Most women when they come into a marriage, they come in with very high expectation. They feel that life will somehow turn pink because now they are going to live what fairytales make us believe: “Happily ever after”. With all the romantic movies, the chick flicks, the pictures every married couple is bound to post on social media platforms, we form a very different idea of what marriage truly is. Since early days, marriage has been looked at as: “Sacred” and “holly”. In all religions, ending a marriage is -almost- a sin. However, and with all what society forces us to believe, the statistics are showing otherwise. Wherever you go, people are getting divorced. Homes are being destroyed, children are being dragged from one home to another, and life is never the same after that, for every person involved in this dilemma.
Marriage if done right is a true source of happiness. It is the feeling that you have someone with you throughout the good and bad. It is knowing that no matter what happens the person with you is going to hold your hand and tell you that it will be OK. Marriage is knowing when to back off and when to move forward, it is knowing your partner and accepting their flaws, it is seeing the worse parts of them yet still love them to no end. It is mainly communication, communication and communication. It is a daily struggle to make sure you both are on the same page. It is a work in progress, just like we all are. The person you were when you met your partner is not the person you are today, you have changed and so did your partner, and so while this continuous changing and evolving is happening, your marriage is also moving forward, and it is your responsibility to keep track of things, because if you don’t, with every passing day, a bigger gap will form, and you will end up becoming strangers in your own home.
Marriage is a different kind of love, it is a love that is strong, free of doubts, joyful even in the most mundane situations. It is a love that gets tested every single day, and whether it makes it through the day or not, depends on how well are we going to communicate, how open are we with each other and with ourselves.
I met my husband almost 10 years ago, we were friends for a while, then together -in a relationship (Yes we were!! Don’t frown!)- then engaged, and finally married 2 years after we met. The people we were 10 years ago have long disappeared, the people holding the torch today are absolutely different people, yet we did it together, we explored who we were and who we could be together. We gave each other space to venture in the craziness of oneself, yet we held each others’ hands through those tough times, when we couldn’t see the hidden truths. We struggled to find a common ground where we both can be whoever we want to be, yet still be the same person we were to each other. We were hopeless together, we cried and laughed together, our hopes got crashed and we watched each other drawn, yet we held on tight, and we were each other’s anchors. We lost babies together and experienced what I would call”Seeing your heart being ripped out of your chest” together, and the love burning inside each one of us got stronger and clearer. Every single morning, I wake up, and pray God to guide us through the day’s challenges and hardships, and show us the way through his light and love. Every single day is a different scenario, and every day has its own drama, yet every single day we both believe and know that we are true to ourselves, we are honest and we are in this together, not because we are married, and marriage is sacred and because we have to be happy and in love, but because we both do want to be together no matter what life has for us.
No one ever enters a marriage with the intention of getting a divorce, no one! Yet people still do and I wonder why? The first thought that jumps into my mind is how society looks at marriage, and how it is somehow striped of any normality and taken into a whole new level. Starting from how movie makers show married couples, or couples in love who are getting married, and you would think they live in another galaxy. How life is literally “happily ever after” in their worlds. Therefore, every single lady who sees that expects that in her future life and marriage, and there she is, starting her new life already holding the bar so very high. In all the rosiness and the beauty of marriage, life unfortunately creeps in, and just “happens”. Things happen every single day, and every day is a different story. Not necessarily bad all the way, but the stress life puts on a marriage makes it impossible to have rainbows and unicorns dancing in your skies every single day.
What also really bothers me about this whole idea of marriage, is the “sacracy” of it. While I agree that marriage is a beautiful bond that attaches two strangers together, hopefully for life; it also attaches their families and makes everyone part of an even bigger family; but the idea that marriage itself is something holly and sacred is a little too strong for me. It puts so much pressure on this whole marriage thing and on us. How can I live normally when I am in this almost surreal, holly, divine, religious thing? Me a humble creature? Someone who is far away from divinity? How about a little bit of reality here? Marriage is simply the union of two completely different people, different ideas, different brains, different opinions, and different characters, who are linked to each other, living together, having kids together, making a family together, facing life’s challenges together, arguing over who will take the trash out, experiencing happy and crappy days together, and so on. It is simply NORMAL, nothing sacred or holy about it. Wait don’t hate me yet…! To me marriage is something secular, it is something as normal as life can be. It will go through ups and downs and that’s absolutely fine. It will reach low levels and rise up to even higher ones. And even though myself I see God everywhere I go, and I hold my faith closer and closer to my heart each and everyday, yet I still believe that for once we should see marriage for exactly what it is and that’s it.
Life already puts way too much pressure on us and on our marriages, leaving us struggling to even breath, there is no need to put even more pressure, just because society wants things this way. From now on look at your marriage as the most normal, common and ordinary thing. Take all the pressure off, and just be, you and your partner. Live life the way it presents itself to you. Forget about what society thinks, or how everyone expects you to smile and giggle all day long with your partner. Forget that you need to show that you are happy and just live, just be! Forget what people will think of you if you don’t see your marriage as holy and just accept the challenges that life will bring your way each and every day. Don’t worry if by society standards you are doing something wrong by not forcing yourself to fake it. Be real for yourself, for your partner and for your family. Articulate your worries, fears, and dislikes. Talk about how crappy some days are, speak up about the bad days and how sometimes all you want to do is leave. Be real, be normal, be you.
My advice to you dear friend is to live life to the fullest, honor your marriage by being real and true to yourself. Dissipate the idea that married people shouldn’t argue, shouldn’t slam doors, shouldn’t be mad at each other. Respect your partner even in the middle of a war, yet let your emotions come out as freely as can be, without worrying about what your friends, neighbors, or family might think. Respect, Honor, and immerse yourself in the goodness of your marriage by embracing the bad before the good.