This year my Mum and Dad celebrated forty seven years of marriage. Forty seven years. I find this totally amazing and I'm incredibly proud of them both. I have been married for five teeny tiny years and in comparison, forty seven is a lifetime. It's outstanding and really is something to aspire to.
I'm sure those forty seven years haven't all been plain sailing. After all. What marriage is?
I was inspired to write this blog after my husband 'tagged' me in a post on Facebook about what marriage really was. Not the hearts and flowers. Not the smiles and laughter and not necessarily the picture perfect vision that many of us probably choose to post on social media. But more so the behind the scenes version of marriage. The bits that we don't share (no not that, don't be rude!). The cross words. The arguing. The disagreements. The worries. The fears. The apprehensions. The highs that can quickly be followed by lows. The laughter that can cover tears. The new experiences and the annoyances. The inability to agree on important life decisions. The determination and desire to make it work. All of these things combined with the more publicised parts of marriage - the hearts and the flowers - are what make a marriage real.
I guess they are the parts that we don't really talk about. They are the parts that happen behind closed doors and are private. And rightly so. Marriage is and should be a private and personal thing. It's unique to the individual couple.
Marriage is beautiful. Marriage is wonderful. Marriage is a gift that shouldn't be taken for granted. Marriage is hearts and it is flowers and guess what? Marriage can also be hard work.
When you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you don't necessarily expect it to be a walk in the park. Living with someone can be intense. We are all individuals and we will all have things about us that can grate on the other. That is human nature. It's how you handle it that matters.
Love is a funny old thing. It's amazing and infuriating at the same time. The multitude of emotions that stem from love can be overwhelming. But for as long as you have that love. You have something truly wonderful.
Sadly sometimes, I understand, that love is sometimes not enough. I see it all too often in my day to day life working for a Family Law Firm. Divorce is not at all uncommon. It's a sad part of reality that not all marriages last. Every marriage is different. Some will last and some won't. That's life.
I'm an old romantic and I like to think that no one goes into marriage and makes those vows unless they think it will last forever. Anyone who is anyone can say a few words. Make a few vows in front of their nearest and dearest and make a promise to live happily ever after. That's the easy part. The hard part is what comes after.
The hard part is keeping it alive. Keeping it fresh. Keeping it exciting and happy. Keeping it worth it and keeping it real.
Life throws us some really tough situations at times. Along with some awesome ones aswell. It's all of these things together with your unique partnership that shape your marriage. And of course how you handle them all.
I love being married. I love my husband too. Immensely. More than he probably realises. We have had truly amazing times. But we have had a few bad times too. Because that's normal. That's real. That's marriage.
We will all continue to share our joyous moments with those we care to, whether it be via Facebook, Twitter, get togethers and parties. And so we should. Love and marriage is a thing to be celebrated, without doubt. But let's not get disheartened when we hit a rough patch. Let's not think that it's just us. Because it's not. I assure you. Chances are, your mates, your colleagues, your neighbours and your family have probably hit them too. That's marriage.
To quote wise words from Mae West?
"I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it".
She's right you know. Because that's marriage. It's wonderful. It's frustrating. It's joyous and it can be infuriating. But it's marriage and it's worth it.