9.13.2011

1 month in.

Today is the one month anniversary of our marriage. I haven't even finished blogging about the wedding, let alone the honeymoon, but that will come. This afternoon I checked in on a blog that I used to read a long time ago and read through the writer's devastating depression and resulting divorce. It crushed me a little, I'll admit, and it reminded me how large and intimidating marriage can be.

I think, if there is a goal to name, I will call my marriage goal "keeping a short leash on unhappiness." Because when unhappiness is tiny, it is manageable. You can help each other through it, you can tease it out of the other, you can goof around or sensitively listen while the other cries. It is not yet a wrecking ball.

The trouble seems to come when unhappiness and distance is permitted to grow and get into the roots of a marriage, where it rots. Suddenly it's awkward to show affection or let things go or feel at all on the same page. If you're in a marriage where things are slightly off, RIGHT THEM! Right them right away. Take a weekend away to reconnect or make the first step in affection or do what you can to close that gap. It might only get bigger.

*

Sarah, my lovely friend, came down the aisle with her dad on Saturday and I was overcome with emotion. (Let's be honest- crying at weddings is sort of my thing.) But this time it was because I was flooded with so many memories of her writing to me in Paris about this guy named Justin, of us laying in her room when we were roommates, talking about the kind of guys we wanted to marry, of how she romantically decorated a mirror once with images of couples kissing. And there, under the lovely Connecticut trees, she was being married to her perfect guy. It was like a miracle.


As the minister spoke about marriage and what they were entering into, it reminded me of the vows Chris and I took only 4 weeks earlier. I remember holding my breath a little, remembering that we too were signed up for this lifelong project. And I realized that one of the first challenges of such a project was not letting time get in the way of remembering those vows. A busy few weeks and lots of late nights working had taken me so far away from the moment of vows that it scared me for a second, how close it had been to my soul and how hidden it was when I got busy. 

It seems prudent to keep the vows and the promises they signified on a short leash too.

*

Life is, clearly, never going to get less busy. A wedding is more than a diamond or a dress or a party. And a marriage must be fed with good, strong moments together on a regular basis. 

When I had lunch with my old boss earlier this summer, I asked her about the happiest married couples she knows. What was their secret? I wondered. She told me the story about a Swiss couple who gets a babysitter every January 1 and takes a hike (and a picnic lunch) up into the mountains. There, they talk about the upcoming year. They decide what trips they'd like to take with the children and they talk about the goals they want to achieve as a family. And when they come down from the mountain, they are on the same page.

May we always choose to climb a mountain together, no matter what comes our way.

No comments: