Several years ago one of my husbands close friends from childhood got married and we went to his wedding. I didn’t really know the woman that he was marrying, but I don’t like to give wedding gifts that I haven’t put some real thought into. I think that somewhere along the line my mid-western roots taught me that it was rude not to give thoughtful gifts. After searching, I finally found a pair of giant bed pillows with cases that had the bride and groom’s names on them and the phrase, always kiss me goodnight.
So, yay me, good job, the pillows were adorable. The couple separated in less than two years. I feel sort of terrible…not that I could have known or anything. I wonder a lot about those pillows though. I’m sure they’ve probably been incinerated by now. I wonder if our friends followed the advice written on them. I know that it is simple and cliché, but it’s pretty good advice. When you go to sleep fighting, things do not magically sort themselves out overnight. There is work to be done. It’s time to talk and to listen, and to put the argument to sleep before you end the day. Or at least the time to agree to disagree. That you still love each other, and you can hash it out tomorrow.
My husband and I will have our twelfth anniversary this year. We are both truly deeply blessed by the simple fact that we managed to find each other. I think that my husband is the greatest man on earth. He listens to me and I listen to him, and together we do the work to make a good marriage. The last twelve years have been far from easy. We’ve taken seven foster children into our home. I delivered twins, and then eighteen months later my youngest daughter. We have been through family crises, psychological struggles, numerous job changes and relocations. Through it all, even through the rough patches, we’ve been pretty happy.
I can only shed a little light on why that is. My husband and I really communicate, I mean really communicate. At the roughest times in our marriage we have literally stayed awake the entire night so we could talk things out while our kids were sleeping. I don’t know if this approach can work in every relationship. I know that some people simply have quiet personalities and they don’t talk a lot. Maybe I am only suggesting that it’s worth a try to put a little more effort into communication. It has definitely worked out for us.
I don’t lie to my husband. I am being really honest here. I do not lie about the teeny tiny little things, or the big ones. They are all the same. I make a constant effort to be truthful with him about thoughts that go through my mind, which can be, quite frankly, difficult to share. It can be a scary thing to do, and embarrassing. I know that it is a really good exercise for me though, because this is the guy that I am married to. He is my best friend and I value his opinion above all others. If I can’t trust him to accept me as I am, I can’t trust anyone.
I decorated our bedroom wall with lines from one of our favorite songs. I think that it basically captures how we feel about each other. It’s a good mantra. I think that if we keep giving the trust that we do to one another, and keep putting in the work, this partnership is going to be a lifelong one. Marriage is not easy; I consider it one of the many jobs that I do in my life. It is so awesomely rewarding though, it is worth so much work. It gives me comfort, safety, security, and love. It gives me the courage to take on life with a smile on my face.
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