Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Is it forever?

I had an interesting conversation with one of my neighbors yesterday. I am just getting to know this woman and really through her girls who skate at the same rink as my boys. I know she is divorced and have put together that she has a new partner. The girls' father is remarried and it is his wife that takes the girls to ice skating most of the time. Yesterday though my neighbor was on rink duty and we started talking about taking kids to all their activities. My neighbor was happy to see her girls skate but was more than happy to let this duty fall to their stepmom most of the time. She mentioned that she gets every Friday, Saturday and Sunday "off" while the girls are with their Dad. I know she loves her kids but like any mom she enjoys a little me time, a little time to be off the mommy clock.

While I adore my husband, in my moments of exhaustion I can see some advantages to getting to split the parental responsibility between two sets of parents instead of full time sharing family life and being the one always on duty.

Okay, just writing that not only makes me feel guilty but also shows how far off the tracks our society has gotten.

To my neighbor marriage is a temporary state, something you commit to for a time. And then as you both change and grow, usually apart, you divorce and go your separate ways. No muss, no fuss. At least not for the grown ups involved. Except I doubt that is true even for the grown ups. While I understand this view in the modern world, I don't understand one's need to insist that this view is true for all. Because while the fairy tale may not be true, that we live happily ever after, after thirteen years of marriage I am still convinced that I am with my life partner.

I believe marriage is forever, which is why I took it very seriously when I made the decision to marry my husband. Yes I was in total infatuation/lust love with the man, but I also admired who he was as a person. I knew that in five years there would be times when I did not like him or us together but that would be true of anyone I married. This actually happened sooner than I expected in year three but we were both totally committed to being married for 80 years and working together to make it work, and work well. More importantly we were, and are, both more committed to God and following His commands than our own selfish desires. In the moments we often fail, saying a mean word, quickly snarking or putting our schedules ahead of the other person. We let our egos get bruised, our hearts get pierced and our resolve tested. And then suddenly God's grace moves into the broken places. God's word speaks to our agendas and pain. Our connection is restored.

Marriage for me is forever! I would not want it any other way. How can you truly feel loved if you are only loved in the good times? It is when you both stay even when you want to walk away that you truly experience love. And once you understand that kind of love, a love deeply committed to being with the darkest part of you, that you fall in fall in love all over again.

I am still so in love with my husband. He is an amazing husband and father. He is still my first choice for a dinner date or vacation partner. My first choice for any conversation and the first call I make when I need to talk or share a funny story. I am one lucky girl, married to my best friend.

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