Marriage gets a lot of bad attention. Start asking teens or young singles, and you may find a large percentage that aren’t interested in ever getting married. To which I say, shame on the married folks for failing to communicate the thousand reasons there are to love marriage. In this article, you’ll get a sneak peak into my marriage, and why I love being married.
Sleepovers every night – Sleeping together is the one thing couples can’t do until they’re married. No sleepovers. Then the wedding, and, every night—you get to have a sleepover with your friend. Do you remember standing at the door and saying good night and goodbye to your fiancé? Maybe you had a little ritual. Your relationship probably still has goodbyes, but not like the goodbyes of the dating days.
Shared responsibilities – I still do the laundry, and my husband mows the yard; but that’s not really what I mean. We have worked in ministry together, and in a small human sense, we share responsibility for the souls of people in our influence. When we first married, I told my husband I got married so I wouldn’t have to make any more decisions. He could make them all. That would never work, but it did represent the fact that I no longer had to be responsible for every decision from where we bank to what we eat. The decision making responsibility would now be shared.
Dreams for the future – I love dreaming about what our lives may become. We’re very involved in the care of our aging parents. Combined, they represent nearly 110 years of marriage. My spouse and I want to follow their pattern of longevity. Thinking about our future gives our marriage significance beyond our present day “What shall we eat? Or What shall we drink?” Dreams of our future keep us open to changes in our present.
The past – We have a past—together. We’ve made mistakes. We’ve grown. We have secrets, secrets we love, and secrets we hide. It’s ours. The incidents of our past and our reaction to those incidents have cultivated the relationship we have today.
Companionship – We laugh together. We travel together. We wake up together. We comfort each other. I married late enough in life to catch a lot of bouquets at friends’ weddings. I remember being single, alone, eating pizza and grading student papers. That was a good life too, but I love having a companion. We enjoy our time together. We don’t silently co-exist. We’re partners.
Sex – And if you thought I was going to share anything about our sex life, you are mistaken. Private.
Having a daddy/mommy/kids kind of home – Our marriage blossomed into a home, with kids. I love that our kids are growing up in a home where Daddy and Mommy are both there. We’ve shared some crazy times living out of suitcases and eating out of boxes. Calling our home stable and secure would be a stretch compared to many homes, but we’re all in this together. My husband and I still hold a very traditional view that says creating and guarding our home is our primary commitment.
Shared projects – I used to marvel at the couples we knew on our overseas assignment who studied language together. My husband and I were a scene out of Cyrano. I had the vocabulary. He had the pronunciation. Not one word of the entire language did we learn “together,” but “together” we could communicate in this foreign tongue. We bought a house that had been empty for months, maybe years. It needed a lot of work. Now if you’re envisioning that couple on the ad smiling at each other doing their DIY project together, you’ve got the wrong people. The way we share is one works inside and one works outside. Then we swap. Or maybe, one works on the bathroom while one paints the family room. Our “together” is quite different from my parents’ “together.” Mom painted the trim, and Dad painted the walls. Dad measured and cut the wallpaper, and Mom hung it. Mom washed the dishes, and Dad dried them. It was a learning curve for me to find what working “together” looked like for us.
Sharpening/Showing me my blind spots – I entered marriage thinking I pretty well had things together. Nothing like marriage to open the eyes. I needed to grow up. My pride and selfishness were destructive. My marriage has been a safe place to grow. We disappoint and fail; but our relationship is a safe place for two frail humans.
Someone’s got my back – I can count on my husband to be there through it all. I get busy in all my little projects, and I forget to watch my back. My husband sees the things I miss.
Your list may look entirely different than mine, but I’d encourage you to take time to think today about all the reasons you love being married. Use that list to keep yourself on track, to give your spouse a break, and to motivate both of you not to believe the lies that destroy marriages.
P.S. – If your marriage is in danger of separation or divorce, call us at (866) 903-0990 to speak with someone or use the form below to request more information about our Marriage Helper workshop for troubled marriages. We can help you save your marriage even in cases of infidelity, loss of trust, anger, sexual problems, and other issues. (If you’re thinking your spouse would never come, contact us by phone or the form below and we’ll tell you what others who felt the same way did to get their spouses there.) We will keep everything you tell us completely confidential. Our motivation is to help you determine if this workshop is right for you and your particular situation.