Newly forming relationships involve a range of spiked hormone and pheromone induced feelings of happiness and unbridled passion. Physical flaws are often not visible; characteristics of attitude, beliefs, and health are often unnoticed; and the feeling of falling in love overrides rationality. We live and breathe every moment for the other person, we become virtually inseparable…only leaving each other’s sides when forced to by work or other obligations that require that awful separation. The lengths we go to in budding new relationships borders on insane.
Over time, though, it seems that the blinders begin to fade and all the things we did not see or notice in the beginning, slowly begin to reveal themselves. We are often a little surprised to see the other person in this new light and it is typically beyond our scope of understanding as to how we didn’t see them before now. Some couples will try to hang on for a short period of time when they discover that the person they thought they were in love with isn’t perfect, but more often than not, the relationship ends. There are exceptions to the rule of course, and if the couple has the determination, dedication, and patience to look deeper into each other and the relationship, the thing that was originally thought to be true love may have a fighting chance to grow into just that.
I say these things as my husband and I quickly approach our 11th wedding anniversary in just a few short months.
We met almost 13 years ago, and our relationship began like most; with inseparability, unrealistic attraction, and finding fault in almost nothing about the other. It wasn’t until the blinders were lifted, that we discovered that we had some serious challenges to work through and like many couples, we were hesitant to get married. As you already know, we did get married and just before we did we both made the promise to ourselves that rather this marriage lasted or not, it would be the last time we married anyone. It may seem a needless promise, given the vows one takes in marriage, but taking each other’s past relationships, the promises were a source for self-comfort and resolve.
For nine years we held our vows to one another, but we each had internal battles we were fighting…I battled to stay put and not run and he battled to trust me whole-heartedly and amid the internal battles, we faced an onslaught of life struggles. Many struggles, rather internal or life, can bring a marriage to its knees; especially when it allows fear, the past, and lack of faith to take over. However, it was during those nine years, as hard as they were, that we both cried for the pain we caused each other, we fought to hold on, and prayed for each other and for a break in the storm.
This last year, our internal struggles have subsided, and we are finally peaceful with us. We no longer have the weight of insecurities and doubts looming over our marriage. We really, truly, deeply, fell in love with each other and what has grown to be us. We are one in marriage, and therefore know that it takes both of us to make it work; we continue to learn and discover new things about each other every day; we continue to pray for each other and help hold each other up when the other is down. What we thought was beautiful in the beginning, was nothing compared to the love and devotion we have now.
I am not saying that we do not have moments where we disagree or argue; our life is far from perfect, but it is blessed and beautiful in its own unique way.
Each relationship will face their own unique struggles; their own internal battles, but it doesn’t always have to end because of them.
Giving up a relationship is sometimes necessary; there are some where abuse or unfaithfulness take place, and no one should have to stay in those situations, but giving up is not the answer to everything that can go wrong in a relationship. Relationships are hard work; they require patience, and neither person will always have it; they require trust, and sometimes you will not feel like you can; they require laughter, even when you are at rock bottom; above all, they require God and faith in Him to get through the hard times and to praise Him through all times.
People are not perfect. Relationships are not perfect. Together though, two devoted, determined, God filled people can make something beautiful out of that imperfection.