12 Years of Learning

I can't believe it has been twelve years of marriage for me and my husband.  I am in disbelief because it has flown by so fast, but also because staying married didn't come easy for us at times, too.

No, marriage was never easy for us or maybe it just wasn't easy for me.   

Despite the hard times, misunderstandings or really serious problems we faced, we definitely have learned a lot.  And it's because of those rough times that I believe we are here for the better today.  We realize what it means to suffer together and I think he more than I.  He has definitely had to put up with this woman who was(and still struggles to be) such a control freak and bent on her hyper-religious ways.  Well, we were both struggling hard to keep our ever enlargening facade up in the religious world.  Our rigid minds made it hard to give each other any room to breath, emotionally, physically, spiritually. 

He thought he was marrying a sweetheart and I thought I was marrying Prince Charming, then reality set in that I was far from knowing how to be a good or even decent wife.  He was closer to the saint than I ever was.  And I look back on these twelve years in reflection and wonder how are we even here today, married still?

That is a good question.  I suppose the real God of heaven held us together, despite the world whispering in our ear for us to get a divorce or at least it felt that way.  But there is much to discover in understanding this married life together, purging the old ways in favor of new ways.  Finding that there is, indeed, a better way of living this life as married.     

I realize that I spent the better part of my life before I was married being controlled by others, some good, and some very bad.  No excuses, but I do believe this life of religious control over me set me up for failure in my own marriage.  I was so groomed for control and for a tainted view of who God was and what He expected from me.  The control was handed down through me on to those around me and I have learned that attempting to have control over others and especially my husband has no place in my life.  It hasn't brought me good things and for this I have denounced that way of life.  I denounce it daily and it does not always yield success, but I continue to try. 

The hyper-religious aspect of our marriage was definitely a huge problem.  Him telling me what to do, me telling him what to do and so on.  A clash of standards, a clash of many things, but we have learned.  Such high expectations we had of each other have crumbled.  We have learned to give each other room and not to try to control the other any longer.  It, the giant, ignored, sleeping elephant in the room, had become a bad habit.  All that sounds horrible, but I bring you here, to the present, were there has been an overwhelming flow of life going upstream toward peace and life in our home in the last four years with ebbs in our flow, of course, the tide has definitely change.  Sometimes we need renewal in seeing where we would have the direction of our marriage go.   

Why the change?  We have re-examined what it really means to be a Christian.  Love is our credo.  We have standards, but they no longer take over the love factor, or, at least, we try.  We have ideas and they differ, but I see that my husband is the one God gave to me to live with forever and I am clinging to that.  I am hanging my hat on my guy.  He is the mostly sainted one in our married life, but beyond any of that, I truly need him.  We truly need him.  I couldn't imagine life without him, really.  It would definitely be a life without the one who was closest to you and knew and understood you the best.  What a sad life that would be without him.  

And so this life of learning together continues even now.  I made a huge blunder today.  In honesty, I made many huge blunders today, or yesterday rather.  I was tested in a major way and I failed the test, I wounded my friend, my best friend and on the eve of our 12th anniversary.  How could I do it?  Well, it wasn't on purpose, but indeed, regretted.  It dawned on me, as I drove home from the store, that I don't have to keep doing this, making these choices.  I know profound, right?  I ran in the door, hugged my best friend and said I was so sorry.  I couldn't say it enough.  I said it over and over again and the tears fell down his cheek.  I need to see that there is always more to learn in the next 12, 20 or 40 years and that I need to get better at this wife thing and I only hope that he will give this undeserving woman the chance of a life time to grow old together with him.        


Shari said...

Beautifully written! Again, I can relate to a lot in this post. We used to go to church but now don't, had many struggles but they are seemingly easier now, and the list goes on.

Thanks for the privilege to read.

Incongruous Circumspection said...

Thanks, kid. Serious congratulations on the anniversary. I am enjoying getting to know you both through your writing.

freetothink said...

Shari and IC, thanks so much for your kind comments here. Been reading both of your blogs lately and am enjoying getting to know you both better,too. Thanks for your support and encouragement. Kid? I think we are the same age, IC!

Incongruous Circumspection said...

My hair is gray. Yours?

Robbie Grayson said...

Ah, how refreshing...! My wife and I learned several years ago that marriage is saying "I do" every day. The reality is that we can say "I don't" if we want by our actions. I watch people put so much faith in their marriage vows that they do not believe a million negligences can end it. I learned a week ago, yesterday and today that three very religious couples I know are divorcing. It sucks, but people who are happily gnostic walk will always suffer such great disappointments. Congrats on the twelfth anniversary!