Shawn Maxam ruminates on the beautifully harsh realities of marriage and explains why he wouldn’t change a thing.
It is difficult for some people to accept that love is a choice. This seems to run counter to the generally accepted theory of romantic love which expounds that love is inborn and as such requires no more than to accept it.
- Leo F. Buscaglia
First off, Hollywood lied. Marriage isn’t a magical and wonderful union between two people. It’s messy, hard and emotionally challenging hard work. That is why I personally love marriage (and of course my wife). We need to move the away from the social paradigm where people expect marriages to be happy and constantly blissful and instead move towards the work of creating healthy marriages.
We can quantify health. We can create agreeable metrics on which to measure the health of couplings. Typical adjectives like happy and good are inadequate and too rigid conceptually to describe something as beautifully chaotic as a marriage or partnership.
People aren’t static. So our contextualization of married life shouldn’t be either. Here’s an example of why I like to employ the term healthy. Is a healthy baby going to be measured with the same standards in which we measure a healthy middle-aged man or a pregnant woman or even a writer living with bipolar (wink wink)? Each of these individuals have different specialized needs. Their physiological bases are varied and thus in moments of distress they require different interventions. They are all human beings but what keeps them healthy is slightly different and nuanced.
Marriages are similar. How my marriage remains healthy will be different from even my closest friends. My wife and I have to agree upon what constitutes healthy for us—the level of communication required, compromise needed and the desires we have.
My post title refers to a mixture of states of emotional and psychological being that describes a healthy marriage for me at the moment. And even that is a gross over-simplification. But I know there will be moments where I bicker with my wife (annoyance), instances where I feel content (happiness) and then indescribable times of romantic bliss where our relationship feels perfect and is at its apex (love).
That’s how I see it today. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. But I’m incredibly excited to go on the ride with her. Wish us luck.
Please share this with friends, enemies and temporary allies alike.
Thank you so much for reading, sharing and commenting.
Flickr image by Lel4nd