When I was single, I spent a lot of time with women who were older and married. I had an especially rosy view of marriage prior to that season and expected things to be easy and perfect once I got married. I believed what Hollywood said about relationships: “You complete me” and such. In many ways this season prepared me for different aspects of marriage, namely, the amount of work that goes into a solid relationship.
When Matt and I met and got engaged, we were very intentional about preparing. We read several books about relationships together. We met with couples and asked them probing questions about what was hard for them and what helped. We went to pastoral counseling. We went to regular counseling. If there was something to be done, we did it.
When we got married, it was nice. All the difficulties people mentioned did not happen. We’d heard stories from other couples about knock-down drag out fights, but that just wasn’t us. I joke that I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it never did. We both liked being married and in spite of the difficult changes that have happened, things have been good.
Three years into our marriage, I’m finally starting to realize that perhaps the hardest part of marriage is simply matching pace with another person. This would be easy except for the fact that we are two different people! One way to see it is as a three-legged race. The key to a three-legged race is learning to move together.
As I shared this thought with Matt, he pointed out that when he was in Awana, the three-legged race was HIS game. He dominated all of the other teams. His secret? Counting the steps out loud (1-2-1-2). In saying that, it made me realize that like a three-legged race, the bottom line is communication. The more we can communicate what is going on, the easier it will be to move together.
I’m thankful to run this race with someone who has such a strong strategy.