“I Do” Marriage 101

January 15, 2009

Renowned philanthropist and retired veterinarian Dr. Parker has a plethora of inspiration writings which moved me to write.

I appreciate that every, single quote from Dr. Parker is relevant in my life. They are a great inspiration for deep thought, and self examination. I’m very thankful for all these interrelated quotes, most go hand in hand. I was most struck by the quote that immediately brought my marriage (and therefore God) to mind. The one that exemplifies the qualities of faith, commitment, and perseverance: “It is always too soon to quit”.
Marriage is hard. One of the hardest journeys to go on. I’m proud that my husband and I are coming up on 5 years of marriage and over 6 years of being together. Friends who are thinking of getting married and newlyweds’ most frequent question is “Does marriage get easier the longer you are together?” “No,” I tell them. On second thought, I add, “It gets harder.” To me, that is the ultimate truth of it. I’m finding that in my relationship, the longer we are together the harder it is to no act petty or selfish. It is easy to take your spouse for granted for a plethora of reasons. In my case, it’s because I don’t always act very appreciative.
Because marriage means joining two lives together, I’m now not only planning with myself in mind, but with a whole other person in mind, who I love and care for like no one else. It’s like taking care of two of myselves, but only having the capability to be in one of my heads. Confusing?…Tell me about it.
We said, “for better or worse, through good times and bad times”, but when the bad times came, I only focused on how much they stunk. There are times when I feel life would be easier alone. Then I think of my commitment to my husband and to God, and I weigh what I would be giving up. In my case, a loving and loyal husband whose trying to progress in every aspect of our lives.
I was being selfish and lacking in faith. I needed to meditate on these quotes by Dr. Parker: “Do you suppose the reason life is so empty for some people is because they are the center of their lives?” (Yes!!), “People are not often changed for the better by having life easy” (disappointing, but true), “Aren’t people often hooked on their problems when they really have no problems?” (Killing me softly!),”Help each other by praying, communicating, ministering and encouraging each other” (ok, I’m on it).
However, I would truly be remiss if I didn’t note that though marriage gets harder, it also gets infinitely more rewarding; and the good avalanches the bad. When obstacles arise I think, “Wow, I have a person that is in it for the long haul, just like me!” Now when we overcome obstacles or handle communication with love and appreciation, I feel so proud. The level and necessity for commitment in marriage is nothing like anything I’ve ever experienced in my whole life. Whether you marry young, or you marry late in life, you realize that joining two lives into one life inevitably means you must continue to grow up. I have someone to do it with; to balance my weaknesses, enhance my strengths, and sometimes, even “tell me about myself”. It is incredibly worth it, without a doubt. In marriage, save examples of abuse, “It is always too soon to quit”. God doesn’t give up on his children, so how could we give up on each other? We won’t, and that is beautiful and reassuring.

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