🎶 Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage …. 🎶 We all remember the infamous theme song to the hit sitcom Married with Children. Not exactly the greatest depiction of true love and a strong marriage – or was it? With so many romantic movies, books and tv shows skewing our perspective on what a happy marriage should look like, it’s no wonder why so many couples are finding themselves unhappy.
I recently read a blog post entitled “Marriage isn’t for you” written by Seth Adam Smith. He eloquently wrote about his personal experience and perspective on marriage, as he reflected on the advice given to him by his father. To paraphrase and simplify, he basically stated that marriage isn’t for you. It is for the person you love. It is a selfless act, to show your partner how you can love them, make them better, be there for them. It was a beautiful admission and reflection of how we often find ourselves in a selfish state, wondering what’s in it for me?
It resonated deeply with me, as I could relate to him on many levels. Being married for over 10 years and 2 kids later, I have found myself experience the many moods of marriage. The bliss, excitement, and passion of the early years – to the routine, stress, and frustration of the latter years. With such a sharp contrast in emotions, it is no wonder why so many couples find themselves feeling a lack or void as they transition through the different stages of life.
If we look at how we operate when we first meet someone or first get married, we will see how fully engrossed we were in the selfless acts of pleasing our partners. I can recall constantly thinking about my husband first; what he liked, how I could make him feel loved, how I could make him happy. And he in turn, did the same for me. But somewhere along the line, amidst the juggling of kids and work – and if you’re lucky, squeezing in time for date nights and me-time – we lost focus of what was important; what made the marriage blissful to begin with. I admittedly found myself selfishly asking, ” what’s in it for me?”. And it was in those moments that I felt a void; a missing. It’s not to say that there wasn’t love, because there always has been. But when we are in the selfish state of asking “what about me?, What’s in it for me?”, we stop selflessly giving and thus, we stop receiving. We break the synergy; the ebb and flow of marriage. Like many couples, we had forgotten that in order to receive love, we first must give it.
As I read Seth’s blog, I was reminded that the key to a happy marriage is to trust, love and give selflessly to your partner, while in turn trusting and receiving the same from them. In love, we find marriage. And through marriage, we find love.