The dress is back from the cleaners packed in a box for some future when your daughter will say, “Mom it is so old fashioned I want to pick my own dress”. The pictures framed and scattered throughout your first home. The thank you notes are written to all the kind people who provided you with blenders, toasters and other small appliances you have yet to return or figure out uses for. Your tan is fading and frankly, it is time to return to real life.
You’re married! That ring on your left hand announces to the world you are officially off the market. Do you wear your ring? Does your spouse where his / hers, if not why not?
The strangeness of married life, even for long-term couples takes some adjustments. People may treat you differently now. During the early days of your marriage, you may find yourself resenting some of questions that come your way, such as;
How about joining us for a few beers after work tonight? Why don’t you call your husband / wife to make sure it is okay with them?
What? You’re an adult; you don’t need permission have a couple of beers after work. Think though, is this simple phone call asking permission or is it common courtesy extended to your spouse.
Another thing you may find happening is you aren’t invited to the boys / girls night out events you were once part of. Now that you are part of a married couple, your single friends may not feel comfortable inviting you. Perhaps these events were ‘hunting’ expeditions and now that you are off the market, your presence isn’t as welcome as it once was.
Yes, some of your friends may drop away. Don’t worry you will make other friends. Married friends, you will meet them over time and form new bonds. Some of your single friends of course will remain and as they pair up their new partners will join the elite circle of Married.
So what does love have to do with all of this? Marriage is the choice we make to bond with that one person who makes our heart race and feel at peace all at the same time. Despite our personal idiosyncrasies, despite our flaws we make the choice to live with, fight with, love with this single person for our lifetime.
Love has everything to do with it!
We agreed, even if we didn’t understand how marriage would change us, we knew we wanted to be with this person. We agreed we were going to walk side-by-side for our lifetime, even if we didn’t understand that there would be some unplanned loss of ‘independence’. Love has everything to do with our choice and everything to do with how we conduct ourselves from here forward. Love informs our actions, every day of our married life; whether it is a great day or a bad day love informs our choices and decisions.
While I believe there are always compromises, they are not compromises of self nor are they sacrifices. Love has everything to do with how successful marriages are made and sustained over time. Love of self and love of our partner. Once the bliss of the wedding is behind us the scales fall from our eyes, we discover marriage is hard work. Putting the person we love in front of us as we make decisions, helps us to make informed decisions that are good for our marriage and prevent us from reverting to the selfish behavior and decision-making of our single life.
Marriage is hard sometimes; Love is Easy.