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“You’ve never been married because you don’t know what marriage is about!”
During one of many arguments with the individual I was dating at the time, he screamed those words at me. I calmly, yet indignantly, replied, “I’ve never been married because I do know what marriage is about.”
I dated a long string of jerks looking for the man who I thought should be my husband. I went through repetitive years of heartbreak, disappointment, fear, failure, and emotional torment trying to find my happily ever after; I couldn’t find the man I needed to complete me.
But I still wanted desperately to be married. I still believed in it. I knew I would find the right man before I was 30 with whom to start my happily ever after.
Proverbs 18:22 states that “He who finds a good wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (ESV) and I think I figured I could help God out a little by trying to find him first. I’ve found, consistently, that God usually laughs when we make plans and try to do things our own way. When I did meet my husband, I was still looking for him and he wasn’t ready for me…I was still trying to rush him and rush God. And while our intentions were slowly syncing, we did something incredible…we became friends.
I’ve always felt like I wanted to be friends with the person that I was dating. I knew that it was important to be friends with my spouse and truly believed that having a friendship would be the foundation for a lasting marriage. I didn’t realize just how important being friends with your spouse would be until we actually started dating and got really serious about each other.
So, just shy of my 34th birthday (and only 3.75 years past my deadline) we got hitched. We just celebrated our 2 year anniversary on November 19th. There are two things that I hear most from people when they see me and when they see us: people will see my glow when my husband is mentioned and tell me that marriage looks good on me; it usually just serves to intensify my radiance…and some see us together and say that we’re only happy together because we’re still newlyweds and that all of that will wear off after we’ve been married just a little longer.
photo courtesy of Isaac Singleton Photography
Hubby is quick to reply that we’re happy because we really, really like each other as friends.
In reading the Happy Wives Club book, there was something shared from one of the couples that made me grin from ear to ear and I found both comfort and satisfaction in their words. One of the husbands stated that the most important thing to having a happy marriage was “(to remain) good friends…that friendship is…the trust…the confidence…and with a good friendship, you can put up with your friend’s idiosyncrasies,…(their) small misdemeanors because you’re friends…”
One of the things that I find equally frustrating and beautiful about being married to my husband is that I can never stay mad at him. Lots of times I really, really want to be mad at him. But I can’t. I can’t stay mad at my friend. And he can’t stay mad at me. I know I’m winning on that front because I surely aggravate him on a consistent basis…but we love each other, flaws and all. We are each other’s confidant and closest companion. We do almost everything together. Even when enjoying our separate hobbies, we enjoy being together…he watches football and I curl up under him reading a book.
I often hear women lament that they can’t find a good man, that they have this really great guy friend who is locked securely in the “friend zone” because “he knows me too well…”
Ma’am, if the guy possesses the characteristics you’re looking for in a husband, he knows everything about you, and still wants to be around you and is truly a friend to you…he. might. be. the. one.
My husband knows everything about me. He knows my strengths, weaknesses, flaws and all…and he loves me unconditionally. He loves me because I’m a real person and I can return to him, the love and respect that he shows me. He compliments me where I’m strong and complements me where I am weak. When anything happens in my life, good or bad, he’s the first person I want to talk to. I know that he gets my incredibly sarcastic sense of humor and reaps the benefits of my ability to laugh at myself…he laughs “with” me A LOT. He is, without question, my best friend and I’m blessed to spend every day in his presence. I eagerly look forward to all that the future holds for us.
I held out for him and didn’t settle for the first man who said he wanted to marry me or asked me to get more serious in our relationship. Yes, I wanted to get married, but I never wanted to settle. There, sadly, was more than one occasion where I dated someone to only realize later that I didn’t even like him as a person. No bueno.
It’s been almost 8 years since I heard those words from my incredibly delusional ex, but I’ve never forgotten them. I truly believed that a happy marriage was possible and I knew that I wanted it more than anything. Marriage really is like having a job, but as Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Being married to my best friend is the easiest decision I’ve made and I love our lives together. We are living proof that happy marriages do exist!
Fawn Weaver, the founder of the Happy Wives Club wrote a book about the best marriage secrets the world has to offer. They say the book is like “Eat, Pray, Love meets The 5 Love Languages.” I say the book is inspiring. You can grab a copy HERE.