Last night, Travis and I were talking about the mystery of two becoming one in marriage. He remarked that, when we got married, we inherited each other’s lives. He inherited my family, hobbies, and credit history and I inherited his. While it is easy to see how our families and hobbies have changed us (I would never go hunting or fishing if I hadn’t fallen in love with a man who does!), the other things are less obvious.
When I was single, I could do anything I wanted because I didn’t really have anyone to answer to. My roommates would never comment on my eating 2 or 3 bowls of cereal in a row. No one cared if I didn’t do laundry for a month at a time or spent hours pampering myself with pedicures and face masks. I could read in bed all day or watch movies all night.
With marriage, that all changed. I see my husband every day: I wake up with him, go to work with him, eat almost every meal with him, hang out with him, and go to bed with him. Granted, our situation may be a little different than some (we just moved to a new state in Sept. ’07 where we knew no one). But marriage, by and large, involves spending quite a bit of time with that one other person.
But then, isn’t that the point of marriage? It’s also the most wonderful part about marriage. You marry the person you’re absolutely head-over-heels for because you’ll see them almost every day for the next (God willing) 50 years of your life. More than feeling completely consumed with love for your spouse (because as any married person knows, that feeling isn’t there 24/7), marriage is about friendship. It’s about two people sharing their lives so intimately and completely that they forget what life was like without the other person. They start knowing what the other person is feeling just by looking at their face. They know instinctively what their spouse’s reaction would be in a certain situation. When I can sense that Travis is joking, despite his best efforts to put on a serious face, I realize that, little by little, we are growing in oneness.
But there are those situations that serve as a jarring reminder that, no matter how one you can become with one another, you are still two very different people. Over time, the differences seem to multiply: differences in opinions, personalities, hobbies, priorities… You can know your spouse’s opinion without even asking and you can still not agree with it. That is where the phrase “Agree to disagree” becomes useful.
At the end of the day, though, I view all the components marriage as purely rewards. There is nothing I would change about my marriage or my husband. Nothing can beat walking through life with your best friend, who is there to listen, understand and support you. The good times show me how I have been blessed by the Lord’s grace. The hard times show me how I have been blessed by the Lord’s mercy (through Jesus Christ).