So before I got married, I heard people say that marriage was work and I quietly thought to myself "WHAT!? Mine won't. My relationship with Jon comes easy". Wrong! We have been married almost 2 years and I can tell you with an honest, humble heart that we have a great marriage but it has taken work. I love Jon more than I did on our wedding day and the love continues to grow as we continue to work and grow as a couple. Our relationship still comes easy but marriage brings a million other elements of life. Money, faith, your home, your free time. Marriage is a compromise and unfortunately I know many marriages who do not view it that way. How many people do you know that admit "so and so wears the pants" or "yep my wife is the boss". Okay I admit that I am the COO of the house, I know what we are doing next Friday and in 3 Fridays but that doesn't mean I am the boss. The work I am talking about is more like teamwork.
Using the word "work" may give the situation bad connotation but it's not the work you dread on a Monday morning when your alarm goes off at 6:30am. It is the work that only improves your love, communication, trust, etc. Now you better believe this work was more like tough love for me at the beginning of our marriage. Being a grown woman on your own then getting married and making joint decisions is kind of a whirlwind, especially for someone like me who is independent in my decisions and forthcoming with the way I make things work in my life. It hit me hard when I realized life wasn't all about me anymore. My husband and my marriage trump everything else in my life and my decision making needed to reflect that. Again, I will stress that Jon and I don't ask each other for permission to do things but we actually enjoy making decisions together. I've learned to compromise, which again, was hard but there is so much beauty in it. I choose to do something Jon wants to do and I get to see his face light up with happiness and joy.
So unmarried friends, marriage is work. Teamwork. Fun-for-the-most-part work.
I actually thought of this post when we were playing tennis a few weeks ago. We've taken up the sport recreationally and are really enjoying it. And once again, teamwork comes into play. Jon has learned he can't spike and spin the crap out of the ball because I can never get them and it's not fun for me. I am a better server than him, he is better at volleying. A hard thing for me at times is to take advice/direction from someone and I had to get over that in this case. I was hurting my wrist hitting backhand and Jon gave me pointers. Even though it is a competitive game, it's team work.
Other examples of where Jon and I are constantly working/teamworking on our marriage: faith, dedication to discipleship/scripture reading, money management/finances, housework/chores, choosing what to watch on TV, disciplining Ernie, family relationships, friendships, and most importantly, our love for one another and how we choose to show it. Yes there are times I get cranky and don't want to compromise and I love my husband for not letting that slide (I am the stubborn one of the pair if you didn't guess). Our marriage isn't perfect but the imperfections are what allow us to grow and thrive. And we will continue to work for the rest of our lives.
Marriage is work, but it is fun work that pays off. Being married is the second best thing I've ever done in my life, first is choosing to follow Christ (which I am lucky to share that with my husband too).