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February 24, 2017

How Marriage Saved My Life


How Marriage Saved My Life

Discovering What Marriage Could Be

If people knew what marriage was like, no one would get married. If they knew what it could be, no one would get divorced.

But no one knows what it’s like until they’re in it. It’s like parenting. How many times have you gotten parenting advice from someone with either no children or with one perfect child? But once you’re in it…up to your neck in real life…that is when you know what it’s like.

Marriage challenges us on nearly every level. Our selfishness is bound to surface. Our quirks and idiosyncrasies face opposition that they’ve never faced. Our preferences (of food, clothing, social activities, friends, spending, decorating, haircuts) must all now accommodate (or at least consider) another person. The values we hold dearest are confronted and the insecurities we’ve always maneuvered around are exposed.

And yet, marriage was designed to fulfill us in a way no other earthly relationship could. It was meant to provide us with true companionship. So how do these realities coexist?

Some people think that the magic is gone when the mystery is gone. I disagree…at least for my story. The magic has been in the mundane. The openness, the unfiltered reality of marriage, the day in and day out living, was exactly what I needed. Without it, I would have continued to hide. My quirks would have turned into oddities and dividing walls between me and other people. My values and preferences would have never needed consideration, because they could be entirely accommodated. And perhaps most devastatingly of all: my insecurities. I could hide. I could pretend. I could escape the watchful eye of honest relationship and maintain a sheen that only I knew was there. Without marriage, I’d be different; more shallow; more hidden.

If marriage was easy, I suppose it wouldn’t be that great. Nothing worth having comes easily.

Marriage saved my life. I don’t like the prospect of who I would have been without her.

Perhaps if you knew what it was like, you’d never have gotten married. But now you’re in it…and I pray you never stop discovering it could be.

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