Hey there! Hope all is well. Today we are going to hang out and chat a little about the M word…MARRIAGE! Whew, this could take all day, so sit back and get comfortable. When I say marriage is like a roller coaster, I mean it is both exhilarating and frightening! Remember what it felt like when you saw the roller coaster from afar? You were so excited to try it. You had witnessed others on it and it appeared to be an amazing ride. You waited patiently in a long line, much like going through the dating process, just to have your turn at it. You finally made it through each checkpoint in the line, until you reached the front gate. OMG, the rush of it all! It’s similar to the time in your relationship where you’ve dated, gone through the engagement, and now it’s time for the wedding so you can begin the marriage. Man, when the operators swung that gate open, you made a mad dash to get to a car on the roller coaster. You could not wait to strap in. You’re so over the moon that you already have your hands in the air before they can instruct you to do so. You’re thinking, let this bar down so we can get this thing rolling. At the time, you thought you knew what you were about to get into, but you didn’t know the half of it.
You know how those roller coasters can be, the ride starts out smooth and straight, kind of like that first couple of months and first year of marriage. Heck, I’ll even say maybe the first couple of years. Then you begin to start going upward, as if everything is perfect. You absolutely love and adore each other. You can’t stand the thought of being apart. You’re both still doing all of the little cute things you did when you were dating. You are on cloud nine! BUT WAIT…then change starts to happen! You get to the top of a hill and you notice something. You begin to see things shifting. You’re both evolving and growing, sometimes in different directions. Then you reach the top of that hill and everything begins to spiral downward. One of you still wants to be together ALL DAY, while the other person is saying hey I need my space. What used to be cute is now annoying. Both of you are confused and trying to figure out what’s going on.
Then here comes something else. The ride begins to make a turn. You find out that you’re about to be parents or for those that came into marriage with kids, maybe your child is going through potty training stages or those “terrible twos.” Now, the focus isn’t so much on the two of you anymore. The idea of bringing another life into this already stressful situation can seem overwhelming. Trying to figure out how to balance being a spouse, having a career, maintaining your home and now attempting to teach your child how to properly use the bathroom, just seems like too much. You’re now stuck on this ride with no way to get off. At times you’re getting light-headed or feeling sick to your stomach. You begin to say to yourself, what was I thinking. Then you remember the saying “all that glitters isn’t gold,” and you want to come up with an escape plan (or divorce account) to get off this ride. You start counting down the days, more like minutes, until this thing is over.
When the ride finally comes to the end and you roll back into the starting position after you’ve lost your hat or your sunglasses and your hair is all over your head, you look over at your partner and say, “LET’S DO IT AGAIN!”
You realize it’s not that bad, and the twists and turns just makes it that much more exciting. After you’ve been downhill a few times, you now know what to expect, so you don’t have those same experiences again. This time around you’re prepared. You look at each other and think to yourselves that you wouldn’t want to ride this roller coaster called marriage with anyone else. You jump back in the car, brace yourself, grab your spouse and together you take the next ride like champs. When you go back and remember your vows/promises that you made while you’re going down those hills and hitting those sharp turns, now you can handle it a lot differently. What initially scared you and made one or both of you want to hurry and get off the ride, you’ve learned how to take it all in. Now when you get to the top of the hill, you know to take a deep breath and then you throw your hands in the air and prepare for the drop. When that turn comes, this time you remembered to take your hat off or you held onto it tightly. What you were not expecting before, now you know how to handle it if/when it comes back again.
I will now leave you with this…before you go running to the roller coaster, maybe check out some of the reviews. Speak with some fellow riders that have experience with this particular ride. Ask them how they overcame and see what made them continue to go back over and over again. Find out how they were able to make the good outweigh the bad. Although each experience is different, it never hurts to get some pointers for when it’s your turn. Now, once you’ve gotten a better understanding of what you’re about to get into, GET READY FOR THE RIDE!
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Photos: Courtesy of Rodrick Conner