Why having a “perfect marriage” is hard

Maintaining a “perfect marriage” is hard work. Yes, I have the perfect marriage. Don’t you? I mean, I married my husband and he’s the perfect guy for me. And since I am also perfect for him, and all of that, this must mean that we have the perfect marriage, right?

I mean, we planned our wedding before we even got engaged! In fact, we spoke about getting married before we started dating. Actually, we spoke about dating while we were still friends. It seems like we were always so over eager to get into a serious relationship that would result in us being married to each other. We could not wait!

I remember all the sleepless nights, lying in bed with my cellphone glued to my hand, typing away furiously and waiting anxiously for him to reply to my texts. And the days when we would drag out the moments between being together and him going home. I could not wait to get married then!

Fast forward a few years, a wedding and many kids later. Things look a little bit different to what we both had in mind. Marriage was meant to be sunshine and roses and me cooking the perfect meals while he secretly writes me love letters. Yeah, it’s not quite that.. It’s much more:

“babe, can you go to the store please?”  

“babe, have you left for the store yet?”  

“baby, when are you going to the store?!”  

“babe, must I go to the store myself???!!!!”

I mean, when you’re inlove you don’t consider the fact that married life is more than just staring into each other’s eyes. But reality check: Life is real! Kids need to be picked up from school, grocery shopping must be done and hey, someone needs to clean the darn house! Where’s the time to work on this perfect marriage we had dreamed of?

I’ve learnt that marriage is a journey… it’s not a destination. You don’t just say ‘I do’ and end up in a land where everything is rosy and perfect. It’s more like, you say ‘I do’ and then get on the train together and work towards being the perfect partner for your wife/husband. And yes, while being on said train, you might feel a bit overcrowded. Maybe you need to use the loo now and then, but you have a kid on your lap. Maybe you wanted the window seat and oh look, he insists on sitting at the window. The situation is not exactly perfect.

But when you wake up each morning and choose each other all over again and choose to stay together, well, then that means you have the perfect marriage FOR YOU.

A big part of being married to someone who happens to not be an exact replica of me has taught me tough lessons on how to be selfless. I’ve learnt how to choose someone else’s plans over my (very elaborate, spreadsheet brain) plans. And I am learning the beautiful art of forgiving more freely and saying ‘I’m sorry’ more easily. After a while, who left the toothpaste uncapped is less important than being able to cuddle next to your husband. Peace eventually takes precedence over being right. And having the perfect marriage means being perfect for each other, more than self gratification.

The Bible says that he who finds a wife find a good thing. It also says that where there is unity God commands His blessing over it. I challenge myself to always remain that “good thing” in my Hubstopher’s life and to remember that we are at our strongest when we are united.

Having the perfect marriage is hard and stuff. But oh the perks of being the best kind of wife to my husband… so worth it all!

All images in this post were taken by the amazing Donna van der Watt, at our wedding on the 16 December 2013.


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