Marriage According to Ben

‘Tis the season of shorts and sandals, beach trips, ice cream and “I Do’s”. If you took a look at my Facebook lately, you’d see picture after picture and post after post about engagements and weddings. Many of the young kiddies that I saw growing up in church are now adults(!) and doing what adults do – walking down the aisle. I remember the years ago in my twenties when we would attend a wedding almost every single month. Believe me, that was a lot of food to eat because Chinese people usually have ten course banquets! They were the ultimate celebrations of food, folks and fun (and a precursor to all the baby showers we would be attending in our thirties).

Looking at all the photos on Facebook, I can’t help but smile at the lovely couples I see dancing and gazing starry-eyed at each other. There’s such a newness about it all, something magical about finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and making that declaration to everyone. Weddings are so full of sweetness and innocence and hope.

Image courtesy of photostock/freedigitalpictures.net

It is definitely the calm before the storm.

I’m not saying all marriages end up going through hard times, but there is a reason why people talk about there being a honeymoon period and that it eventually ends. Reality sets in when the dirty dishes pile up in the sink, when there are bills to pay, when kids get sick or a spouse loses a job. But it’s those times when storms blow through your life that you realize why you made vows on your wedding day.

After a dozen years of marriage, I’ve realized it’s easy to love someone or to be lovable when life is going well (especially when you’re on vacation). But for the rest of the time, marriage is exactly what Ben Affleck called it during his Oscar acceptance speech – it’s work.

It takes work to:

~ Consider someone else’s needs above your own
~ Share (your food, time, space, TV remote, etc.)
~ Forgive and accept each other
~ Cooperate without grumbling
~ Give when you’d rather receive
~ Listen without judgment
~ Be supportive and encouraging
~ Not take your spouse for granted

But, also as Ben said, “It’s the best kind of work and there’s no one else (he’d) rather do it with (than his wife).”

The same goes for me and my hubby. Even the other night as we were walking the aisles at Fry’s during our date night (his pick of course, haha), we were working on our marriage. We were making the time to spend together and have adult conversation and share in each other’s interests. 🙂 These little moments of work all add up to make our relationship better. And when both people in a marriage are happy, it’s a whole lotta fun.

Here’s a song by Matchbox Twenty, “Overjoyed” that is a beautiful description of marriage.

What do you and your spouse do to work on your marriage?