Love isn’t Enough
The idea for this blog started with two close friends and a bottle of Tito’s vodka. We hadn’t seen each other in way too long and so much had happened in both of our lives that we weren’t able to share or support each other until this night when we finally able to come together, have a few drinks, and talk about our lives. We both are married to wonderful partners who love us and who care for us more than we can imagine, but as we talked and dug deeper and deeper, we came to a conclusion- love is not enough to make a marriage work.
Now you may be thinking, this is depressing or love always prevails, but for those of you out there that are married or that are in a very serious committed relationship, I bet you can relate. It takes more than just LOVE to make a marriage work, and that’s not something I’m afraid to say.
My marriage has not been perfect. We have been together for eight years, been married just over two, but we bought a house together seven years ago, so right away, we were in it for the long haul. I’m not going to air our dirty laundry, but simply say that there have been ups and downs and although we are both still madly in-love with one another, being together takes work and commitment.
There have been moments where I honestly didn’t know if we were going to make it. There have been moments where I wanted to walk out the door and leave everything behind and just start fresh. There have been moments where I’ve sat in my car alone, tears rolling down my face, hoping that our problems have been just a dream.
So what keeps us together besides love? It’s commitment, respect, loyalty, and knowing that we vowed to one another in front of everyone we love that no matter what happens, through thick and thin, that we are going to stick it out and make this work, even if it damn near kills us.
Since it was just our anniversary, I wanted to share a few things that have helped us through the tough times.
Compromise. If I had my way, we would travel the world from Jan-March and probably see Sound Tribe Sector Nine (my favorite band) 10 times a year. If my husband had his way, he would watch action and super hero movies every night while eating cheese and be able to listen to his radio shows loudly at 5am when he’s waking up with his coffee. These are silly examples, but even starting with the little things makes a huge difference in a relationship.
Work with each other’s strengths, but also respect each other’s weaknesses. I am a planner, so we rely on me to book most of our vacations and organize our schedules. I am also very hot headed, so my husband knows when to back off and tune me out when I’m on a rant. My husband is a skilled 3D artist and carpenter. We rely on him to fix anything that’s broken but also to build the beautiful things that are apart of our home and life together. He’s also very shy and introverted, so I have to understand that when he’s not talking or sharing it doesn’t mean he’s any less excited or having a bad time.
It’s OK to get support from family and friends. When things are really tough and you feel lost, it’s ok to reach out for advice and support. There have been moments in my marriage where I felt so alone and no one could ever understand why things weren’t working, but I was so wrong. More than likely, your parents or anyone in your life that has been married has felt something similar to you. Get advice, get a hug, talk it out, and be a good listener to those who need you.
Don’t get me wrong, marriage is awesome! For as many downs as there are, there are ups that are so special that it can feel surreal. There are those magical movie moments where love wraps you up like a blanket that you never want to take off. Moments where love takes over and nothing else matters, no one else exists, and if you could only have one thing in the world it would be that other person.
Love is powerful, love is strong, and without it, there would be no will to commit to being together forever. Love is the root of a strong relationship, but again, without being truly committed to making a marriage work, that flame will one day sizzle or be put out when things get tough.
So to all those married couples out there- mad props! If you have advice that has helped you through tough times, please feel free to share. I believe that love isn’t enough to make a marriage work, but without it, marriage wouldn’t exist.