Saturday, October 18, 2014

12 Things Marriage Is and 12 Things Marriage Isn't

So, I borrowed this from 12 Things Marriage Is and 12 Things Marriage Isn't.  I found it informative and pretty accurate.  I added my comments in italics where I had something to add.  And I realize this article was written by someone who has been married 24+ years.  We haven't been married or even together nearly that long, but I see the wisdom the author's writing.

12 Things That Marriage Is Not:
1. Marriage is not for sissies. It's hard work.  Yes, it is.  Granted, we haven't encountered some of the really really hard things some couples go through, but it ain't always easy, either.
2. Marriage is not about getting what you want all the time. It's not a dictatorship. It's not wanting to win all the time because that would mean the other person would lose all the time. May be OK for you. Not good for the marriage.  I hate losing, or being wrong, but that's life.  We have to support each other, and work together.
3. Marriage is not rocket science. The principles it's based on are really pretty simple. Kindness. Respect. Loyalty. That kind of thing.  And without those, a marriage is bound to fail.  I learned this the hard way in my first rodeo.
4. Marriage is not unfashionable. It stays vital. Even Brangelina must think so.  Absolutely!
5. Marriage is not in and of itself stimulating. Since you are with the same person over a long time, the two of you can get in a rut. You have to keep things fresh.  Oh yeah, very true.
6. Marriage is not about collecting things. The joys of marriage aren't tangible. You live them. That's what makes them so very special.  Nope, no collecting things.  Except my spoons.  I love my spoon collection.  And yes, I know, not anything to do with marriage.  LOL
7. Marriage is not for the impatient. Some of the best stuff takes a while to develop. You have to stick around to find that out.  You must have the patience of Job to make it in a marriage!
8. Marriage is not the place for criticism. For abuse. If it is found there, it will ruin any chance of true intimacy or trust and dissolve the hope that once might have existed.  I believe in constructive criticism - if something isn't going right, or if you're doing something that is hurting your partner, you have to be open and discuss the issues.  But keep it kind - no need for hurtful words.  Anger is okay, but it must be tempered with love and kindness.
9. Marriage is not a 24-hour repair shop. Your marital partner is not supposed to meet your every need. Some of those needs you may have to take care of yourself. Through your friendships or other activities.  Amen!  Brian and I have our own outlets for separate activities.  We enjoy hunting together, for example, but I can't always go with him and that's okay.  He enjoys his online gaming, and I am content to read or surf the net. 
10. Marriage is not self-sustaining. It does not thrive on its own. If all you focus on is the kids, you are making a mistake.  That's what date nights or date times are for!
11. Marriage is not boring. Two lives woven together can be quite exciting! There's just something about watching someone very different from you, living their life in an extremely different way. Up close and personal. You learn from that.  There is definitely never a dull moment in our home!
12. Marriage is not without conflict. Knowing how to disagree and work through anger and disappointment is probably the key to lots of stuff going well. Getting to that cooperating, mentioned in #2.  Very true.  You just have to work through it.  Kindly.

12 Things That Marriage Is:
1. Marriage is the potential for an intense, deep and diverse intimacy. Sexual. Emotional. Relational.  I've never known the intimacy I've experienced with my husband.  And no, it's not all about the dirty stuff - very raw, emotional intimacy can be difficult, but oh, so worth it.
2. Marriage is knowing someone has your back. Always. You have theirs. It's about interdependence.  Thank goodness for this!
3. Marriage is realizing that you have been seen in your worst times, and that you are still loved. There's an overriding sense of gratitude and security.  It's amazing to be seen at your worst and know you're still loved.  No matter what.
4. Marriage is sharing old jokes. Or some story that may be told over and over but it still makes you laugh 'til you are left gasping for breath.  Yep, it's always good to laugh over old funnies.
5. Marriage is getting teary-eyed together.  I'm the teary eyed one most of the time, but hubby gets that way sometimes, too.  We're there for each other through the teary-eyed times.
6. Marriage is thinking about the other one not being there anymore. And not being able to think about it.  Can't even fathom it.
7. Marriage is getting irritated by the things that always irritate you. Have irritated you for 24 years. Will irritate you for 24 more. And tolerating it because it is way overbalanced by the good stuff.  There are things about him that irritate me, just as I know there are things about me that irritate him, but yes, the good far outweighs the small irritations.
8. Marriage is not being able to wait to get home to share some little something.  My son wonders why we spend so much time on the phone when we're away from each other - because we love to share our lives with each other!
9. Marriage is wishing you were the one having the operation. Or the illness. Not him.  So true.  Except that nasty elbow injury last  year.  No one should have to deal with that kind of madness!
10. Marriage is sometimes fighting. Trying to slowly learn to fight more fairly. To apologize. To listen. To learn. To find resolution.  Thankfully we don't fight often, in fact it's extremely rare.  But when we do, I think we fight fairly - no name calling, no belittling, none of those horrible hurtful things that unfair fights entail.
11. Marriage is about vulnerability. Giving someone the right to hurt or disappoint you. While simultaneously giving that someone the opportunity to bring you tremendous joy and laughter.  The saying is true - the ones you love the most have the most power to hurt you, but you trust them not to.
12. Marriage is a promise. A vow. To try the hardest you have ever tried in your life. Marriage is a place for the achievement of a personal integrity like no other.  Amen.

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