My second date with my now husband was to a bible study at his church. It was ironic that the pastor was teaching about the word love. He broke down the difference between “falling” in love, and making a conscious decision to be in love. That bible study session really helped to form the foundation of our relationship. Though at times our bond appeared quite “fairytale-ish”, it has always been far from that. We made a conscious decision almost 17 years ago to be in love and to stay in love…This has not always been an easy ride, but love is just that…a journey.
On Saturday evening seven couples got together for dinner and a movie. Of these couples, all were married and the length of time varied from newlyweds to approaching 20 years. As we all embraced and waited to be seated for dinner, the men naturally gravitated towards each other, as the women caught up on what’s been going on since we last saw each other. Somehow the ladies conversation led to marriage and we all found ourselves giving some words of wisdom to the recently married young lady. It wasn’t a male bashing or even a marriage “woe is me” session, but more of honest expressions of the ups and downs that is a marriage. One person eloquently stated that it is not a fairytale. Life hits you hard, and it is your friendship and foundation that will or will not see you through the valleys that we ALL go through. As we sat down for dinner, I felt a sense of pride that in this day and age, there were seven couples that have beaten the statistics of divorce. Each couple is going through their own drama in their individual worlds, but we were all able to come together and put it all aside for a couple of hours. We were able to laugh at ourselves, our mates, and just enjoy being with others that are traveling similar paths. I have no idea what the future holds for any of us, but the fact that we have made it this far is an accomplishment in itself.
To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure how the evening was going to turn out. There had been some trepidation from some of the guys that they didn’t want the evening to turn into an argument, especially since the movie that we were going to see was “Why Did I Get Married Too”. Coming together with all these different personalities was therapeutic for all. Though dinner conversation never got too heavy, what was evident is that we ALL have had to come through something to get to where we are now. It is comforting to know that you are not the only couple who have had dark days, and that no matter how pretty the picture on the outside looks, we all have our battles to fight. I remember my wedding day like it was yesterday. I absolutely felt beautiful and happy from the inside out. I had no idea that the “prettiness” of the day would lead to a voyage of amazing peaks and scary valleys. As our dinner closed and the conversation came to an end, one of the guys left us all with some very poignant words of wisdom. I will try to sum it up in my own words…what he expressed was that marriage is not easy, but it is worth fighting for. Do what is necessary to keep it, nurture it, fix it, and make the decision that there is no other option than to make it work. That is not to say that you should stay and make something work that brings you no joy, or is physically/mentally abusive. What he was saying is not to just throw in the towel when things don’t work out exactly the way that you imagined. Tap into that “something” that made you “fall” in love in the first place. The movie was a bust…but touched upon real issues that married couples face. Date night with some really great friends was fun and a much appreciated night out. We should do it more often. We need to be a source of strength and encouragement to each other as we continue to navigate through our lives as husbands and wives. At one point I wondered what the newlyweds must have been thinking, but they have one up on all of us…They got to witness the stories of married veterans, which is more than most of us had when we started our journeys.
Our next date night is coming soon...Look for the Evite :-)
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