Yesterday was National Spouses Day. Somehow I missed this fact. Looking at the calendar I see the day before was National Opposite Day and also Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. I think today is chocolate cake day.
Beer Can Appreciation Day and Measure Your Feet Day happened in the last week also. These are real, fake holidays and probably the reason I forgot Spouses Day. I was thinking of cake apparently... always looking ahead. I suggest we combine these two and have our cake and eat it too. Hmm...
One of these does not belong. Bubble wrap. Feet measuring. Beer cans. Cake. Opposites. Spouses.
If you celebrated this day, kudos to you! I am in NO way judging you. For real, I was thinking about chocolate cake! To be serious, I love and appreciate my spouse so much I will celebrate him everyday. The idea of squeezing spouses day between ridiculousness is silly, but that's okay. Humor is one of my favorite things in life.
In 2016 relationships are born through multiple social media options, and can make a 40 yr old cry... tears of gratitude for being out of the dating scene!
Years before Tinder, we had our own version of swipe right. It went like this... you are dating a soccer player (soccer has just been identified as an actual sport) scoffers abound. These are mostly chubby baseball players. Football season rolls around and the cute boy on first string flirts with those dark eyes of his. You realize how fun it would be to meet him on the field after each game, being lifted into the air by his grimy, sweaty hands in celebration of his big win! Soccer players can't pick you up, they were smallish back then.
The season ends and basketball begins. You notice these tall men who must have been hiding in the library during football season. You find out later this is not true. They were in detention. You start cheering all things b ball! This was Tinder in the 70's... difference being I was 17, not 28. We simply moved on, swiping right in our brains, to bigger and better, so we thought. Then we started dating nerds... for the win.
Relationships are complicated, rich, worthwhile, joyful, healthy or otherwise and some days, exhausting.
If you have a spouse you know what you celebrate about him and what makes you a little cray, cray. If you are considering a spouse in your future there are a few things to consider. I can speak from years of experience as I have had two. Don't judge me, you don't know my life.
A few things to consider. If you are young, under twenty five, you will be figuring things out. Most everything. Work, finances, marriage, cooking, sharing everything, not being totally selfish 24/7. It's hard. You will probably have to do this together. Yes, this will be hard, confusing and guess what... when you are thirty and look back you will be glad it's behind you. Congratulations! You made it! You will be a different person. This is normal, healthy and important to who you will and should become at thirty five, forty, eighty... capece?
The pay off is huge if you make it. You will grow up together. The rules are similar if you are older, just a bit easier. You should know how to do more things, get your oil changed, file taxes, pay bills, write a check (rectangular pieces of paper that turn into cash when you write on them) Maybe you have a better idea of what you want (or don't want) in a spouse. This is very helpful down the road when you are tired of pawing at each other and instead ask if the electric bill got paid and when does he plan on going to the grocery store to buy real food. Ramen is not food.
No matter the age, you will both need the same map. That's the hard part. Make sure you choose the same map before you start the journey. You can, should and will deviate from the map at times, but you have to reroute together. It's life after all, which is nothing if not one giant surprise after another! Some good, others total jackassery! Stick together! This is important.
So, consider marrying someone flexible. If he doesn't like change, or tries to control you, watch out. Actually, run away. Control is good when it comes to your finances, farting, flirting with other women, anger... you get the idea. You should respect one another but not control one another. Respect and control are completely different animals. One is a kitten, the other a lion. One will kill you. The other will snuggle, cuddle, and once in awhile bite you for no reason. You can live with this. None of us are perfect.
I married at twenty seven the first time and thirty the second time. Both offered moments that were hard, confusing and still selfish. It's just my go to. It has taken me years to lay down my needs to another, but I have found new respect and care for my mate in doing this. Both marriages offered grace, patience and massive amounts of love. Undying love. Another story.
If you ask my kids they could provide you a list of things they would not do in their marriages after watching their mom and dad. They would be mostly right, but it's also like making a list of what not to do in marriage, when you are still playing with Barbie and Ken. Until you jump in the fire, you have no idea how you will respond to the emotion and reality of being yoked together with another human being... forever. Marriage is hard, it changes, it ebbs and flows and it is SO Worthwhile!
So what does it take to be a good spouse and solid couple.
Trust - this is achieved through integrity and solid character.
Respect - for both male and female. You hear a lot about man needing respect and women love. I'm calling BS on that. Respect me or we have nothing. Women deserve to be respected.
Grace- for when you both screw up. You will screw up.
Laughter - laugh everyday together and at yourself. Don't take yourself so seriously. For real.
Perseverance - Like going to battle. Put on the full armor and never say die.
Refusal to quit...
Never quit pursuing one another. Never quit dating one another. Never quit talking to one another. Never quit challenging one another. Never quit holding one another accountable. Never quit encouraging one another to reach their potential (not your potential, the potential God placed in them) Never quit being friends. Never quit putting them first. Never quit loving them by your actions, not just words.
Refusing to quit is not about being perfect. It's about being present, persistent and passionate in this life together.
The choices and habits above create a love that lasts. Not a romantic notion but a laying down of your life for your mate, protecting them, providing for them and reminding them that you chose only them... everyday.