Here's my confession for the day: Before I met my husband I hated marriage.
I'm serious. I should have been in protesting it in the 1960's, I probably would have burned a bra or something.
I hated marriage because I hadn't seen enough of them work. One of the few good examples I had was my brother and my sister-in-law, who I should have been spending much more time with. The other marriages that I witnessed were either failing or dead. They all contained completely different variables too. Some had married in their early twenties, some had gotten married in their 30's and 40's. Others had been married for 6 months and were already ripping each other's throats out. Still some had been married for decades and seemed to just be holding on for nostalgias sake. I didn't like marriage, I didn't want family. It all seemed up to the fickle hand of fate. No one taught me about marriage, and I was hurt by someone else's marriage, why would I want one of my own when another couple's marriage could cause me so much pain?
At that time I wasn't healthy enough to deal with that pain, I liked having the it there for the familiarity. It was safe. It was what I knew at that point. Trying to face the hurt seemed like more work than it was worth, at least at that time. But then I went to college, I got away from home. I made new friends, and I met my husband. Neither one of us had any idea at the time. C'est la vie.
On the opposite side my husband has always loved marriage and family and *insert fart noise here*
Long story short we grew very close, he broke down my barriers. He took me to get frozen custard when I was upset (ANDY'S TILL I DIE), he never expected more than my fragile heart could give, and he loved unconditionally. He really did. He reminded me how important love and healing is.
More importantly I learned that love is a choice. He was my choice because I knew that he was worth more than anyone else. My relationship with him would have to change if I ever married someone else, and that wasn't an option. He's just that good. We didn't "fall in love" like it was some accident. We chose to love each other and we continue to choose it every day. There are days when all the emotion in the world backs that choice up, and there are days when... well there are days when it's just not that way.
And that's where most of us seem to get caught off guard. It's not a fairytale, trust me it's not. It's not a magical feeling. Emotions are side-effects. They are neither good nor bad, they are neutral.
Neutral doesn't rule my choices, I rule my choices.
That's why I married my husband, because I know that he doesn't give up. He makes definite choices. He made a choice to choose to love me and to always choose it.
Now when I see someone getting divorced and they say, "We just fell out of love" I want to call them out on it. Because love is never an accident and neither is the lack of it. Your love is always your choice. That's why you should never choose lightly and think deeply about it before you get married, because it is life-long. I got married because my choice was made, as was my husband's.
Marriage at a young age isn't the essential cause of the high divorce rate of America, it's only a symptom. The cause is a systemic problem with the way our culture views love, as a fairytale that happens by chance.
P.S. This is obviously a response to all of the recent media criticism of young marriages, not saying it's always a good idea, I just think they're missing a piece. *tada
P.P.S. I'll give you a Snikers bar if you tell me how many variations of the word "choice" I used in this blog.
P.P.P.S. Heather you are extremely repetitive. Get a grip.