Pre-marital Counseling couldn’t teach me….

This post courtesy of Matt Chambers. In keeping with the Marriage theme yesterday, I found this post very interesting and a challenging read. Enjoy!!

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My wife and I recently celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. (I even wrote about ithere.)

Sometime during the day, I had a very strange thought: I wonder how many marriages fall apart the day after their tenth anniversary…or twentieth, fiftieth…or first?

I know, I know, not the thoughts you’re supposed to have on your wedding anniversary…but…

It reminded me of our pre-marital counseling sessions. It all seemed so profound at the time. Working our way through a booklet that caused us to wrestle through how to handle in-laws…which spouse would be most in charge of decorating the house…how often we planned to have sex until we died. You know, really practical, everyday stuff we never thought about again.

(That’s not a knock on pre-marital counseling per-say, I just don’t think ours was that great.)

A question that would often be posed in the session was: Where do you see yourself in five years…ten years? (That’s always the magic question, right? For everything from job interviews to first dates.)

So, Jordana and I would orate our incredibly wise, barely 20-years-old visions of what our unbelievable marriage, family, home, work, and sex life would look like years from then.

It makes me laugh now because at five years in, we’d completely scrapped our original plans, and now at ten years in, I have no idea what the original plans were.

Why? Because they had nothing to do with reality. Zip.

Why? Because we had no idea what five/ten/twenty years would be like. No one does.

No matter how we may envision the future, the closest any of us will ever get to impacting tomorrow is by living well today.

Not one time during pre-marital sessions were we asked, “So, how do you envision investing in your relationship today?”

Our ten-year anniversary was hailed as a great milestone, and it truly is. But so was the day BEFORE the tenth anniversary. I believe relationships of all types fail in the long run for poor investment in the short run.

This simple truth is something that’s taken me a long time to learn. I’ll probably always be learning it. And it’s not easy, as I’m quite good at the “big event”…the special date night…the weekend getaway. It’s the daily infusion of relational life that trips me up sometimes. With my wife, with my kids, with friends.

And that doesn’t always mean I need to show up with a giant bouquet of roses, or a romantic candlelit dinner and string quartet in the backyard. While those ideas are genius (and you should TOTALLY use them), they’re not necessary for every day.

What is necessary every day is…me. Showing up. Listening. Participating. 

Instead of being distant. Busy. Absorbed in my own stuff. (And this, by far, is my greatest struggle.)

We can fake life so well with a Facebook status, tweet, or cleverly filtered Instagram shot, but you can’t fake a milestone.

Obviously some days are much better than others. But that’s what we committed to, remember?

Faithful in the terrible and the wonderful.

Faithful in the practice of not always casting the most blame on your spouse.

Faithful to love endlessly and creatively.

Faithful to greet your spouse with the element of surprise.

Faithful in the milestone of right now.

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So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. // Matthew 6.34

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How will you celebrate the milestone of today…with your spouse…kids…significant other…or friends?

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This entry was published on May 31, 2012 at 1:20 pm and is filed under experiences, failure, family, marriage, success, Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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