30 years ago tomorrow I said “I do” with my HHBL. I can tell you that when I said those words I had absolutely no idea what they really meant. I was just so excited to be married that it didn’t actually occur to me that I had to live with this guy that had given me a ring and promised to love me and cherish me and stay with me till death do us part.
We fought on our honeymoon. That might just give you an idea of the path that we started out on.
That is the part of marriage that no one tells you about, the part AFTER the party. The part where for the rest of your life you live with this person that you THINK you know so well but really and truly don’t.
Folks, if anyone ever tells you that marriage is a breeze, they are lyin’ to you. Lyin’ like a big old rug. Marriage is hard. Marriage is work. Marriage isn’t the lovely dovey feeling that you have when you see your beloved standing at the end of the church aisle looking all sweaty and nervous. Marriage is the fact that your beloved puts up with you when you answer a question with a diatribe (not that I would ever do that). Marriage is talking through the things that hurt. Marriage is waiting 4 seconds before responding because if you don’t….you will say something that you WILL regret. Marriage is putting that other person first even if you really don’t want to watch Taken3. Marriage is washing sweaty baseball uniforms that are covered with dirt.
And I am going to tell you that I don’t know how anyone “does” marriage if they don’t have Christ in their life. HHBL and I would tell you that if we hadn’t known that we made a covenant before God when we said “I do” then we would have very quickly have said “I DON’T!” and gone on our ways. The first few years were that bad. The first 10 years were that bad. No communication. No weaving together two that become one. No understanding. Three progeny so obviously we were doing SOMETHING (oops) but that isn’t the kind of love I am talking about at the moment.
But right about the 10 year mark God saved our marriage. HHBL would tell you the same thing. It took 10 years before we learned to love unselfishly, to talk with and not at each other, to put each other first because that is what the Lord asked us to do. To want to spend time with each other because there isn’t ANYONE in the world that can make me laugh harder than my HHBL. To trust each other enough to be vulnerable. To understand that if HHBL goes all “thin lips” on me that it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me, it just means that he is none too happy with me. It will blow over. To go to the yarn store because HHBL knows that fiber makes me happy and playing with pointy sticks means I don’t kill. To understand that it is fine if I get on the park bus and ride the last 4 miles of the Grand Canyon Rim Trail while HHBL hikes those miles. If he didn’t do it he would feel like he quit before the goal was finished and I have NO problem riding in cool comfort all by myself and waiting for him at the end of the trail.
Remember what I said in paragraph 4 about marriage being hard work? It is. But all that hard work and hours and hours of kneeling in prayer and asking the Lord to change YOUR heart and not change that person that you are married to….all of that leads to love. It isn’t love at the beginning. It is love at the end.
So I send my love out to my HHBL, the man who makes me laugh harder than anyone else in the world. The man who puts up with my crazy, who lets me use big words all I want and doesn’t look at me funny when I do, who makes my heart go ZING when he walks by in a suit. I would go through those first 10 years all over again just to have the last 20 years to look forward to as well as the years that we have ahead of us.
I love you my HHBL!