Why is everyone so down on marriage? Since when did it become super cool to loathe the person you're married to, and to complain about the institution of marriage that you actively agreed to participate in? You LITERALLY signed up for it. I just finished reading an article about marriage being summed up in tweets. People posted things like, "Being married is just texting each other about groceries a bunch of times until one of you dies". This is not an unusual mindset, as I've encountered it many times before. Before getting married, people would often say things to my husband like:
"Say goodbye to your freedom"
"Signing up for the end of your life, eh?"
"Leaving the good life, huh?"
After getting married, I thought these comments would dissipate. They have not. My husband now finds himself in groups of men, all of whom are complaining about their wives. They turn to him, expecting him to come up with a real whammy - really put me in my place. But he won't because that's not what marriage looks like to us.
I have stopped spending time with the wives of my husband's friends, simply because I can't stand the way they talk about their partners. I don't want to focus on and pick apart every flaw my husband has, and I wouldn't want him sitting around doing that either. I don't think focusing on either of our imperfections is going to improve our life in any way.
My husband and I are married, and to me that means I'm his #1 fan. I'm the person he can count on to cheer him along when everyone thinks he's going to fail. I'm the person he can call to celebrate an accomplishment, or worry over a possible failure. I'm the person he can tell his secrets to because he knows all of mine. I'm on his team, and that's what we agreed to when we said, "I do". I don't tear him down or point out all his faults. I don't emphasize all the things he didn't do, conveniently ignoring all the things he did do. I don't sit around imagining how wonderful my life would be if only I'd married someone else. Because I didn't. I married my husband, just as he was.
Life is full of imperfections - they are what makes it beautiful. If my husband were perfect, then I would never measure up. I love his missteps, his misunderstandings, his imperfections. I love the moments when I get to see him at his most human state of being, because those moments allow me to be human around him, and we so rarely get to see others in those moments (they're usually the ones that happen behind closed doors). His imperfections allow me to embrace mine. That is why I'm my most authentic self around him.
To me, marriage is not a hierarchy. It is not a his and hers situation. It is not a constant battle for power between two people. We decided to be a team, and we play by those rules.
So I'm done with the complaining. I'm done with the constant bashing of marriage. I'm done with allowing people to carry on thinking everyone who is married is miserable, and that is the norm and is what should be expected. Because that is simply not my truth. My truth is that I love being married to my husband. Would I love marriage if it were with someone else? Probably not. But I am completely in love with the way my husband and I have decided to be married. After all, we get to choose what marriage looks like to each of us. We get to make up the rules for our own team.
So, I will choose to cheer on my husband. I will choose to celebrate our marriage. I will choose to be grateful for what I have, and for the beautiful life I lead. I will make gratitude lists, and put my husband on the top. Because the nature of our marriage has allowed me to be who I am. I am me because of him, not in spite of him. And I am proud of who I am. I am proud of the commitment I made, and I am proud of the man I chose as my partner. And I think that's something truly amazing.