…because love cannot always fly without resting,
our lives return to the wall, to the rocks of the sea:
our kisses head back home where they belong.—Pablo Neruda
The other day, with little prompting, my husband went off on a random tangent about love and marriage as he stood in the kitchen washing the dishes. I remember this conversation came right off the heels of us discussing our surprise to hear about the Heidi Klum and Seal break-up. Luckily, we don’t take our cues from celebrities, but those two (with their incessant PDA) just seemed so happy right? Celebrity or no fame at all, it’s tough to see any relatively long-term relationship end abruptly–especially one that involves children. But the truth is most relationships have another side; most have many sides, many colors, and many days of bright and gray. I suppose it’s what couples do with those gray days that make all the difference.
I can’t say for sure that the demise of yet another celebrity marriage inspired this wind gust of guy wisdom on my husband’s part, but the more he talked, the more passionate and excited he became, and the more honest sense he made. There are no rules about these matters of the heart, but my husband seemed to have his ideas about this subject all sorted out. That’s my kind of guy–one who can talk love and commitment while doing the dishes–an impressive show of thoughtfulness and multitasking. I was sold; it looked good on him. I was curious about all he had to say on this subject so while he spoke, I didn’t say a word. I just sat back and listened (oh and took a few notes). It went something like this…
“Marriage isn’t for punks,” he started off (as I perked up to hear what was coming next). “Marriage will stress you. It will push you. It’s not always bliss all the time (you telling me I thought). You have to work on getting back to the bliss when you run into the hard times. You have to find that middle ground and build on that. You can’t be 100% all the time. You can’t be madly in love all the time because the minute life gets hard and tests the love, you think as a couple if you’re not feeling (and acting) madly in love, something must be wrong. For so many couples it’s too much trouble to go through the hard times. Some couples think the moment they fall out of bliss, the relationship must be over. It’s not over. Getting through the hard parts of life is what tests a couple’s love and commitment to each other.
You can’t go through years of marriage without running into some tough times. Some people would just rather give up instead of going through the rough stuff. Giving up just seems easier. I think a lot of couples can find their way back to what brought them together in the first place, but you can’t get back to the good without first going through some of the bad. It’s balance. When love gets too complicated, people want to leave the relationship. Life isn’t easy; and love isn’t either. But when the hard times come, couples have to be strong together.”—Alfonso
Two…together…committed to all that is and all that is yet to come.