Maybe it takes a village to support a marriage, too.
The things couples go through, successes, failures, money issues, grief, aging, health, changing as human beings, being hit with reality all the time and realizing how much we don’t yet know.
The more years I’m married and the more years I support my loved ones, friends and clients in theirs, I realize our marriages themselves benefit so much from being loved collectively.
It’s great to have people that love us individually, but when we have people that love our marriage, in a nurturing way, beyond judgment, people that can relate to our challenges and us as human beings who are trying our best and learning, we can make so much out of it. We can create a culture around marriage as an incomparable learning opportunity that benefits from collective wisdom and support. We can take it easier on ourselves and lean on each other. No couple has it all covered on their own.
It takes a willingness, too. Admitting challenges in our marriages can be embarrassing, because we publicly declared our love for our spouse, because we don’t want to admit that we don’t know what to do, because we can bristle against receiving help because we want to hold up a pretty picture.
We need to let go of the fairy tale as a marketing tactic for selling marriage. A wedding, sure, but not a marriage. Perhaps a more apt definition of marriage is a lovingly entered joint commitment to evolution. We use shared goals and the experiences along the way as we share our lives to help spark this evolution, to shape it.
I think the best part about my marriage 14 years in, is the growth, the learning and giving it to each other as a gift, finding ourselves in new places as new people because we needed to evolve and used the commitment to each other to hold the process. I’ve needed to learn so much about myself in trying to become a truly worthy partner and there’s much more to go.
I think of all of the forgiveness I ask for when I learn what I needed to learn. Humbling. Some of that learning is truly challenging, but I couldn’t be any more grateful for earning it, for who I realized I can be, for the commitment and for the woman in my life who gives me the reason and the person to share it with.
I thank those who were willing to speak to me, to be my teachers, to be my friend and to sometimes just listen for helping me get here and who I know I can count on for what’s yet to come.