Monday, May 24, 2010

Stuck in the middle

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.


  1. Marriage is wonderful - well written. There's no way to prepare for it, just like the baby deal as well. You look back and go, "Whoa, was I ever naive." It's so amazing to grow with someone emotionally. The longer I am married the more I know that it is a creation of God because the institution of marriage is just really a hard piece of work, a challenging one, yet so rewarding too. And I think the best things in life are hard that God gives us and challenging, but so sweet in fruitfulness.
    Enjoy your married years. :) Babies change your marriage dynamics in so many ways. Sounds kind of bad saying it like that - but I mean it in a good way and "challenging way." :) I'm sure it sounds like you'll be poppin one out here in the next two years for sure I'de guess...;)
    Your hubby sounds great. :)

  2. Heather,
    I have been lurking (via Google Reader) for a while now and have never posted a comment, but I had to de-lurk for two reasons:

    1) This is an beautifully written post. I am getting married in October and your thoughts on marriage are precisely the things that I'm looking forward to.

    2) I used to work with Andi at the Tap Room, and I was one of his roommates in his W.Duluth house. I only knew him during a specific period of his life, but I always held him in high regard and I hoped he'd find someone like you. Someone with whom to build a partnership. And now, to read his words on marriage - that is just some good good stuff.

    Thanks for letting me lurk. :)