A month or so ago I was talking with my mother-in-law about marriage vows, and particularly about the more difficult ones- the sickness part, the poor part. The parts that really and truly make up a marriage. Can you imagine if marriage was always kisses and flowers and loving glances? The world might be a different place. But that isn't what marriage is. Marriage is the hard times. It is what determines if your marriage will survive or fail.
The conversation has really stuck with me because B and I seem to be in a constant state of flux in our marriage ever since we've become parents. If you're a parent, you know what happens- you go into survival mode in that first year or two. You're just trying to keep moving, trying to keep your eyes open, trying to keep this teeny tiny person alive. And you can't let your work suffer because you can't lose your job. And you can't drop the ball with your child, because that could mean his life. So what takes a hit? Your marriage. You start to take each other for granted, you start to just become ships passing in the night. Your conversations are only about the baby. And that's where the hard part of the marriage vows come in.
You have to trust that those vows, the ones that you took so eagerly on your wedding day, will actually hold up now that you're in the throes of the bad times. You're dealing with the sickness part- sickness of your baby, sickness that you catch from your baby. You're dealing with the poor part, because honestly, who can actually afford children? You're dealing with the parts of the vows that people mostly skip over because all they're thinking about as they're standing in front of all of those people is the sunshine and rainbows part- and whether or not he's going to smash the cake in your face.
But marriage is made up of struggles. And you BOTH have to want to fight through those struggles to get to the happier times, to get back to a place where you're doing the kisses and the flowers and loving glances. I've made it my resolve in the last few days to make sure to kiss my husband every day. It sounds like such a simple thing for a marriage but I realized that it wasn't happening every day. So that's my first step (that, plus date nights). And I will keep pushing through when the days get dark, because this marriage of mine is so worth it.