Friday, 14 September 2012
10 years and counting
My Dad died the year we married and despite not being religious the bible tied the two events together. At the funeral we had the Ecclesiastes reading:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted....
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Not a dry eye in the house!
What have I learnt about marriage? Only that it is an ongoing process and I am still a trainee. We have done, "in sickness and in health" and "for richer and poorer", but the killer is "when you have weekends to recover and when are so sleep deprived you don't know which way is up". If you can survive and come together when you are so deprived and your babes keep sneaking into your bed remember to take a few extra deep breathes and try not to snap - it is the sleep deprivation that is getting you not imminent marital break down.
One of the great homilies is that when you have children remember to take time out for the relationship. We did not have the luxury of free babysitters or the cash throw at it, but i wish we did. With a bit of imagination and candle light to obscure the chaos we have found our own way.
I was once told that you marry your partner not the whole family - wrong! We cope with the idiosyncrasies of our own families and gloss over them, it does not make them invisible to our spouse. Okay, let's get petty and give an example, he goes potty over my mother's inability to cook enough vegetables. He is normally sane and forgiving and generally adores my Mum but this is the achilles heal of the relationship. Likewise his mother is not really being offensive every time she reminds me how lucky I am that she accepts me as she once met some one with the same family background and she did not like her (the worst part is enduring the 20 minute diatribe of the fated incident). Does it matter? If you let it. Now I just play family bingo so I can tick off the predictable and sit back and giggle.
Another of the great sayings is that you can survive many differences but it really helps if you share values. As we do I can honestly say that this has been the elastic that has held us together - that and many childish giggles. As our children grow up I hope we never do.