Thursday, November 20, 2014


The Man and I are just a month or so shy of six years of marriage, so I've been thinking a lot lately about what makes a marriage work and why. I don't write a lot about my marriage here because the Man likes his privacy and because I'm hardly an expert on the subject--and naturally, I only write here on topics in which I am qualified to give well thought out advice.

Cue hysterical laughter.

Anyway, let me start out by saying I've never been one of those to hold much stock in "true love". I love the Man, don't get me wrong, but it's all too easy to be in love one day and out of it the next. If you asked me what I believed marriage was about, I would've said commitment. And that's a terribly practical answer and not necessarily wrong, but also a little on the cold side.

Commitment, all on its lonesome, can leave you hanging on by the skin of your teeth. That kind of commitment is a little bit like my first birth story: I was doing it without pain medication even if it killed me! (Incidentally, it didn't kill me.) (Neither has marriage.) (The kids might.) (Also, needles in my spine are scary.)

Lately, though, I've been thinking about how marriage, and the deepening love that comes alongside it, is more about recognizing the small moments of tenderness and laughter, allowing the perspective with which you see your married life to be colored by those little gifts.

Maybe it has less to do with "This man is the all encompassing love of my life" (and the flip side of that coin: "so help me, I will stay married to this man or die trying") and more to do with taking note of who it is you married and the incredible person they are becoming.

It's laughing at the just-for-you joke he made (which may possibly have included an Alias reference).

It's savoring each bite of the Vietnamese summer rolls he brought home for you in the late afternoon as a pre-dinner "appetizer".

It's returning the favor when he nails you between the eyes with a sweet potato fry midway through supper. Don't let it bother you when you miss his head by several inches.

It's treasuring the fact that he put sambal on the roasted asparagus, knowing that he loves your culture too.

It's being grateful for the rearranged study schedule, instead of guilty that you're needing extra help at home.

It's racing the shopping carts at Costco after raiding all the free samples together--and not even coming close to beating him…in the shopping cart race, not the free sample gathering. You've got him on that one. Trust me.

It's knowing that no difficult conversation, no enforced separation, no difference of opinion, no full blown argument, no anything will outweigh the fun of being with him because suddenly you find that you're actually paying attention to who he really is, instead of just skating by on emotion or grit.

She's trying to usurp my place with her cuteness and subtle cunning, but I will prevail.
No other pictures available thanks to the Man's strong anti-camera stance.

Marriage, like most things in life, turns out to be more about perspective than I realized. Perspective and laughter and kindness.

And the great thing is that these are choices we can make even when we're not necessarily feeling those same first flutters of what we like to call "love", and not in a grit-my-teeth-and-get-through-it kind of way.

We can choose to invite laughter into our homes.

We can choose to be kind.

We can choose to see them for who they are now instead of who they used to be or who we want them to be.

We can choose--even when it's hard. And really, I think that's pretty wonderful.


  1. I'm thankful for this blogpost and for your marriage. Keep rejoicing in this good gift! Love you and the Man!

    1. This is not a reply to Neni's comment, but this is it's own original comment since the website won't let me comment on my own. Is this discrimination against Africa? Is the website afraid it will catch Ebola from me through cyberspace from EAST Africa? I don't know. But I appreciate this blog and Yos and especially that awesome photo. No throwing fries when I'm visiting, though--I plan to eat them all.