I’ve never written a blog about marriage.
I’ve been married 22 years. I have a great husband and I love him dearly. But I’ve never written about our relationship. Why? Marriage is complicated. There are also people I care about who are hurting and their marriage journey has been difficult, and I want to be sensitive to that. I don’t want to come off like I have all the answers. I certainly don’t, and my words aren’t meant to dismiss any of the pain I know some are going through.
If I’m completely honest, I’m also secretly afraid that in the big picture of things I haven’t always been the best wife. To be fair, he once gave me a flip and fold t-shirt apparatus for Christmas (to “help me” with laundry) but besides that I don’t have much to complain about.
Here’s the thing about our relationship.
He’s a rock. I’m a whimsical unicorn.
He’s patient. I don’t like waiting for anything.
He doesn’t care one lick about what he wears. I care a lot of licks.
He doesn’t give a thought to what people think. I give many thoughts.
He doesn’t get upset. Like ever.
I get upset. A lot.
In short, he’s constant and the same. Steady and never changing. Sometimes, I’m a little jealous of that because I’m all over the place and often don’t know where I’m going. He’s supported every dream I have had, and has never told me to stop going after the next big idea. (Except my barn dream, I’m still working on that one.) There have been so many times in our marriage that I have changed course, took a risk, jumped in before looking, tried something new, done something on a whim and he’s never even batted an eye.
I’ve left town with all the keys to everything, made him go inside and change his clothes before we go out in public and left him with the children more than once to go on vacation without him. I know I’ve said things that weren’t kind, and apparently I have a look I give that has been lovingly labelled as the “death stare.” I’m pretty sure the kids love him more than me because he stays out of all the drama while I’m neck-deep in teenage/young adult high-stakes emotional negotiations. Deep down I’m worried that I’ve been a bad example of wife-ery to my kids and I pray that God will forgive me for all the times I’ve utterly failed.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s not perfect,
but I feel like he’s loved me better in this relationship.
I’m working hard to catch up.
I would never assume to know the 10 secrets to a great marriage (Who decides these secrets anyway?) and no two relationships are the same. Here is what I do know, based on almost 22 years of marital imperfection –
We trust each other.
We forgive each other.
We laugh and act like weirdos.
We would do anything for our family.
We don’t hold grudges. (Well, I kinda do but I’m working on it)
Every time I say, “Tell me.”
He says, “It’s going to be alright.”
These are the things that hold us together, through the ups and downs.
I’ll never write a book on how to be the best wife in the world. I can’t be an expert on something that is impossible. I’m learning to control the way I respond and to be better than I was the day before. Instead of reacting, I’m practicing patience and realizing that I don’t always have to be right. I’m trying to communicate better and not keep my feelings bottled deep down inside. At the same time, sometimes I need to guard my words, and not say exactly what I think. (But, thank you for finally buying new jeans this week.)
Instead of focussing on what he could do better, I’m working on my heart. He has his own journey to navigate, that’s between him and God. I can’t micro-manage his progress, even if I wanted to. Rather than worrying about what I think is wrong with him, I take a long look at myself. That’s between me and God.
We both have hard work to do.
Being the best versions of ourselves, brings hope and healing into all our relationships. It’s not easy, don’t be fooled.
But, we have determined to love imperfectly through every season.
Whether marriage feels hard.
Whether marriage feels great.
With a simple promise,
It’s going to be alright.