Marriage; making it work
Marriage is awesome! It is such a wonderfully rewarding experience, if you can get it figured out. You would have never heard me say that a few years back. After a bad marriage, I really didn’t see any point. (yes, I was THAT down on the whole thing.) That is, until I met and married my best friend. The man who consistently puts a smile on my face and a skip in my step. Now, I can honestly say that, other than giving birth to and raising my children, it is the most worthwhile endeavor of my life.
Does that mean that it’s always easy? Of course not. A good marriage takes work, practice and prayer, but it shouldn’t be a constant struggle to make it right. I know a few couples who talk about their efforts to ‘make things work’ as though they have to go to battle every day against all odds just to keep things on an even keel–I get stressed out and exhausted just thinking about it that way.
There is no perfect equation
We’ve all heard the ideas that are supposed to lead to the right kind of relationship; ‘Opposites Attract’, ‘Similar is Better’ and so on. I just don’t think that any one idea is best across the board. I believe, more than the personality types involved, the most important aspect of relationship building lies in how those personalities come together. If you are absolute opposites, you may have some additional work to do in spanning the gap, but you can still find a way. There is always a way, if you are willing to find it.My husband and I both work hard on a daily basis. Which of course can lead to strain and irritability in any relationship. It is so important to be able to pull back, together …to de-stress a little. Having a joint hobby is a terrific way to take a little time. For us, it’s ‘fishing time-outs’. Kris and I are honestly quite a lot alike, but the ways where we differ can be pretty strong. Which is fine. We are both our own people with our own ideas and ways of doing things. While they don’t always match up, they always, at a minimum, complement each other…because we make sure that that’s the goal. I gave this a great deal of thought a few days ago while we were on one of our ‘fishing time outs’. I’ll explain what I came up with.
Fishing; an analogy for life and marriage
Kris and I both love to fish…which is great, however, we have two very different styles of fishing. I grew up cat-fishing and crappie fishing. He is a bass fisherman. If you fish, then you already know how different that makes us, but I’ll explain. I like to relax and actually enjoy my time fishing. I like to throw my line in the water, put my feet up and enjoy nature, as I’m reeling in my catch. I like for the minnow bucket to be right beside me. I like for the stringer to be so close that I can just lean over and latch ’em on. I am a very active person on a daily (and hourly) basis. I don’t wanna be active when I’m fishing!My husband, on the other hand, works so hard at fishing for bass that there is no relaxation in sight. He is constantly walking the water’s edge, casting, reeling, studying and figuring what the bass are looking for at that given moment, changing lures, tying and re-tying knots, etc. …too much work for a leisure activity! But it makes him so happy! When a bass strikes one of his lures and he gets to fight it in, the smile on his face is beautiful!
Where there is a will (or a reel) there is a wayThose two fishing styles don’t work well hand in hand, so we knew that we were going to have to figure something out. I tried bass fishing with him early on, (because he made it sound so awesome!) but decided once my arms got tired and I started breaking a sweat, that I would rather just sit back and watch him fish…I don’t wanna work up a sweat—fishing! Likewise, he tries to crappie fish with me, but it’s just too docile for him—too much relaxing. As a solution, over the years, we have come up with ways to create the perfect mix.
I sit and leisurely enjoy my kind of fishing and he walks around enjoying his kind of fishing. We are still together, doing something that we can both enjoy. We are taking a break from daily life-together. We are both getting in some leisure time, regardless of what that looks like to each of us and we are doing it together. We are reaching a shared goal, with two different methods of getting there.
Catch of the day…
Isn’t that how marriage should be? Two different people, with different backgrounds, ideas, methods, etc – working together toward a shared goal? We can’t all be the same, how boring would that be? But, we can certainly make each other’s lives richer and fuller and more enjoyable by adding the perfect complement to our partners.
I look forward to fishing with my husband for the rest of our lives. I look forward to celebrating the differences that we have as well as enjoying the similarities. I look forward to being the ‘rowdy’ to his ‘laid-back’. I look forward to rising early and waking him up late. I look forward to continuing to search for and find all of the wonderful differences that we have and I look forward to finding the perfect way to make them all work together!
Here’s to hoping that all of you can find and enjoy all of those glorious differences!