They tell you marriage is hard. They don’t tell you how. They don’t tell you the raw ache you can physically feel during the hard times. They don’t tell you that hurting someone you love, hurts you as much as it hurts them. They don’t tell you how much your spouse will challenge you, and being challenged is, well, challenging.
Marriage is hard is the understatement of the century. It’s like calling getting your arms chopped off a flesh wound.
Everyone who has been married a significant amount of time knows marriage is hard.
But how many people know the fun, intense, beautiful joy that comes out of the difficulties? How many people realize there are fruits to this labor? Working on your marriage is like tending a garden. And in this analogy, you and your spouse are both the gardeners and the garden.
Tending a garden sounds peaceful. The thought of tending your garden might conjure up images of someone talking to their plants, gently patting the soil around the buds, knowing that they will bring forth beauty, sustenance or both. You will probably read the below quote in slow motion, because gardening is calming, romantic even.
Except, it’s not. Gardens certainly need TLC, but the ground need tilled, watered and fertilized. Roots need to be extracted. The soil needs raking and edging to prevent weed growth. And plants, plants need to be trimmed, pinched, pruned, all three of which involve some level of breaking or cutting off portions of the plant.
Tending to your marriage garden takes discipline and self-sacrifice. In the sacrificing, aka pruning, you will find that you weren’t giving up anything at all except what was holding you back.
At the time of this writing, I have been married 13 years. In that time, I have come to learn that marriage is hard.
But the year 2017 was life altering. Being married was harder than ever, but we, as both gardeners and the garden have finally begun to reap the harvest. And the 2018 harvest is plentiful.
My ability to love and be loved has grown deeper and wider than I thought possible. I am loved. I am wholly, truly, madly, deeply loved. I love him. I love him wholly, truly, madly, deeply. I can feel the love surge through my body. It is warm and electrifying. Soothing and passionate.
This love, this level of connectedness we now share is nothing I’ve heard about before, at least, not in real life or in the media. I want to tell everyone I know that this kind of love is possible. This deep, wide, safe, passionate, fun and honest love exists. It was missing in my marriage. We thought we had a fairytale, but we were wrong. True love is no fairytale.
It’s even better.