Marriage is such a trust fall. An eyes-closed, over-the-cliff leap into the unknown. You’re offering your heart, your body, your whole soul to someone else. You’re placing everything you are in someone else’s hands, with absolutely no guarantee that they will take care of it.
And they’re doing the same thing with you. Trusting you to care for the heart, body and soul that they have given as a gift to you.
I have a great marriage. Like everyone else, I get resentful; I nag and nitpick and snip and criticize. And yet whenever I look around my world I realize just how amazingly, unfairly good I have it.
I know saying things like that makes people want to hurl. I mean, if you have to go around talking about how good your fill-in-the-blank is, it’s got to be a sign that you’re insecure about it.
And then, too, I often see my marriage through other people’s eyes. Christian and I are well aware that my family thinks he has me firmly under his thumb, and his family thinks I have him firmly under mine.
We figure that means we must have the balance about right.
Yes, we have conflict. Yes, we struggle to understand and empathize with each other. But the very fact that we keep trying, and that we are willing to accept what we can’t ever fully understand about each other, is what makes us strong.
However much I might complain, the fact is that I can trust my husband to be open to me: my hopes, my longings, my preferences, my enjoyment. I can trust him always to have my best interests at heart.
And I, in turn, do the same for him.
But that openness, that willingness to mold his life around me, is a gift. A gift that he could choose at any time to revoke. And if he did, there would not be one thing I could do about it. If, in the course of years and decades still cloaked in shadows, he changes into a different person—if illness or the ravages of age or crushing disappointment turns him bitter and he closes me out–I can’t do anything to fix it.
With marriage, you can only trust that whatever happens in the unknown future, you go there together.