Let me start by saying I have never EVER, even for one minute, had even one ounce of worry that my husband would ever EVER cheat on me. Ever. Can I say it one more time?
He is the most loyal human being on the planet. He worships me like a queen, physically and, lately, emotionally as well. When we first were introduced by my cousin, he told me, "Ben is a walking Valentine's Day card". All that aside, when I hear about friends or acquaintances or even bloggers I follow who are dealing with infidelity, it makes me sick to my stomach. It's like a punch in the gut - not because it makes me worry for my own marriage, but because I cannot even fathom what they must be going through. And then, it's like a slap in the face, because I realize I should be thanking God, and my husband, every. freaking. day. for the peace of knowing that will never be us.
But I don't spend every day grateful for this peace. I take advantage of it, just like I've taken advantage of my marriage. I think, deep down, everyone can say that at some point, they became complacent in their marriage. It's easier than we'd like to admit. Life gets in the way, jobs, social lives, friends, family, kids [especially kids!]. We take advantage of the fact that our spouse will always be there 'till death do us part. It's normal, I think. Sad, but normal.
However, I'm quickly learning that part of what makes a truly successful marriage, one that will one day celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary [and do it happily!], is how we react to these little valleys over the years. And that starts, I think, with admitting it's happening. Admission of guilt, fault, whatever you want to call it. Coming to grips with yourself, and your spouse, that you're not giving your marriage 100%. That is scary. And that's not fair to either of you, and you don't want to do it anymore. And then finding ways to fix it, before it's too far broken.
I'm not pretending I'm a marriage or relationship expert. I'm not pretending my marriage is perfect. It's far from it, in fact. But I'm hoping this will be a gut check for me now, and down the road. I think marriage, like all relationships, go through seasons. I have always been in love with my husband, and always will be. Part of being in love - to me - means figuring out what the other person needs during that season, and being with them. Not "there for them" or whatever people say during a hard time. But really being WITH them during whatever they're going through. Going through it together. Being what they need most from the person closest to them. Figuring out together how to overcome and be stronger on the other side AS A COUPLE.
Being new parents has definitely brought on a new season to our marriage, but I am taking this moment to realize how incredibly grateful I am that my husband loves me enough to prioritize me, and our marriage, above all else. And I only hope that I can bless him with the same peace he has given me. But I'm confident, in the same way that I'm confident it was God who handpicked us for each other, that HE will lead us through to be stronger on the other side, and show us how to be the spouses that each other needs. It's really not anything that I'm going through or that Ben is going through, because we are a couple, a unit, that God has brought together. Stronger together than we could ever hope to be on our own, Amen?