Monday, November 11, 2013

Thoughts on marriage

So there are a lot of blog posts floating around about how to do marriage "right". Not to be condescending, but these blog posts have been blowing up my Facebook feed, shared by people who aren't even married. Now I know everyone, especially the un-married, want to know all the secrets for a happy marriage, but I can't help but roll my eyes.  

These blogs all essentially say the same things: loving your spouse is hard work. Put your spouse before yourself. "Date" your spouse. Husbands protect your wives and wives respect your husband. 

But really, I just don't buy into any of that. I love my husband and our marriage but I don't comply with any of this advice. Our marriage isn't work, It's the easiest part of my life. I don't have to work to love my husband, even on his worst days. I think if you have to work to love your spouse, then you married the wrong person. 

I don't have to remind myself to be kind or forgive. Because I love my husband, it comes naturally. Not to say that we don't fight, but it never lasts and we both always apologize, forgive, and move forward. And it's not that we "make" each other apologize, we both come to it on our own because we love each other. It's simple and honest. 

I also really resent advice that advocates men "protecting" or "leading" women. Or encourages women to "submit" to their men. It's such stereotypical, sexist nonsense. No one is the leader in a marriage. It is an equal partnership. There are so many diverse roles and situations that arise in marriage, but I don't see how marriage can be expected to work if one leads and one submits. 

Caleb and I are partners.  We are more than friends or lovers. He is my absolute favorite person and there is no one else I would rather spend any time with. I am 100% comfortable with him. We talk about everything. We are honest with each other. 

There is no "magic" to our love. It is not, nor has it ever been, like a fairy tale. Those expectations lead to failure because real life, and real love, are not showy or flashy. Love is not fireworks or big grand gestures. Love is quiet contentment in everyday life. 

I can't speak for anyone except myself, but I really wish that our society could move past building up "big" love. I wish we could stop prescribing roles for marriage. It's so damaging when love and marriage are built up ( I blame movies and religion). Reality can't compete with that of fairy tales. So if you're searching for that kind of love, it's easy to see why/how marriages fall apart when they can't live up to these absurd standards. Love is so simple, quiet, and steadfast. 

I'm really not trying to give advice. I just hate to see so many young people believe something I know to be so false. I want everyone to be happy and to be in love. It's an amazing experience. 

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