My family and I had the pleasure of taking a short weekend getaway to a nearby beach town last weekend. It was the four of us, plus my parents and sister and brother-in-law. One weekend together staying in a quaint house should have equaled semi-rest and relaxation (after all, we had babysitters on hand); what we didn’t expect however was that it would also include a visit to the ER.
Hubby, the kids and the grandparents had settled themselves comfortably on a stretch of sand while my sister and bro-in-law had gone boogie boarding. I had been given the task of buying some beach toys because we of course had forgotten to bring our whole stash of shovels, pails and molds from home. I had just made the purchase and was returning my wallet to my purse when I decided to check my phone.
Three missed calls and one voicemail?!?! I had not even been gone for ten minutes. What could be wrong?
As I walked out of the store, I listened to the message from my mom and heard the worry in her voice as she said, “T dislocated his shoulder again! He needs to go to the hospital!”
My thought process went something like this:
AIYA! But they barely got into the water! It was probably a foreshadowing of things to come when T joked, “It was nice knowing you” right before he headed off towards the ocean. Oh dear! Where, what, how …?!?!
After a series of calls and missed calls, I finally reached my mom who told me hubby and the kids had driven our bro-in-law and my sister to the ER. I met up with my parents, and we decided to walk the 1.3 miles back to our rental house, two boogie boards and an unopened bag of sand toys in tow.
The thirty minute stroll (which could have taken twenty minutes had we thought to take a shortcut via a bridge) gave us a good opportunity to enjoy the warm sunshine. It also provided a rare chance for my parents and I to chat, just the three of us. So there we were, looking very touristy with Google maps open on my phone, walking single file up and down the narrow streets when my dad called up to me, “I told Mommy when you got married that I was worried it wouldn’t work out.”
Later on when I shared my dad’s confession with hubby, he also said, without batting an eye, “I was worried, too.”
Hm … Was I the only person who had
optimistically naively thought our dating relationship, and subsequent marriage, would have a happily ever after?
Apparently, yes. 😉
You may be wondering what all the fuss was about? Well, let’s just say that hubby and I are very different in a lot of areas, personality and dating histories being two of them. Throw in some concerned family and friends to the mix, and well, you’ve got some legitimately concerned family and friends.
Looking back, I can say I was 100% sure of my decision to marry hubby. But frankly speaking, my confidence came from a lot of unrealistic notions of love and marriage. Beliefs such as: troubles will never come our way; we will always feel loving towards each other; and we’ll always have a happy relationship (yes, I’ve needed to wean myself from an “all or nothing” mentality over the years). What I learned in the days following our wedding was the complete opposite: all couples will face troubles; there will be times when you dislike each other; and there will be plenty of moments when you drive each other bananas.
The years leading up to today have included many such doses of reality. But as an older friend at church (with eleven years of marriage under his belt compared to our one at the time) once told us, “It gets better.”
It does?! If so, when? And how? His comment left me with some doubt, but also with some hope.
But he was right. Marriage does get better. With time, you really get to know your spouse, his way of thinking, doing and planning (or not planning). You grow to trust each other more. You learn to not take things so personally. You try to become a better lover and friend.
The key is that it takes time. Time to change and to see change happen. So it’s important that we be patient with our spouses and with ourselves. Our marriages are a work in progress because we are a work in progress.
On that note, my dad followed up on his confession during our walk with this: “I see how happy your (and your sister’s) marriages are and I’m not worried anymore.”
Here’s Alicia Keys’ song, “If I Ain’t Got You“, a sappy, but powerful love song. 😉
In what ways have you seen a relationship or marriage improve over the years?
P.S. Our brother-in-law got his shoulder relocated at the hospital (his 7th time!) and has now learned how to do it himself should it ever happen again. 😛