Saturday, August 3, 2013

For Better or For Worse

You know those famous words from traditional wedding vows. 

Marriage is a hot topic latley all across the board, whether it be planning for a wedding,  being married, or saving a marriage. The thing everyone seems to forget at wedding season is, "the wedding doesn't make the marriage".

 How true that is. 

You can spend thousands of dollars on decor and dj's but if you don't mentally and physically invest into your marriage, then the money you spent on a designer dress and 2 story cake was down the toilet.

I've been married a little over a year and with my husband for over 3 years. I, in no way consider myself an expert. But I do have my opinions.

Marriage is hard. 
It's not just rainbow's shooting out of sparkly unicorn asses. 

Let's rewind for a second.

My husband and I met the February of my senior year  in high school and while he was a wild 21 year old. That was the day I stepped on to the roller coaster, with no intentions of getting off. 

We started talking right away, there was an instant connection and maybe I was crazy for giving my number to a half sober guy in the McDonald's drive through at 10:30 at night. But I did and it was one of the best decisions of my life.

We had been talking and hanging out about a week or two when we decided to start "dating" officially.  This went on for about a month, then the first of many breakups happened.
We had a large group of mutual friends, a lot of douches in the mix. Through mixed messages we both thought the other was playing the other. So as fast as it began it was over. 
We avoided each other like the plague. 
A few weeks later, like it began alcohol influenced texting and a long talk lead to dating, again.
The summer went on, I was preparing to move for collage and right before I moved, he ended it. He couldn't / didn't want to try to handle a long distance relationship.
A week after I moved, we were back together.
3 months later, we were over, long distance wasn't hacking it. We decided to be friends and keep in touch, he began dating another girl in attempts to move on... that lasted a whole 4 days and we were back together. 
This was our last "break up"
We took a  two day break a month later and it ended in us never wanting to be apart again. We figured out how to make long distance work.

5 months later we were engaged.
15 months later we were married.
A year later I'm writing this post.

Are you noticing a pattern here??

No matter what, something some odd force always drove us back to each other. We fought during each and everyone of those breakups. 
Yelling, name calling, crying, throwing things (not at each other, just in general).
We were brutal, our break ups were like what you would see on Jerry Springer, minus the body guard to separate us.

It sucked. 
I hated breaking up.
But I loved him and he loved me.

When we were "dating" we argued a lot.
Nothing ever to important. We picked petty fights with each other.

We decided to go through marriage counseling with our pastor before our wedding.

That was the best decision ever.

Before when we would fight, we'd both be steamed, go our seperate ways and stay mad all day.
Now, after an argument, we both take a deep breath, apologize and come to an agreement on whatever we were arguing about.

We not only learned to handle our arguments and each other, we also learned a lot about each other along the way.

Our pastor had us use the book "Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts" By Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott. It had a main book and two workbooks. 

Yeah we both thought it was dumb, but after the first session we understood that this could help us.

I encourage anyone, no matter the stage of their engagement or marriage to look into counseling or even just these books for use at home with each other.

Another huge turning point in our relationship was watching the movie "Fireproof".
Our pastor encouraged us to watch it together.
We did.
It was powerful, emotional, and exactly what we needed.
I cried, he cried had something in his eye.
We hugged and held each other after the movie and just talked.
We talked about what we wanted to gain from marriage. What we wanted this marriage to be like. What we wanted from each other.

Honesty and Understanding were the major points.

So far at this point in our marriage we are on key.

We fight, still. 
Always will.

My mom always told me, that if you don't fight, then you have bigger issues coming.
She's been married for almost 31 years, I'll take her word for it. 
Her experience is one I truley admire.

My parents marriage is something I can only hope to have. They fight, they laugh, the love and they forgive. They are each others best friends. They never once gave up on each other, even when people said they wouldn't last.
Proving people wrong, they have lasted and as strong as they were the day they got married.

I'm pretty sure I found a marriage like theirs.
My husband is my best friend. We play video games together, we laugh, we cry, we yell, but the " I love you's" are constant. The hugs are endless and holding each other as we fall asleep is a nightly routine. 

As I'm typing this, tears are forming in my eyes. I love my husband so much. I would go to the depths of hell for him. We don't give up on each other and for us, divorce is not an option.

Not saying that if you are divorced, I look down on you  or you are any less of a person, we just have talked about it and we decided we would exalt every option before letting the "D" word become a thought.

A lot of people say we rushed into marriage, but we took the classes, we had the talks, we had the love and were ready for the commitment. 
We were ready.

Don't get married if you aren't ready. It just isn't fair to the other person.

I hope everyone get's were I was getting at with this post...

Marriage is not something to take lightly.

I leave you with one of my favorite things...

A recipe for a happy marriage.

What is your best piece of marriage/relationship advice?

- J

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