe you need more time to pray. Maybe not. Marriage is a beautiful thing; but it’s difficult. It’s not cute all the time. It’s not even fun all the time. I’m not going to wrap this up with a pretty saying and put a bow on my truth. It is what it is. When things are good they’re good and when they’re bad they’re bad but like anything else in life, you get through those times respectively. This is my truth and my reality. I am proud to bear the name Brandon and walk with my King into forever. Not only because I love him but because that is what we promised each other, and I wouldn’t want to walk this road with anyone else. However, I would be doing the world a disservice if I didn’t take a moment to share the real every once in a while.
The real is, I love my husband. He loves me. But if we’re going to make it to forever, love simply isn’t enough.