Thursday, June 30, 2011

eSpecially Parents June Edition: Marriage

eSpecially Parents topic this month is marriage. It is not an easy topic for anyone to tackle because it is hard to be completely truthful about what goes on inside your own marriage - it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing to share the ins and outs of your relationship. And really, whose business is it anyway?

Well, I asked the moms of eSpecially Parents to share their marriage stories. Not all jumped to answer and I am sure they have their reasons, but marriage is private. However, I believe we can all learn from one another. Most of us have more in common in our marriages than differences and if we knew what was happening in our own marriage was happening next door, we would feel a bit calmer and normal.

Last week while visiting family in New York, I heard a story of someone who would go on and on about how perfect her marriage was every time her group of friends got together. Everything from sex every night to no arguments, etc. This person kept this story of perfection going for quite awhile. Finally one day she broke down and shared that the image she had created was untrue.

This image of perfection is the one so many people like to portray to the outside world. It takes a lot of energy to do this. Energy that could be used for so many other things.

Many months ago, a friend said something to me about how perfect Ryan and I get along. I looked at her dumbfounded - had we really given that impression? I quickly told her that we were a work in progress. Our first five years of marriage were spent in counseling. Divorce was always just below the surface of every argument. There were endless nights of fighting, crying and threatening ultimatums. Ugh...that was hard to write. Out for the world to see. But it is the truth.

With our 13th wedding anniversary looming in the very near future (hint, hint, Ryan), we are stronger than ever. What did it take to get from that last paragraph to here? Bits and pieces of lots of things - maturity, acceptance of who we married, our house being finished, Ben being born and committing to eachother and our marriage. Today, we like and respect one another. Love is important, but there's more to it than that.

It seems like a lifetime ago when our mariage seemed destined for ruin. And perhaps the experience made us stronger to be parents to Ben, Logan and Sean. Once they were in the picture, we adjusted our focus. A lot seemed to click in to place - the original reasons we fell in love came back to us. And we make a good team - our values and parenting styles are the same. We may go about getting there a different way, but in the end we have the same outcome.

We also go on dates once a week and plan to get away alone three weekends a year. We really look forward to these times. We still argue and annoy each other, but the undertone is never divorce. A fight usually means one of us is tired or hungry. We have learned to recognize this, move on and laugh about it later.

Over the next two weekends, read about the eSpecially Parents' stories about marriage. They say June Edition, but are being posted in July - I will take credit for the tardiness. I am on my summer time schedule, simply called: Chaos.

New to the eSpecially Parents Series? Get caught up here.

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