We’ve argued over whose job it is to check pockets for ink pens before putting pants in the laundry. (Unresolved.)
We’ve argued over who’s more sick and more tired. (Unresolved.)
We’ve argued over whose fault it is that the bank charged us a billion dollars in overdraft fees. (Most of the time it’s my fault, but don’t tell Dave.)
We’ve yelled. We’ve slammed doors. On one or two rare occasions we even resorted to some very (Ahem) mature name calling.
But you know what we haven’t done?
Neither of us ever threatened to quit on this.
On our wedding day fifteen years ago, Dave and I promised each other that always really meant always. As in forever.
So when I yell at him for leaving a pen in his pocket and ruining my favorite sweater…
Or when he slams the door on the way to make a deposit to cover the $200 that the $23 check I forgot about cost us…
Or when we both give each other that Are-You-A-Complete-Moron? look…
We know none of that can break ALWAYS.
These moments of anger, poorly chosen words and misguided actions are just reactions. But always? Always is a choice. A choice we make every day to love unconditionally and in spite of anything the other person does or doesn’t do.
When you choose ALWAYS you take care of your relationship.
What if you had one pair of shoes, and you could never have another? You’d do everything you could to make them last. You’d keep them clean and dry, polish them, and even take them to the shoe repair if they started to break.
It’s the same with an ALWAYS marriage. When you decide this person is your One and Only ever, you cherish them more. You nurture your relationship better. You choose words and actions more carefully. You allow for more grace.You fix the crack before it turns into a canyon. You forgive, because there’s no room for bitterness in always.
We’re so committed to this Always thing that we tell each other, “If you leave me, I’m going with you.” (A healthy sense of humor also goes a long way in a marriage.)
When you don’t have an out, there’s nowhere to go but forward together.
So on we go, happily, for Always.
But seriously, don’t you think he should take his pen out of his pocket before he puts his pants in the laundry?