About a year ago, I was standing in the security line at Hartsfield, preparing to board a plane by myself to visit friends. I don’t mind the airport alone because it allows me to unashamedly engage in one of my favorite past-times: people-watching and eavesdropping. This particular day, I wish I could have unheard and unseen what transpired in front of me.
There was a couple, probably in their 50s, bickering for the entire 20 minutes we were in the security line. I fully realize I have no idea the path they are walking or what they are facing. But I didn’t need a back-story to be heart-broken for the way they spoke to one another, even worse looked past one another. It was all I could do to not say something.
I know I carry a unique perspective on marriage that few on this earth will ever know. That said, it hurts every time I hear about marriages ending in divorce, married couples who just don’t respect each other, who seemed to have fallen out of love. I mean, Kermit and Miss Piggy are supposedly calling it quits too. Seriously?
I always heard about that illusive “7 year itch” in marriage when couples begin to tire of each other. I’ve never wanted to believe it. Sure, marriage is hard work and comes with it’s share of ups and downs. If Tony were still here, we would be in that 7th year. I tell the Lord often that I’d love to have another shot at marriage. I suppose that’s what I’ll call my 7 year itch. I long to do life alongside an earthly love again. I feel I’ve learned so much from my short marriage and even more from loosing it all.
So, in the meantime, I’ve written down a few things I want to do differently if I get to do marriage all over again. I share these humbly from my young-widowed point of view:
- I want to tell my spouse thank you more often for providing.
- I want to find more opportunities to speak life into and over him.
- I want to set aside my need to be right for the sake of his leadership.
- I want to rest securely in who I am in Christ and not rely on him for my purpose and identity.
- I want to take more risks and worry less about security in earthly things.
- I want to be curious and seek every day to learn something new about my spouse.
- I don’t want to allow my rigid need for sleep or physical comfort to keep me from precious moments of quality time with him.
- I want to say the hard things in love; I want to be more open to learning better ways to communicate.
- I want to see the everyday ordinary of marriage as a gift: the cooking meals, the grocery shopping, the waking up together, the house chores.
- I want to keep my hands open to what God desires to do through us, instead of trying to control our circumstances and our future.
- I want to seek to let go of anything (job, financial strains, emotional baggage) that consistently drains us for the sake of protecting our marriage.
- I want to see laughter as an essential part of our marriage every day; I don’t want to take myself so seriously.
For now, I want to trust that God will connect the dots of my future, remarriage or not. I want to rest in knowing it’s not up to me to figure it all out.
Dearly loved, a big fan of marriage,