Marriage.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

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.

13 comments:

  1. Amen & amen!!! I love being married.
    Love, Leigh

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  2. sooooo true. marriage is so much sweeter with time! love that shawn of yours & the way he loves you. :)

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  3. I cannot agree with you more. I love that quote, since many people just focus on the first part of it and they're wondering why they end up being alone, but never stopping themselves from falling in love with tons of persons.
    Great post, I recently started reading your blog, and I feel so encouraged by it!
    God bless!

    Vio S
    www.scribblesfromjourney.blogspot.com
    scribblesfromjourney@gmail.com

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  4. aaaaw wow! That is such a sweet thing for Shawn to do for you! I need to find myself a man like that! :) What a blessing that must have been for you Whitney :) that's truly special.

    I love reading all your posts on love and marriage - although I am nowhere near married yet, the Godly example that you and Shawn set is such an encouragement for me to keep waiting on the Lord for that special man that He has picked out for me. Your love story is definitely one of the most amazing stories that I've come across! Extremely beautiful - I loved this post :)

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  5. We just got married a little over a month ago - SO many people would joke around about all that "enjoying freedom", etc. I looove being married. We both do. I think I gained way more than I could ever give up. :)

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  6. Wow! What a beautiful marriage you two share! <3

    My husband and I have been married for a year and a third now, and just like you, I have gained so much freedom being with him and my life is exponentially better than it was before marriage! I'm looking forward to many more years as our love continues, as you say, to get "sweeter, richer, deeper with time."

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  7. Y'all are so sweet. Thank you! I am one blessed woman.

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  8. Your blog gives me hope that marriage can be fulfilling, Godly and FUN. I feel like every time I hear about marriage, even from other Christians, it's always negative and debilitating. So thank you for being such an inspiration and for sharing about your lives. Keep blogging, I love reading it!

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  9. Seabirdfly, it totally can be!!! It's not easy or fun all the time, but neither is any good relationship. It takes work but is so, so fulfilling and enjoyable. :)

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  10. I LOVE this! My husband and I are so blissfully happy in our marriage, that others sometime think it's a facade. But it's not. It is absolutely possible to be truly happy in your marriage. We have never thought of each other as "the ball and chain" and never have a negative word to say about each other (to others). Now have we had our ups and downs - yes, but it just makes our love and marriage stronger. We are just so blessed and it does my heart good when I see other couples that love being married as much as we do! :)

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  11. I LOVE this! My husband and I are so blissfully happy in our marriage, that others sometime think it's a facade. But it's not. It is absolutely possible to be truly happy in your marriage. We have never thought of each other as "the ball and chain" and never have a negative word to say about each other (to others). Now have we had our ups and downs - yes, but it just makes our love and marriage stronger. We are just so blessed and it does my heart good when I see other couples that love being married as much as we do! :)

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  12. I've been married for almost four years now and we have our high and low moments. After giving birth to our daughter I felt rush of love, happiness for our baby but confused, and apart from my busy hubby..

    I am so glad I read your post about how positively happy you are looking at your married life..you have given me back hope and inspiration in the right time.

    THANK YOU and GOD bless both of you.

    Margot

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  13. I came across your blog just now and I can already tell that we're alike in a more ways than one. I appreciate this little piece on marriage because I feel as though I have found the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. We've known each other for almost 10 years but we haven't seen in 6 but we've kept in touch in every way possible. He's like my best friend and big brother and I cannot imagine why anyone who's seen me at my absolute worst (trust me, it's not pretty) would stick around and be my friend but he's done exactly that.

    All I'm saying is that I had my doubts about marriage and you helped clear up some of them. Thank you.

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