We’ve all seen it. The couple who can’t keep their hands off each other. They look deeply into the eyes of their beloved. The words of affection. The heartache when they are apart. The newlywed stage.
The honeymoon is really venerated as the epoch of a marriage relationship. Being a newlywed is supposedly the most in love you can be. We are told to keep the newlywed state of mind in our marriages. We are encouraged to keep that first year excitement alive.
I’m here to tell you it is a great phase of marriage. A needed phase. But I never want to go back to that first year. I know that this sounds harsh, and for a lot of young couples this will sound like my marriage is on the rocks.
It was fun starting out. Setting up a new home. Learning about each other. Having all that time to go out or stay in. It’s like the date that never ends. And it just isn’t realistic. It’s too much of a good thing.
Eventually life gets really real. Work, kids, mortgage. Perhaps job loss, fertility issues and financial struggles. These trials need more than hand holding and sweet nothings whispered in ears.
When inevitable storms roll in, you need more than feelings of love to make it through. You need a steadfast commitment to withstand the impending disaster.
The emotions of love are incredible. But the commitment of love takes a marriage to another level. The choice and covenant to be bound to one another until death becomes more real as the years and trials and joys roll in.
Twelve years into my marriage, and I know a lot more about my husband than what his least favorite food is. I know what he does when work is crazy busy. I know what happens when his heart is broken but doesn’t want to say. I know how he loves his kids.
And I can say without a doubt I love him more today than I did as a 22 year old college student.
Our life doesn’t fit the “honeymoon through life” mentality but more of a “quiet passion” mindset. It’s there. We both know it. That is all that matters to us. We don’t need to prove our love to the world.
That’s not to give a free license to not show your love outwardly at all. No! No! No! But this is an invitation to get rid of the expectation that your relationship should be as it has been since its beginning.
So don’t feel as if your marriage is in danger because you are not in that honeymoon stage anymore. It’s not meant to last forever. And if we left our marriages in the honeymoon stage, we end up settling for a love that isn’t as deep and real as it could be. As it should be.