6. Marriage is work every day. Like all serious and worthwhile work, it can make your tired and frustrated and is sometimes so hard it makes you want to give up. But it also brings the kind of real joy and satisfaction you can only get from serious and worthwhile work. It's the kind of joy and satisfaction that can be hard to see or feel in the everyday without making an effort to feel it, the kind of joy and satisfaction you feel most deeply in looking back and seeing all you've been through together and all you share and all the goodness your union has brought forth. I like this quote by Ursula Le Guin: "Love does not sit there, like a stone. It has to be made like bread, remade each day, made new."
Here are a couple of my favorite quotes about marriage that I probably would have shunned if I came across them years ago. They're decidedly unromantic, but they've helped me realize some important truths and let go of unrealistic expectations. And I've found that when expectations are in check, romance is much more likely to happen and my marriage feels more like the beautiful gift that it is.
"Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in the same direction." Antoine de Saint-Exupry
"I was never one of those women who tell you that they're always on the same page as their spouse. I feel like you're ahead of the game if you're even in the same book." Anna Quindlen
I'm so grateful that I've now spent a third of my life with an amazing man who supports me and loves me and stands by me in a marriage that has brought me the adventure and stability I dreamed of alongside the learning experiences I needed. I'm so grateful that Jared and I are usually looking in the same general direction and that we're pretty much in the same book on most things. I love that we share each other's loads and respect each other's needs (once we go through the often challenging process of figuring out what they are). We have our issues. But so does everyone. Sometime we move forward with our relationship. Sometimes we stagnate a bit. But we're trying. And we're committed.
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