There is something quite miraculous about certain milestones in your life. Being born, of course is the first. But once you grow up, the sheer notion of finding a partner with whom you can envision sharing your life, your dreams, frustrations, joys, challenges, adventures and your day to day activities is a huge thing.
My little brother is getting married today. I am over the moon for him and get teary eyed out of sheer joy.
I, on the other hand, am looking at relationships and marriage from a different perspective, maybe even a bit jaded. Too many friends are in the midst of their divorces, figuring out their second act and trying to hold everything together for their children. Some marriages really had no way of working out. And I am not even talking about those who were in abusive relationships, because those are in a category all by themselves, that require getting out to survive and rebuild.
So what differentiates couples who make it in the end and survive the normal ups and downs that come with life? What makes it possible to actually commit to somebody for the rest of your life?
Well, I honestly don’t know. The couples I thought had a much better marriage than mine because they didn’t argue at all were the first ones to split up. Perhaps because they didn’t care enough to fight.
After fourteen years of marriage, I know love is not enough. You need respect, communication, commitment, hard work, shared values and constant compromise. We all need to give in at times and meet each other halfway to get to a point in which nobody is totally satisfied, but that give and take allows you to move forward. Because you have to move forward despite the disagreements, especially when you don’t see eye to eye. If you stay frozen in your corner, you will grow apart. And no matter how much you loved each other, it will become a feeling that wears off and you will disconnect so much that it will be a chasm harder and harder to ignore.
You could even say the real miracle of marriage is staying married. Willingly. And enjoying it most of the time. I am blessed to say that I am one of those that despite those hair-pulling days, the dullness of certain routines, the exhaustion of trying to juggle everybody’s needs (including your own) I can still believe that we have a long term goal that is worth fighting for. Because in the end, marriage is all about teamwork. If one side gives up, chances are, you won’t make it in the long run. And I refuse to give up.
May my brother and his beautiful bride always find a way back to their common goal: to be a loving family that is there for each other every step of the way. ¡Felicidades!
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