I love my marriage.
Lately we have had many laughs and impromptu dance parties in the kitchen. Something we didn’t have time or energy for 10 years ago.
We talk about our faith and the church, relationships and the relational neuroscience, parenting and neurodiversity. All topics I never had time to discuss out loud 10 years ago (only in my head).
We share a passion for sports. Our love for The Lightning being our strongest bond. I usually choose listening to sports talk radio while driving. Ten years ago, “They have a radio station for talking about sports?” I enjoy it now because I can participate in conversations with my husband. I can know things about the things he cares about. Connection. (Exactly what he does when I talk about the relational neurosciences!)
Sometimes we cook together. Nothing fancy. And we do it as “co-chefs”. Together. Chopping. Stirring. Filling in the gaps where needed and picking up where the other left off. We do it together. And it works.
That really is my life most days. A metaphor for what my life is like on a grander scale. My husband and I harmonizing in a way that highlights each other’s strengths.
I am so intertwined with this other person, Dave, that when we are in synchrony, everything is easier to handle. We become a third component that is neither me nor he. It is something distinct and separate but equally us. Beautiful.
It’s during hard times that our marriage switches to survival mode. We function on adrenaline and cortisol, our body’s natural reaction to stress. Add to that copious amounts of caffeine and sleep-deprivation, and I’m amazed to still have the devotion of this man. But that’s what it is. Devotion.
It emulates the type of devotion I see in the adorable couple we now know as Mr and Mrs Middleton. We met Mr and Mrs Middleton during our girls basketball season at Keswick.
The way I remember it is that they just showed up. I recall other parents asking, “Who is that older couple sitting in the stands?” “Are they someone’s grandparents?” The school is small enough that everyone knows each other. You can’t just show up at the games without someone wondering what’s the connection?
Apparently, the sweet couple isn’t connected to any family at Keswick. The couple started attending games as a way to support their local Christian school. Besides, they have a love for basketball.
Currently, this couple is considered family to us all. They travel to away games and show support for our girls. They bought pre-game pizza for the team. One year, the team bought beautiful stadium chairs thanking them for their support.
They are truly beloved!
During a game this year, my husband and I were talking about what an impact this quiet couple made on our families and kids. Just by showing up. That’s a post in and of itself. Just showing up for people, especially our kids, and the impact that has is incredible. But that’s not the essence of this story.
This story is about the my husband’s message. He looked at me and said something to the effect of…you know it’s not a bad life they have. They live their life together. They go to church. They attend girl’s basketball games a few nights a week. Together. That’s not a bad life, at all. Who wouldn’t be happy with that life?
My husband’s message was reassurance to me. Reassurance that he wants nothing more than to live a life together. I believe this is one of the sweetest things he could ever say.
This is something we learned when I was severely sick. He was my caretaker for a long time. He was mother and father to our brood. He was sole provider. He was the emotional backbone through our trauma.
Consider the importance of his message. In my lowest moments my husband reassured me of his devotion to me and our quest to live out our lives together. He was content.
In a world of much uncertainty and unhappiness, it does wonders to know my husband is by my side. Through it all. He is the first one I hope to see after every surgery. I share my disappointments and accomplishments with him first! He is my confidant.
When getting married, what goes through a person’s mind?
Do they envision a future filled with church and high school basketball? If that is their future life together, will they feel complete, satisfied, happy?
I can undoubtedly say I would be completely satisfied. I believe that is love.
How do you answer the question? Would you find contentment if your marriage was simply “church and basketball games” with your spouse? Would you want something different? Is it a bad thing to want “different” or “more”?