I should be used to it; I was an "M" for most of my 29 years.
This weekend, it became more evident than ever that Andi and I are stuck in the middle of our circle of friends. Almost all of my girlfriends are married and many expecting babies or already parents. Andi's friends? Almost all single or living with their girlfriends. Andi and I? Stuck in the middle as the married couple who can't relate to the life experiences of our parenting friends and moved beyond those who are living the "I want what I want, when I want it" lifestyle. Sometimes, I've never felt so isolated.
The topic of marriage came up this weekend at the cabin, mostly because our friends who are living together can't possibly imagine why they'd venture into the life of marriage. In their minds, only tax breaks or the heavy hand of God may force them to make such a life commitment. I remember being in that place - where life was good ... the why fix it if it ain't broke? mentality. It's the secret they just don't know. Being married is just so much more than signing the dotted line and proclaiming vows to one another ... and there's no way to understand what it's like until you're here. I thought I knew what to expect and looking back I see, I was absolutely clueless.
Being married is hard work but it's beautiful, meaningful, fulfilling work that you share with your best friend, lover and life partner. While I may sometimes feel alone as I struggle to fit into the life cycles of our friends, I also realize I'm the lucky one sharing my life with the best man on the planet. My husband said to our friends this weekend that being married is challenging sometimes because you instantly realize it's a for real deal - there's no turning back if you're upset or angry or frustrated. It's not about you anymore, it's about what matters to "us" as a family. While his friends couldn't understand why you'd pigeon-hole yourself into that situation, my husband told them how it's also about building your life together. Those tough times are few and far between; mostly it's about being with someone who's got your back no matter what. You just don't understand until your here. Listening to him speak those words nearly brought me to tears. Half the battle in making a marriage work is finding the right partner, and that I know I did.
Maybe we're out on our own little island. Some days I'm jealous of friends who've embarked on the next chapter in life, secretly (or not so secretly) wishing I was there as well. But today, I'm praising God for bringing me to this spot. A wife enjoying every moment she spends with her husband. Today I don't want to be anywhere else.