Being married offers a new set of rules, challenges, triumphs, and confusion. I can say this with some authority as my spouse and I are celebrating twenty-six years of our union. I am not going to gush on social media that our partnership is perfect because it is far from it. What I will say is that it has continued to challenge me to be a better person and to admit when I am wrong – which is hardly ever – but I have to throw the hubs a bone every once in a while.
The first ten years of our marriage was drowning in active alcoholism and the uncertainty of raising a child with Down syndrome. The next ten years was us finding our footing after Brian got sober while both us found a spiritual solution that seeped into our everyday lives. And now, with sobriety over sixteen years and both of us focused on being the best version of ourselves, we are finally in a rhythm. But, unlike what you see touted on social media, there is no smoke and mirrors with us. What you see is what you get. We are still a work in progress – both individually and together.
If I were going to give any advice to newly or soon-to-be married couples, I would tell you to be true to yourself. Don’t depend on your spouse for your own happiness. That is your responsibility. Be each other’s cheerleaders because the outside world is cruel and heartless. Work together because your union is your primary spiritual purpose. Invite God in because if he isn’t in the center of the union, then you are missing the most powerful player you have on your side. Accept the days where you aren’t very fond of your spouse because there will be plenty of them. Most of all accept each other flaws and all because that my friends is where you find your strength. That is when the “for better or for worse” portion of your union comes into play. It is hard work, but we are still breathing, growing, and evolving. That is the miracle of marriage.