Ladies, I don’t know about you but when I was a little girl I would sit in my room and imagine myself married. Everything was wonderful. The home I lived in was beautiful, fresh flowers in it every day, white picket fence, and sparkling clean. It was spring outside and the birds were chirping. Everything the fairytales told me it would be. I had my prince charming, why would it be anything less than perfect, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I would be in pure bliss.
What a crock of shit.
Now don’t misunderstand me. I love my husband and I waited many long and lonely years to find him. I was in my late 20’s when I met him and I was over 30 when we married. Many days are wonderful. He occasionally sneaks up behind me in the kitchen and wraps his strong arms around me and just hugs me and kisses the back of my neck. He comes home and most days there’s a smile when he sees me and always a kiss. A hand across the couch to caress my head and rub my back every now and again. Occasionally he rolls over and wraps his arms around me as we sleep and I feel more secure than I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I watch him play with our son and as they both giggle and horse around I feel that feeling I thought I’d feel. It’s those little things that remind me of the fairy tales I used to read. These little things that remind me why I got married in the first place.
And then there are other days when my hormones are raging and I hate the world and it feels like the world hates me. There are little fights and then bigger fights. There are days when it would be easier to pack a bag and go to a hotel for the weekend than stay and figure it out. There are weekends when I think I’m going to get alone time to recharge (as much as one can do with an almost 3 year old) and then it doesn’t happen. There are days when all I want to do is be alone and be able to watch whatever in the hell I want on TV. There are nights when every little movement in bed drives me absolutely crazy and it would be easier to sleep on the couch. It is in these moments when we have a choice and ladies it is a big one. It is an important one.
We have the choice to reach across the pillows and put your hand on him. You have the choice to lean into him. You have the choice to seek him out in the kitchen and hug it out. You have the choice to show some small bit of affection. You have the choice to curl up in a ball, build up another wall, and shut down or you can in those little moments accept grace and open yourself up and allow love. I’m not saying this choice is easy and sometimes I just don’t have the strength for it. Sometimes I REALLY do just NEED to be alone. To take a drive to the store, to take that extra 5,10, or 30 minutes out to clear my head. Some days I really do need to go for a walk all by myself and some weekends I am ever so grateful that he chooses to go into the mountains. But other times instead of retreating I lean in. I lean in and give more and it is in these moments I know true grace. For it is in these moments that I realize that life isn’t about just me anymore. It is one thing to open your life and your heart for a child and it is entirely another to do it for a grown adult. And to repeatedly do it day in and day out when everything else seems to be going to crap. I urge you to lean in. You may find a hand meet yours under the covers and it may make your heart swell in a way you haven’t felt in a while. These are the quiet moments that make a marriage last. These choices, day in and day out. Love is hard. Marriage is amazing and ranks just under motherhood as the hardest thing I’ve ever done.