I’m not an expert on marriage. My own lasted 47 years. If I weren’t a Christian and trying to honor my wedding vows, they wouldn’t have gone on that long. And I might be the worse for wear because I stayed so long. But it doesn’t matter now. Its done. I’m standing where I’m standing.
Through my own perspective I can see that marriages struggle and often end because we have unrealistic expectations of them, of ourselves, and of one another. Somehow we think that once we’ve found the ONE, they will stay the one and we will stay exactly the same and feel the same as we do right now.
However, when we find one another, we are still incomplete works ourselves. No matter how old you are, you are still growing emotionally and intellectually. You’re not a stagnant thing or a still picture. You’re more like a video and the video has approximately 60 frames for every second you watch. That’s a lot of pictures.
Everything that happens to you causes you to flex a bit. To change. It’s like a dance. Or, if you like, a boxing match. You dodge this way and that. Duck. You step to the side or even back up a bit. We also lunge ahead. No matter how hard you contemplate an action, eventually you have to make a decision to either do or not do the thing.
Multiply that times two. You and your mate. Two people dodging, ducking, lunging ahead, side-stepping through the plethora of things that happen in our lives. Some of it stretches you and makes you stronger. Some sends you running into the arms of your mate for consolation and comfort. But you’re never quite the same after things happen. Perhaps its a survival instinct, to vary our behavior so we don’t get caught by surprise again or make the same mistake.
With all that going on, eventually you’re a completely different person than you started out to be. To make it even more complicated, that isn’t the end of the remaking of yourself.
Even if the exact same thing happens to both of you, you will probably react differently. Each event happens to a version of you that has already adjusted and changed, so its never really encountering the exact same you as before.
Are you catching on?
Your marriage or relationship with your mate is always in motion. The dance never ends. Events that occur are aiming themselves at a moving target. Allow yourself to grow and change. Allow your mate to grow and change. It’s a journey rather than a destination. You’ll never really “arrive” at marriage. You get in step with it and hold on tight. Together, two people can do more awesome than one.
When my children were young and I gave them an instruction, I often told them to tell me what I just said. I needed to know that they heard me. So. Tell me what I just said.