We’re sure you’ve probably heard this quote by Mignon McLaughlin: “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” We completely agree. Marriage is for life, which can potentially be many decades (if we’re blessed with a long life here on earth). The warm, fuzzy, new, exciting relationship honeymoon-phase doesn’t last forever. And that is why it is recommended to put effort into your marriage if you would like it to thrive & succeed year after year.
That probably sounds so elemental & fundamental. And it is. But putting it into practice is sometimes a bit more difficult. Sometimes in marriage you have to give when the other person isn’t. Sometimes you have to love when the other person isn’t being so loveable. Sometimes you have to sacrifice. To have a successful marriage that lasts throughout the years is a major accomplishment & some of my biggest role models are husbands & wives who have weathered storms, fought for their marriages, and clung to one another throughout the decades falling in love over & over.
I’ve been thinking of all of this because of something Josh said the other day. It was a little story that he told about the earlier years of our relationship before we were married. Here’s a little glimpse into our home the other day that will set the stage for me to tell the story about Josh’s words to me that made me fall in love with him a little bit more: Our daughter Tenley is mischievous & ornery sometimes. A few days ago, she grabbed something that she thought she was not supposed to have. A smile spread across her face slowly from her lips all the way up to make a twinkle in her eyes. Josh laughed & said, “Tenley just did the smile that you do sometimes that I really love. I still remember the very first time I saw that smile come across your face.” I was shocked & sat expectantly, ready to hear this story. “Really?! You remember the first time I smiled a certain way?” Josh said, “It was when we first started dating & we both still lived at our parents’ houses. We were in your parents’ kitchen. You were standing on the other side of the counter as I sat on one of the barstools. You were wearing a black v-neck t-shirt and had your hair pulled back tight in a ponytail. You just took a bite of something sweet & that’s when you did that smile. I thought it was one of the cutest things I’d ever seen.”
And then & there I fell in love with Josh just a little bit more.
I think the fact that marriage is difficult sometimes makes it all the more beautiful & worthwhile. I’ll end with another quote, “In a time when nothing is more certain than change, the commitment of two people to one another has become difficult & rare. Yet, by its scarcity, the beauty & value of this exchange have only been enhanced.” -Robert Sexton
Enjoy your marriages today. Maybe try to think of a really happy memory that you can revisit with your spouse; reminiscing about happy & carefree times in your relationship is always fun!