Marriage is more of a “I love having coffee together” than “let’s braid each others hair”
The other day I saw a post on a (younger) friend’s facebook wall that said, “Can’t wait to move into a simple apartment with the love of my life & cook dinner with them & have random midnight trips & be spontaneous.”
And the only thing I could think is, “So, you want to have a sleepover.”
My husband and I met in the same grade in high school, and we got married 3 years after we graduated. He tells people that he was ready sooner than that, but I “made him wait.” Which is kind of true…we both come from dysfunctional, broken homes and we met in high school. That is just fraught with statistics saying the relationship wasn’t going to last; so, I wanted to get married after I turned 20. I didn’t want to get married as a teenager. That was my condition, and, so, 6 days after my 20th birthday he proposed to me and we were married a couple months later.
We have been together for 21 years, as of this May, and we have been married for 16 years, as of this July.
And I don’t really have the heart to tell girls, who are in their early 20s and have Pinterest pages dedicated to their future husbands, how it isn’t going to be.
Marriage is great. My husband and I have been able to conquer things together that would have been impossible on our own. When I was 20, it was my husband who happened to see a poster in a doctor’s office explaining different types of seizures, and he went to every EEG and MRI with me when I was finally diagnosed with epilepsy. Before then, I just thought I was crazy; you see, I didn’t have grand mal seizures. I didn’t haven have complex seizures that result in a physical seizure. I had partial simple seizures, so my aura is panic and my symptom is hallucinating; and I had been having them ever since I was 11, after a car accident; I just didn’t know what they were. As a junior high and high school kid, I had to accept that I was crazy, and I couldn’t tell anyone, or I would be “sent away.”
I had warned him that something was wrong with me before we got married, and I told him he needed to be prepared for it. However, I wasn’t prepared for the unconditional support he gave me in finding a diagnosis, and ways to control the epilepsy. It has been with his support and his holding my hand the whole way through that has gotten me through the worst times, and by now I haven’t had a seizure in about 5 years.
In our marriage we have never gone to bed at the same time. He stays up to study and work late in the garage, and I tend to wake up much earlier than he does. In our marriage we have put each other through college and stayed up together to watch “Blacklist” after we put the kids down for bed. We haven’t had spontaneous midnight trips to…I”m not really sure what’s open past 9, so it would be a spontaneous midnight trip to realize everything is closed at midnight? He doesn’t braid my hair while I am watching a movie, and I don’t fetch him beers while he watches F1 racing. We don’t have pillow fights in our pajamas, and we don’t paint our fingernails while talking about friends.
We do go exploring with our kids a lot, and we do spend hours on the front porch drinking whiskey and talking about theology. We do ask the other person what they think about what we are wearing…and what we aren’t wearing. I love cooking dinner for the family, and he loves taking the kids hiking in the forest. We enjoy laughing together and debating together, and living together.
Marriage isn’t a sleepover, I’m sorry to break it to you.
But sleepovers end when the sun comes up; marriage lasts past morning coffee, and that is what makes it great.