My lessons on marriage

I have been through a crappy marriage that ended in divorce.  The more relationships I see in my life, the more I see the themes of what makes a marriage that doesn’t last.  And somehow, I have been incredibly blessed to have a second chance at marriage.  While it’s not perfect, it makes it all the more clear what was so terribly wrong with my other relationships.

  1. Be able to share your dreams and be taken seriously. Even the craziest ones you know will never become a reality, but you still dream them anyway.  Don’t  be afraid to express them.  He should hold them just as dear as you do, even if he doesn’t understand them, he can understand how you treasure them
  2. Even greater, he believes in my dreams no matter how crazy they are because he thinks I am somehow incredible enough to accomplish them and make them happen.  There is nothing too preposterous, too ridiculous that  I could dream that would make him think I am crazy
  3.  He didn’t marry me (and vice versa) because, “why not?”, or “I just don’t want to be lonely”.  Instead, it becomes a matter of, I cannot imagine my life being spent with anyone else.  I cannot imagine breathing without him by my side.
  4. He is my other half.  Not that I cannot be alone.  I have, and can have periods of time without him and make it just fine.  But there is a piece of my heart, my soul that is missing when he is gone. There is a piece of me that I found when we met, that I didn’t know existed, but once it was found, I cannot let go.
  5. He is my best friend. This sounds corny, but in all honesty- we have found new hobbies together, and continue to change and grow together.  We can do things apart, but in our foundation, we are always joined.  I care about what he cares about- if for no other reason but because I see how happy it makes him.  It is one of the greatest joys in my life to make him happy.  To see him genuinely smile and laugh and be at peace within himself is what fills my heart.
  6. He is honest.  In the good and the bad.  We talk about the good things, we dream and plan together, but we also hash out the hard stuff.  The disagreements, the disappointments.  We disappoint each other. We are human, fallen sinners.  But at the end of the day, I would rather live with the disappointments than without him.  And even more important, in these  solemn talks, we learn about each others weakness, see each other’s vulnerabilities, and shore up the weakness in our relationship to ensure we don’t crack or break.
  7. He challenges me to become a better person.  He sees my weakness, my struggles.  He never makes me feel lesser because of them.  Instead he provides me everything I need to work through them, get through them and come out on the other side ahead.  He has faith in me that even in my weakness, I will not quit.  He is there to carry me to the finish line if need be, but I will overcome, and finish.
  8. We are a team. No matter what life brings us, no matter what troubles or issues, we know at the end we will get through it together.  There is no purpose in pointing fingers, belittling, or trying to be bigger than the other.  By raising each other up we can get through the muck of life.
  9. We always see each other as greater then ourselves. My husband is everything.  I know he is not perfect, but I dwell on the one million things that are amazing about him, and how blessed I am that he chose to spend his life with me.  I have my favorite fairy tale memories of our dating that I constantly reflect on and form my image of who he is.  Yes,this gets littered with the nitty dirty things of life, but the positive pillars still stand.  Always.
  10. He has taught me how to be honest with myself and my emotions.  It’s ok to be depressed.  It’s ok to be angry.  It’s ok to be annoyingly happy.  It’s ok to feel whatever it is I feel.  Don’t hide it, don’t pretend to be something other than what I am today.  Talk about it, reach out for help if need be.  It’s ok to want to be alone, it’s ok to need a shoulder to cry on, it’s ok to talk incessantly about the new exciting things in my life. He is always on the other end whatever it is I am going through. Don’t be afraid of vulnerability.
  11. He is my safe haven. No matter what I have said or done, I am safe with him.  There is nothing I can do to make him not love me.  There is nothing he could do to stop me from loving him.  It is his nature to be true, honest and loyal.  It is a part of who he is that makes me trust him.  Not just a promise made with human lips that fades with time, but an enduring vow from the heart of his soul that continues for eternity.
  12. Pick your battles.  What really matters in life?  What is such a huge issue that it is worth challenging your relationship?  I’m not saying never challenge things, but choose wisely.  Most things in life aren’t worth fighting over.  most things will be forgotten my tomorrow, or next week.  It is the things that are foundation breaking, heart changing that deserve a fight.  Not the silly things that will be so soon forgotten anyway.
  13. Value and respect each other’s heart. Don’t play games. Don’t try to bring out emotions that weren’t there to begin with.  Don’t attempt to change each other.  I love him because of who he was the day I met him, and who he is today.  I will love him tomorrow and the day after, no matter how he changes or who he decides to be.  I know I will because of the pattern of his past. He is easy to love.  He is easy to live with.
  14. Marriage doesn’t have to be hard.  It is the greatest joy and happiness in my life. It has it’s moments of strife, but they are few and far between. Don’t ever settle.  Know what is important to you and stick to it. DON”T SETTLE.  Don’t think all women are bitchy, all men are pushy.  Don’t accept the stereotype and think that is normal or ok. Never settle for less than your dream.