How my marriage works
Sarahk and FrankJ are getting married. Go over and send your congrats they deserve it. It made me think about my marriage a bit. I started dating Better-Half when I was a junior in High School. We even went to the Prom together. Anyway, we got engaged when I was 19, here is how it went: Better-Half: oh, here, this is for you *tosses ring into my lap* Me: Gee! Thanks a bunch. Better-Half: Guess that means we are gettin hitched Me: Yep guess so, want some ice-cream? While the proposal was less-than-stellar, the marriage has been wonderful. We got married about 18 months or so later while I was still in college. We had a beautiful wedding. My aunt worked at a florist, so our gift from her was our flowers, my other aunt was a cake decorator, our gift was our wedding cake (fondly referred to as our penis cake, that is for another day). One of my mom's good friends was a caterer, she catered our shindig for $7.00 a person. My entire wedding, the dress, the tuxes, the church, the minister, the invitations, the rehersal dinner cost roughly $4,500.00. We had 150 people at my church fellowship hall (not being catholic, we could not have alcohol at the church, so that cut costs tremendously). Anyway, that is how it began. A couple of our wedding gifts really stood out. They were simple but inspiring and we have tried to govern our marriage by our gifts. The first was a simple wooden clock. Inscribed on the back was the following: Use this clock to remind you to: take time for one another, take time to laugh, take time to cry, take time to listen, take time to party, take time to relax. . . do not take time to dwell on things you cannot change, do not take time to rehash old hurts, do not take time to wound your partner, and do not take one another for granted. Together, as time spins, you will grow, take time for the good things in life, and remember not to give the bad things the time of day. It was just a little something from a friend who had just divorced after 20 years. He had put a great deal of thought into it because his marriage fell apart because he and his wife never let things go and would dredge up old hurts to throw back in each other's faces. The second gift that stood out was just a card (nothing in it) it said, "laugh often, and you will always be happy." My Better-Half is a cut-up with a really dry sarcastic sense of humor that would drive most people nutso but is endearing to me. We laugh, all the time. Before my son was born, someone told us to laugh a lot so that our child would be a happy child. He is the happiest of children. Besides laughter, we went into our marriage with a couple rules:
- we would never, ever fight about money. The theory behind this is that if we do or don't have enough money, that is simply a fact, there is nothing to fight about. Spend or no, it's just money;
- we would give our children all we could, even if we had to do without (a given); and
- we wouldn't try to change one another. We married the other person for who they are. We have grown together, and changed but not because the other one tried to change us.
Friends and family always comment on how close and sincere we are. We don't seem contrived. We understand eachother, can read one another, and we don't push. Our relationship is simple, because we can be ourselves, and know we are loved by the other.
We know that the other is always there when we need them. There have been times when my only solace was knowing I could come home to the Better-Half and a bowl of ice cream. My troubles seemed small when faced with the big world we've made together. I look forward to many wonderful years with Better-Half and our boy.
I have heard many people say that a marriage takes work, there are ups and downs, I have had them. More ups than downs. We have in the past, taken one another for granted and that hurts, but all in all, our marriage works because we pledged to make it work. We are not perfect, we slip, but we always get up. It seems very simple, and it is. I have accepted Better-Half as is, and I have been accepted, faults (and there are many) and all.
Ok, back to work . . .