The fact that I was 34 years old when I got married this past July does not make me an old bride, in my humble opinion. What it does make me, however, is someone who has had the opportunity to observe many marriages, both successful and failed. If I focus on the marriages where both partners are clearly happy, where both have – through the years and in many examples decades – continued growing personally and spiritually…am I looking at the union of two perfect people who just got really lucky? The simple answer is no. We’ve been hearing it since we were kids: No one is perfect. So how, then, do some people make marriage work, thrive in fact, and others fail or stay put…unhappily?
I am no expert on marriage, that much is true. I am just shy of being two months in, and I’m going to be painfully blunt here and say it: Marriage is hard. It isn’t hard every moment, don’t get me wrong. Some days call for sweetly smooth sailing and you look up to the sky, if you’re this kind of person, and whisper silently, “Thank you.” Other days, you whisper other words. “Is he being serious?” “Patience, Elizabeth, patience.” I make no false pretenses when I am sure my husband whispers similar sentiments to himself about me.
As the title of this post suggest, I
believe know that love is a daily decision. My father once told me when I was complaining to him about someone that in life, you have to always consider the positive attributes in people. Sure, you’ll find plenty of negative things to gripe on and on about. But what about all the positive things, from admirable qualities such as a strong work ethic to the simple things such as how the person in question surprised you once with a steaming mug of coffee without you even asking?
It is so easy to get caught up in the mundane aspects of life. It is so easy to let yourself get a little bored. And we can all agree it is so easy to assume the grass is greener. But we know better. During times when I am tempted to complain or criticize, I have found in my very short time as a wife that my heart swells with love when I look at my husband with kind eyes..the same way I hope he looks at me, even when I am not at my best. Last night, we celebrated my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday at a lovely restaurant. As I sat at the table surrounded by my new family, I became reflective and appreciative. My husband was talking to his father about work-related matters, and I just quietly listened and watched him. I looked at his strong arms, his deep green eyes, his confident manner. And I fell in love all over again. I chose love.