I've seen a few things and done a few things in my 51 years. I've made a few mistakes and watched others make a few. I have the following observations about marriage.
1. Some people marry thinking that the marriage or their spouse will make life easier for them or make them happier or make life better for them somehow. Unfortunately, no other person can do those things for you. Once the truth comes out, it is a difficult thing to recover from. Personal growth is a life long activity for most of us. Try to grow together, but try to allow your beloved the freedom to grow as he or she needs.
2. Others marry with some idealized idea of what it will be like, how wonderful it will be to come home to their beloved. No cold bed, no eating alone, no being alone. Or some Prince Charming idea. Or some pursuit of a good provider, or good housekeeper, or good mother or father. And, once again, reality sinks in and it is hard to recover from.
3. It's so interesting how many people pick a person very different from themselves. I did that. I'm left brain, organized, detail oriented. I can be a little awkward socially. My emotions are stable. I don't have the great highs and lows my sweet heart has. He is a big picture thinker, a dreamer. He is the life of the party. He is a lover of music and art. He can talk to anyone. We believe we picked each other because we balance each other. Together we are one really good person. I have one very distinct set of skills, talents and abilities. He has a very different set. When it's all working for us, we create synergy. We can do anything. The world is ours. When we fight it, it's horrible.
Lesson here: Don't fight it. It is important to me to be good roll models for marriage and partnership and life skills for the young ones around me, but some days we just aren't up to it.
4. What about love? Hot pants love mellows over time. If you are lucky, it never goes away. Hot coals turn to slower embers, still cooking, but part of a natural progression and good in it's own way.
I had this quote on our wedding anouncements. I can't remember where I got it. If you know, please say.
"Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses." This may not sound like Prince Charming, but I kissed a few frogs to get here.
Love my Grey Wolf.