I will be honest. I always wanted to get married. It wasn’t because I felt like being married would complete me because I felt complete prior to my union (I’m a Brooklyn girl who grew up with a good dose of ‘tude and never believed that anyone could complete her). I wanted to get married because I believed that choosing the right mate would complement me and enhance my life in a meaningful way. I believed that embarking on this journey called marriage with a person I love and admire would change my life and make me a better person. I knew that creating a solid partnership with someone shared my values would give me a life that I truly wanted to live. I was right.
I have been married for over five years. In that time we have experienced our share of rough waters and our share of smooth sailing. It’s to be expected. Sharing your entire life with another person is no easy feat and nothing in our lives truly prepares us for what that bond means. Sure, we think we know what we are getting ourselves into, but I don’t think I truly knew. I figured it out along the way.
There are so many negative images and statistics about marriage. I am not trying to minimize what the stats mean because divorce is a challenging reality for many, and trying to make a partnership last requires a ton of work. However, I can’t help but to feel like there is an abundance of negative images. Too many celebrity stories about a marriage ending quickly and abruptly. Too many stories about a nasty divorce where kids are the real casualties. And with all of these stories and images, I think it really make some people stop believe in the power of marriage. I think it can make folks wonder, what’s the point?
I don’t know what the years ahead will bring. I know that I married a guy who is my friend and he has my back no matter what. My husband is fiercely loyal, and although I am sure life will throw some unexpected stuff our way (it already has), I am also sure there is no other person I’d rather be sharing this journey with. Our love is real. We laugh, we disagree, we have fun, we annoy each other, we support each other, we frustrate each other, we enjoy each other, we anger each other – and through it all, we don’t simply survive… we thrive. The rough times have made us stronger and the good times have done the same.
So, yes, marriages are not perfect. And, yes, for some people things don’t work out. But I have to say, by choosing to believe in marriage, I find the courage and wisdom to navigate mine, believing with every fiber of my being that this thing will last. To be frank, if I didn’t believe in marriage, mine would fall apart. It’s the decision to believe that makes a marriage last.