I have on occasion compared my marriage to what others marriages look like from the outside. I’ve seen the way the marriage looks on the outside, what they show to everyone and how I feel about each person in the marriage. And I’ve looked at my marriage and said, “Hummm, we don’t do that. Does that mean he doesn’t love me as much or that I don’t love him as much because I refuse to do x, y or z.
Whatever the case I know that what I see is only what I can see from the outside, it is only what people want us to see of their lives and marriages.. It’s my one-sided view and I’ve been surprised and saddened on more than one occasion in the past 2-3 years. When I see marriages of close friends dissolve and fizzle and I wasn’t even aware anything was wrong, sometimes they don’t even know anything is wrong. Or when one half of that marriage turns into something I never imagined he or she would. It makes you re-look at your own marriage, it makes you wonder will this happen to us. Most of all it makes me realize that marriage isn’t easy and it’s hard work, and when the going gets tough what am I going to do.
Ike and I have been through some tough times, some of the things we have been through would make a person run for the hills. I know there have been times I have been ready to run and leave well enough alone. But there was always something that held us together. When we got together we both swore that it would be until death. #PERIOD. I had said that if it didn’t work out between the two of us I was going to become a lesbian and swear off men for life. He said that he would just harass me relentlessly until I came back to him. Yeah, this is my reality just so you know. I still chuckle whenever I remember that conversation.
Comparing your marriage to another person’s marriage doesn’t benefit anyone. When there’s something that’s weak in my marriage the only thing that I can do is work on making it stronger or breakdown crying like a little baby and blame it on someone else… Ok, not really! If something is out of my control accepting it and trusting God is the next best. But if I’m going to be honest I need to also be honest about my trust in God, or lack of trust in God.
Small back story. I was raised in the church, I spent almost every waking moment (when I lived with my grandmother) in church or doing some type of church function. To me the only bad part was I was the only child around, and because I was the only child around there wasn’t much I could get away with or do. I loved the attention and I learned a lot from my elders. Growing up I had this unconditional love for this imaginary guy, so much so, that my bio mother hated me. But that’s also a whole ‘nother story… She hated me because I was evil, or so she thought. I’m not saying I couldn’t be a handful because I was. I mean she forced us to memorize a new verse out of the bible every week and I had to find it. So, being me I would find one that I felt pertained to her specifically. Meaning my verses had ulterior motives, when she would yell at me I would recite a bible verse. When she would tell me she brought me into this world and she could take me out, I would gladly correct her that actually God brought me into this world and when he is good and ready he will take me out. I even told her at one point that her actions were nothing but the devil, yeah, and I never returned home after that comment…
What I was trying to relay with that short back story was that I was and now am a Christ Follower, I believed without a doubt that my savior lived and that he would be back one day. But my silly humanness started questioning things in my life, repeat things in my life, things that I swore I had packaged up so nice and neat and placed in it’s rightful place on the shelf in the back of my mind never to resurface like that again. Life or God has a funny way of making you deal with things in your past or just re-looking at it in another perspective. When this started happening I immediately took a u-turn and refused to deal with it. Because, dammit, I had already done that shit. My past was my past and it had no right coming up. But I also questioned God and if he was real or some figment of my imagination. Because my questions were always, “How can a LOVING GOD ALLOW x, y, and z to happen, etc” I just could not wrap my head around a God that could see all of this and know it before it happened and then allow it. Who does that? The hardest part for me was that I started feeling like I did as a youngster, and when that happened my marriage became very strained. I worried about it, but not as much as I worried about myself and my children. So instead of focusing my energy on my marriage, I focused it on myself. So many told me that at some point I needed to be the focus of my own attention and so I worked on getting me healthy and better and happy.
I had to relearn that I am the keeper of my happiness and once I realized that I could be happier in all things family, and marriage. I was able to see my husband for what he was, a human that has faults, that has a past he is dealing with, that has hurts, etc. We both came into our marriage with some heavy ass baggage, some so big and heavy that they could have destroyed what we have. Because those bags started to open and spill out and we were drowning trying to figure out how to repack them and not deal with them. Whatever the case, me starting to deal with my baggage really helped me to come in clear headed.
Now to switch up the conversation to Passion in Marriage. I personally think it’s realistic to expect to have passion in your marriage all of the time, just kidding. If anyone knows me I’m not the mushy type of person. As parents of 3 young children, Ike and I aren’t able to do a lot of the things that we did in the beginning of our relationship when it was just one kiddo in the house. Things are different now, we have kiddos that are more active, getting older, wanting to do more things, staying up later, just plain busy. And to be honest we are in a different season of our lives. This season looks a lot different than what I expected, but it is what it is and I am learning to embrace it.
I have never been a touchy feely (yeah I made up that spelling) type of person, I love my children and my husband but I can love you from a distance. I have a personal space thing and when you step over that space (without my consent) I can get pretty annoying. My husband learned that when he would walk in the house and smack my ass or grab for my boob … I let him know I am not a piece of meat and so I would appreciate if you would not do that. He heard none of that, so I started doing it to him… yeah he learned quick, because he hated when I did it to him. But I did have to learn that he loves affection and when I touch him, and he had to learn that I like “affection” it just doesn’t always have to be by touch (it’s a childhood issue that I don’t think I will ever get out over). Whatever the case, us learning about our likes and dislikes has really helped our relationship. We have started to date again, and dating is fun so our relationship is fun. Because we have moved to Texas and don’t have a trusted sitter yet, we have had to adjust how we go out as a couple. We do dates in the morning while the kiddos are at school, we go out to lunch, catch a new flick, go for a motorcycle ride or whatever the day brings. We schedule movie nights, granted most of those have started with the two of us sleeping on the couch because we fell asleep within 10 minutes of the movie starting. Whatever the case, we are working on us now. And working on us has brought us closer together, after all he is my best friend and I his.