It’s been awhile world. I’ve been busy trying to organize this chaos called life and find my place to fill this world. I’ve been blocked trying to decide what to share with you all and be able to take my readers in a direction of positivity. The last 6 months have been me trying to navigate and learn my new career, continue my internal growth, divide my attention between 3 tiny humans, help run a household, all while trying to make sure I keep my vows and put my husband first in all of this change we have going on.
I came across some notes I wrote at a wedding a few months back and I was inspired to share it with you. While we were sitting at this wedding in the beautiful summer, sunset hitting the horizon over the foothills of Appalachia, the pastor caught my attention with these words, “In marriage, everyday is like exercise”. As someone who wakes up at 5am every morning and 6 on the weekends to make sure I get my workout and “me” time in before the rest of my world is up, this perked my attention. It also put into words what I know we all have a hard time understanding: marriage takes work. We don’t really take into account what that phrase really means when our parents or grandparents say it to us. A lot of times, we dismiss it and say yeah we know, but it can’t be that hard to just love someone the rest of your life can it? Yes. Yes it can.
While my husband doesn’t make it hard, I know what it means. It takes a lot of effort at the end of a long day to stay up and spend an hour alone or even to be intimate. It takes a lot of work when I’ve gotten frustrated with my children to not snap at my husband. While we mostly agree, we’re both very stubborn hard headed people. So it takes a lot of work for both of us when we disagree to stop and see the others point of view and compromise. Or to agree to disagree and allow the other to try their way of handling a tantrum throwing 4 year old. It’s work when I’ve driven 5 hours and 400 miles in a day to come home and make my husband a gallon of tee. Because I have to remember he has been up and down and carrying 700 pounds that day and he’s tired too. It’s hard to carry on a conversation after I’ve talked all day, but I know my listening and engaging fills up our love meter. It’s lot of work when he’s worked 10 hours to come home and cook dinner because I’m so mentally drained I can’t think. Or to work all day and come home and wrangle a 4 year old into the tub because I’m sick. Or wrangle all three of them to gymnastics because I have a late meeting.
This is work. This is the hard stuff in marriage. Mentally and physically draining. Just like exercise. You push and you push and eventually you get tired. It’s why we work with others in the gym to hold us accountable and call us on our shit. These are the things that can cause us to move apart, fight, or become bitter and resentful. But open lines of communication are important. Feeling safe is important. I know at any time I can tell my husband, I feel like I need you to work at this tonight and he will not get upset with me and he knows the same. We know we can count on each other. The one question I ask every day of my self is, how have I leveraged my energy today to help my spouse? Have I let him know how much I appreciate him? Have I done something today to make his life easier? Was I selfish? These are the things we need to be asking daily. If you are having a hard time in your relationship, ask yourself these things. There is nothing my husband can do to keep me happy. My happiness is dependent on me, but he does compliment and grow that happiness. He does bring contentment, partnership, laughter, love, and a sense of safety to my life.