I’m never more reminded of how lucky I am to have Chris than when we face a challenge together. Over the years, we have learned that the only way to make it through the ugly parts of life is to lean on each other for support. I think that’s a pretty good lesson to have learned.
I love Chris when he is there for me. He has this calming presence that just puts me at ease. He doesn’t have to be near me or touching me or talking to me. Simply being in the room with him soothes my soul. You know that part of love that people describe as magical? I think that’s the magic they talk about.
I love Chris when he is there for our kids. Whether it’s teaching Bean how to ride a bike without training wheels or pushing Gracie on a swing or bringing home spontaneous treats for them, Chris knows just how to reach out to our kids. He speaks their language. He understands them in ways that I sometimes can’t. He gets them in that dad way. And I love him so much for that.
I love Chris when he is sitting next to me on the church pew. Chris’s faith is very different from mine. He is quiet and reserved about his beliefs, and I respect that so much about him. His walk with Christ is a slow, steady stroll. He may not talk much about it, but he lives his faith every day. This morning as they passed the offering plate in church, I saw him reach into his wallet and sift through some dollar bills. He had ones, fives, and a twenty, and I smiled to myself when he put the twenty in the plate. Not because money has any monetary value to God, but because Chris chose to honor God in that small, quiet way. Chris is always so conscious about our money, but he never questions when we give to the church. Never. I’m not sure why that speaks to me so strongly, but it does.
I love Chris when he is quiet. Solitude is an important part of our marriage. Both Chris and I value time to ourselves and we recognize that need in each other. But since we have had kids, we have learned that sometimes it’s just not possible to get away by ourself, and so instead we have naturally gravitated to quiet evenings together. Some nights after the kids have gone to bed, Chris and I sit on the couch with quiet music playing and we do our own things. I read and he works, or I blog and he reads. We sit close together, sometimes even entangling our legs on the couch, but we give each other that solitary time. And it seems to be even more fulfilling when my alone time is spent side by side with Chris.
Marriage is a funny thing. When I was first married, it was simply a title. A box I checked. “I am married. Married I am.” It was an adjective then.
Later, as we grew out of the newly-wed stage, marriage became sometime to work on, to grow, and to strengthen. It was WORK to be married. It wasn’t something I was, it was something I did. It was a verb then.
Now, almost nine years in, marriage has become this state of existence. It is the place where I live every day. It is him. It is me. It is our life. Marriage is now a noun. It’s the person I have become, the place I lay my head, and the thing I prize the most.
Sometimes, I forget to blog about my marriage. Weird, right? This blog is called MARRIAGE Confessions. But being Chris’s wife and loving him as my husband is second nature to me now. It’s as natural as my next breath and as much a part of me as every hair on my head.
But there are those times when I turn to the person standing faithfully by the side and I see his hand in mine, still after half my lifetime, and I think to myself, “Love is. It is as simple and as complicated as that. It just is.”