What a week this has been for me with regard to marriage… Oi.
Last Friday night I had the chance to go to a wedding. Outdoor, perfect weather, very sweet. The young couple was clearly in love, the ceremony was both playful and authentic, the mother of the bride cried happy tears. Then came the vows. The bride and groom had written their own, and they went something to… this effect: “You are the most wonderful person that there ever was in the whole world and I love every single thing about you and I will love every single thing about you forever and ever! Every minute of every day! Forever! No matter what!!!”
Are you smiling? And rolling your eyes just a tiny bit? Yeah, me too. I wanted to raise my hand and say, “Um, excuse me? No, you won’t love every single thing about him/her every minute of the day… but that’s okay, you can still have a great marriage, so don’t worry about it.”
Then, this week, my husband and I had one of those dates… you know the kind, the kind that was supposed to be a Very Special Date. His birthday. Rented a hotel room, booked Grandma as overnight babysitter, bought a new outfit (might I just say, a GORGEOUS new outfit). Budgeted for dinner out, made plans, imagined romantic perfection… Uh-oh, right?
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying: disappointment is simply the distance between expectation and reality?
The day after the debacle (I didn’t even wear the damn outfit) and once again on speaking terms, my husband and I did an autopsy of the night. We determined: 1) it is important to communicate expectations OUT LOUD to your spouse, because they may differ, 2) when you have three children with different activities in different locations, two spouses coming from different work events, and a dinner date at a hotel, it is important to go over the who-is-driving-whom-where-and-
Several years ago, my husband and I went through a terribly rough patch. Very dark time for us. One of the moments he remembers as a turnaround point was one night when, after yet another difficult argument, I passionately told him, “I picked YOU! I chose YOU! I picked you because…” and then I went on to tell him WHY I picked him. All those things I loved about him. All the reasons why I picked him to have at my side for life.
Tonight, even if you aren’t recovering from a date night that went down in flames, tell you man why you picked him. Why you love him. Why you want him. Say it out loud. Beautiful gift, for both of you.