I am a fan of monogamy and marriage.
In working in the profession I do, I see the dynamics in long-term relationships. I have seen and talked to people whom have demonstrated what marriage is. They tell me that stamina, commitment and faith needed to be with someone long-term. One of the patients I took care of told me this: “Marriage is work. Don’t let anyone fool you.”
This is the most transparent thing someone has told me in regards to relationships. People get so enraptured by the day, the dress and decor that we forget being with another human being is hard. It is difficult and when you want to throw your hands up and leave? Man. There is a power in the stay–and in deciding to leave.
However, as coarse as he can be, Steve Harvey said that the way to keep your marriage happy is to keep folk out your business. The attitude of deciding everything that happens in the life of your relationship is not for public consumption. The metaphor Steve used was this: “You are the circle. Don’t let anyone else inside the circle.”
With deciding to be married, you are building a world inside and outside the world you have to navigate. For the health of any relationship, (I say this from experience and failure) you have to make time together. You have to make one another priority. You have to decide what you have, what you want, what you desire to build, is greater than what people say or will say!
You have to make up in your mind that being married is what you want. My good girl friend of seven lifetimes told me that. In this, because of this, in spite of it, people still decide they want to be married. People still want to be chosen, and cherished and be home to someone. But, the killer part? This doesn’t come without work. This resolve be together, doesn’t come without some stuff that will try and rip you apart!
We romanticize everything in modern society. Marital longevity is the most romanticized. Being the consumers we are, we like to see and devour the stories of people. Especially when they are married for astronomical sums of time: forty, fifty and sometimes sixty years. It seems impossible in age of iPhones and Instagram filters for anything to be sustained longer than an app upgrade.
Love is patient, love is kind, we know. Love is also a choice. A decision. A resolve. An action. Love is beyond anything a ring can show. It is showing up for someone everyday, even when leaving would be easier. When throwing everything away is seducing. Love makes the decision to try again. And again. And even again.
Being happy with someone? That’s not wrong, neither is it impossible. But happy is temporary. A person can’t complete you; they can only compliment. They can assist, guide an support. Your relationships are yours: you have a say in how they begin, are sustained and end.
Marriage isn’t a consistent fairy tale. It is dedication, and work and sacrifice. It involves you deciding that this person is whom you want. Deciding to be a part of a circle, a partnership, means you have to be vigilant about what influences you listen to. Or you deeply you will be influenced by what is around you.
The couples that make it to count the time together being more than half their lives didn’t do it in a vacuum. They didn’t do it by some magic wand or placating. They didn’t fight off the world around them for a past time!
They were in it together.
Everyday, every single day, they made the decision to stay. To fight. To fix. To love. To repair. To forgive. The storms of life raged, and yet they were still standing. Still together and sometimes more in love than they ever were! Real love grows, covers, shield and adapts. Through those levels and adaptations, being together is what you want. What you need and wish for. The fairy tale isn’t ongoing–there are trials, deaths and disappointments–but the happily ever after is possible. Even if that means Netflix and chill after a hard week. Or laughing at any MCU movie or cooking together when you’d rather eat out.
Love is a decision. From that decision, the happily ever after is always in sight. Choose to be together today. From today? Being in love, acting with love, allows you to stay. Days turn to years and years to decades. The sweetest part? You’ll be the person who you can’t imagine life without.
Be together today. Be together today.