So we're in a small group that has been working through a book on marriage. A lot of the couples in our group have had, or are having, a bumpy go of it.
Eddie and aren't among them. Our marriage needs an occasional tune-up, but mostly its just pretty easy. That is not to say that our life together has been easy, but the actual relationship portion of things has been less difficult than what most people deal with.
So Eddie and I have been asking ourselves, "Why is it so easy for us when so many around us struggle." I guess that sounds arrogant, but it's a sincere question. Here's what we've come up with:
-Some of it's blind luck and grace.
-Most of it is having gone into marriage with an accurate perspective on what marriage is about, and how much it costs.
We got good council that went like this: "Marriage isn't about you're happiness, self-actualization, contentment or comfort. It's about you loving your spouse in a way helps him/her become his or her very best self. It will, more than likely, be uncomfortable for you and cost more than you can imagine right now.Sometimes to do this well you need need get some training. But people invest in the things they care about. If you care about your marriage you'll get smart about how to do it well. Learn to fight fair, and love well."
So, yeah, marriage is easy once you've resigned yourself to the fact that it isn't really about you at all. All of the sudden you discovered there isn't that much to fight about. You're too busy trying to do the best thing for the one you love.
NOTE: GIANT SIZED CAVEAT IS THAT THIS ONLY WORKS WHEN BOTH THE HUSBAND AND WIFE BUY IN. WHEN ONE OR THE OTHER OF THE PARTNERS IS BEING A SELFISH ASS, OR AN IDIOT DETERMINED TO STAY IDIOTIC - MARRIAGE JUST STINKS.
-And that is where the blind luck and grace comes in. Neither Eddie or I have the misfortune of being married to a selfish idiot.
-Which is not to say, necessarily, that if your marriage is bumpy that there is a selfish ass in the equation. Sometimes its just hard, and the situations, history, and personalities involved create complexity that could never be easy or simple. But even then it has the potential to be good. Just hard and good.
-For us to hand out marriage advice would be like those people with naturally compliant, bright and happy kids who look arrogantly out at the masses of less well behaved children and prescribe their dose of parenting wisdom. Some of the best parents I know have the most challenging children. And though it would be tidier to say that difficult kids are the result of sloppy parenting, sometimes it just isn't the case.
And so it goes with marriage. Some wonderful people, who work hard to be unselfish, and become students of marriage...well sometimes their marriages are still challenging.