Friday, September 25, 2009

Love & Marriage, Love & know the rest

I was reading Erica's blog about the marriage her and Anthony share. Yes, they are newlyweds so marriage should be a walk in the park for them, but you know what? Not all newlyweds get to have that walk in the park...Toby & I didn't and Erica & Anthony haven't either. Sometimes you get married and before the ink is dry on the license life is coming at you with both guns and from all angles. So this all got me to thinking...

We hear divorce statistics all the time (apparently Indiana has a few counties right up there toward the top of the list :( ) And, don't get me wrong, I think there are times when divorce is 100% the right choice. I would never live in an abusive home or with a man who cheated. But what I've been thinking about are the marriages where those situations don't exist. How happy are the people who are still married? No one tracks how happy we are with our marriages. There's no statistic for the people who are married but hate their partner or wish they weren't married. Which brings me to the question: How many happy marriages are left?

Recently, I made a comment about one of the many reasons I love Toby & am glad I married him. Someone asked him what he did wrong because they saw the comment and thought I was being sarcastic. Really? Has our society gotten to the point that you can't say something nice about your spouse without everyone assuming you're fighting and it's just a dig at the other person? That's just sick.

I've noticed friends who either don't list or barely mention their spouses online. People who post pisc of their family but leave out their spouse. Toby and I feel like a couple of outcasts. I would dare say that 90% of the people we know are either divorced or don't really get along that well with their spouse. That true, genuine closeness that I always thought was a benefit of marriage seems to be gone from our society today. I find that extremely sad.

Toby & I have been through A LOT. Just when things look up for us, it's usually just life taunting us before something else comes crashing down on us. But, even with all that has gone wrong, I can still wake up each morning thankful for him & Liv and the life I live. It's hard for me to remember all the bad stuff because I feel surrounded with so many blessings in my life. Do I get down in the dumps? Oh yeah, but it usually only takes me a minute or two to remember what is really important and how blessed I truly am.

When Toby & I were dating I once said it would be me & him against the world. At the time I said it as a joke, but there has been so many times when that did and still does feel true. He's been strong when I couldn't be and I've carried him when he couldn't carry himself. That's what, to me, marriage is all about. Marriage is about being two people, yet one unit. It's being what the other person needs when they just can't be it for themselves. It's about maintaining your individuality while molding yourself into what your partner needs most at that specific time. It's being patient for a little longer when you want to scream, it's being strong when you want to cry, it's about realizing we gain the most when we are selfless.

I'm deeply saddened that so many people miss out on the benefits of marriage. I'm comforted in knowing that at least one person in this world completely "gets" me. Understands me, knows me & loves me anyway. I'm empowered knowing that this one person, who means the most to me, believes in me (even when I doubt myself).

Maybe society is looking at it the wrong way. Marriage isn't really the hard part - life is! Perhaps when we realize that, we will be able to see that marriage can be the answer to the difficult journey life can be, and then we will see more truly happy marriages. In the meantime, I'm going to keep on hugging my guy every day, thanking him for understanding what marriage is suppose to be like and for being all the things I need and want. AND, I'm going to keep on praying that I see more and more relationships like Erica & Anthony's which give me hope that maybe Toby & I are not alone...