“So, how’s married life?”

May 18, 2011 § 5 Comments

“So, how’s married life?”

Four little words that I’ve heard 4,000 times in the last few months.  If you’re engaged, I highly suggest preparing a politely snarky response to this question, as most people asking it don’t want the whole truth, and just saying “Good!” is probably going to make you feel sorta itchy.  My stock answer is “It’s convenient!,” which is 100% true – Favorite is soooo much easier to hang out with now.  I don’t even have to call him to set up a date!  I automatically see him every day!  It’s super convenient.

But it’s also a whole world of other things.

It’s wonderful.  And frustrating.  There is a ton of raucous laughter and a splattering of tension.  There are days when I still can’t believe that this wonderful place is my home and this wonderful man is my future, and others when I want to kick him in the knee.  The funny thing is, most of the kick in the knee moments aren’t the result of some failing on Fave’s part.  They’re usually due to his just generally being around to witness things I’d really prefer he didn’t see.

Here’s the cruelest truth about marriage: in marriage, you’re found out.  When someone is around you as much as your spouse, when you share a home and a bed and a spiritual oneness, it becomes nearly impossible to maintain the facade of polite perfection that I, and I suspect others, prefer to present to the world.  Suddenly, the gloss you’ve managed to use to shine up all the bumps and wiggles of your humanity starts to chip, and every personality flaw or gross habit or private struggle you’ve protected and kept between you and God only is exposed to a third party.  And man, it’s good, because there is nothing that compares to the God-given wonder of another human who isn’t your mom seeing your truth and loving you anyway, and man, it sucks, because it’s humbling and humiliating and hard as hell.

This is marriage for the purpose of making you holy, not happy.  This is God’s way of opening up those festering bits you’ve been smothering and giving them air and allowing them to heal.  This is beauty through brokeness, overhaul by openess, a makeover through madness that is as wonderful every moment as it is annoying.  This man, this wonderful, perfectly flawed, loving, caring man that I married, he is God’s mirror – he is charged with reflecting back to me all of the ways in which I desperately need to grow.  Not because there’s something wrong with me, or him, or because we aren’t enough as we are, but because together, through effort and grace and time and always love, we can be so much more.  This man will know the truth, see the ugly, and love me still.  Because he said he would.  And I will do the same for him.

Don’t get me wrong: We are happy.  Wildly happy.  Giddy even.  But it isn’t a happy-go-lucky happy.  It’s a born-of-hard-work-and-extravagant-love happy.  Thank God things are beautiful in the trenches.

Honesty, real honesty, is, like, totally hard. 🙂  But it’s also totally rad.  Because when someone is willing to stick it out with you, to face the tough stuff you’d rather not share, to work through silly frustrations and moments of miscommunication and the thousands of ways you’ll disappoint each other, you get to feel loved.  Which, I suspect, is sort of the point.

So yes, marriage is good.  It’s good in a pretty round sense of the word.  Like broccoli.  Some times are tastier than others, but it’s always incredibly good for me.  Good for us.  And, thank God, right now it’s new and lovely and incredibly joyful and happy and fun. Which is awesome.

And you?  How’s married life? 😉

love.

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§ 5 Responses to “So, how’s married life?”

  • Grace says:

    This is a gorgeous post filled with truth and humor and a peek at God’s own heart. Thank you so much for writing it!

  • Tamara says:

    This was just so beautiful to read. Thank you for your honesty…as a singleton, it can sometimes feel like marriage would solve all of my problems. It’s good to be reminded that while it is wonderful, it is also a whole lot of hard work.

  • aimee says:

    I have to admit after 10 years I love Tony more now than our wedding day. It’s not a giddy kind of love (though sometimes I wish it was). It’s an eyes-wide-open I hate you now, but when tomorrow comes I will love you. That’s the thing with marriage. It’s the hope that tomorrow will be better and often it is. The work done today is what gets us to the place where we can rest and love. Kind of like the Sabbath. We toil and sweat knowing the Sabbath is coming and THEN we can laugh and play and love.

  • Patti says:

    Karyn
    These are beautifully written words of wisdom. The reality of marriage is hard, beautiful, gritty- Gods learning and loving lab. As we approach 30 yrs I am thankful for the beauty,the richness, the pain, the constant work of love and the constant surprise of ” oh this is love, this is God’s love” I didn’t know it was like this. It is goood.
    You are so perceptive and a talented communicator. I hope you keep writing, and I know you and Noel have exciting times ahead

  • marie says:

    I think at some point around month 6 people finally stopped asking me that question. I realized (and knew from previous hardships in life)that many people (sadly) don’t want to know the truth. I’ve never had problems transparently answering this question, but I often wished the people asking really wanted to understand the depth of vulnerability they walked into by asking.
    I appreciate the openness and authenticity of your post today. I am always grateful for people saying it as it is 🙂

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