A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. Mignon McLaughlin
I can't tell you the number of people who, when they found out we were engaged, made comments like "Enjoy your freedom while you can!" or laughed about a ball and chain. Even though we had many more people encouraging us about getting married, I definitely had hesitations about the kind of wife I was going to be as I was so independent, and these comments never really helped.
I remember being on our honeymoon and saying to each other, "We had no idea how great this would be!" We still feel that way. Three years later, I'm learning that a good marriage just gets sweeter, richer, deeper with time. And I haven't felt that ball and chain or any lack of freedom since we said our vows. I love the privilege of known Shawn and being known by him more than anyone else in the world.
Take two weeks ago for example. I had made a terrible grade and felt pretty defeated as a nursing student. As soon as Shawn got home from a long day at work, he held out a bouquet of roses and a dinner invitation to our favorite steakhouse. I changed and we headed out. But I felt guilty about it all, and told him at dinner, "I so don't deserve this" after making such an awful grade. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, "That's the point. My love isn't conditional like that. If I just took you out when you got a great grade or did something awesome, you'd think I base my love on what you do. And that's not the case." It was exactly what I needed, and he knew that.
Take last week for example. Shawn had a rough day at work and had to stay super late, and I know how depressing it is for him to have to leave for work and return home when it's dark outside. It's like the whole day is gone (oh wait... it is). So I packed his running clothes in my car, met him at work, and we jogged down the street and back and talked about anything and everything except his stressful day at work.
Three years ago, we never would've known that that's what we had each needed. We're continuing to learn each other and I'm loving every minute of it. I love that in 3 more years... and 30 more years... the heights and depths we've experienced together will in turn give us more depth and richness in our marriage.
So if you're about to get married, please hear me say that marriage can be so much better than you can even imagine. Don't let people tell you your freedom is gone - I feel more free than ever being completely myself with someone who loves me as unconditionally as any human being can. Enjoy every moment. It's the best gift I've experienced on this side of heaven.