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Marriage Stuff



Earlier this evening, my teenage niece posted an article titled "Letting My Wife Go" on Facebook. I gave it a quick read, liked it, then shared it. The link is at the end of this note.

Two people whom I admire quickly called me out for posting something with so little substance. I took another look at it and realized that I agree. It doesn't have a lot to offer. I was reading a lot more into it than was actually there. Here's my story.

When Krissy´╗┐ and I got married, we snuffed the individual candles around the big unity candle. This was to signify the end of the individuals and the beginning of married life. At the time, I remember thinking that the symbolism was a bit silly while Krissy took it quite seriously. Since it wasn't a big deal to me, I went along with it without really thinking through why I thought it was silly.

We tried really hard with the "two shall become one" model for a long time. Because we were both committed to being good spouses, we had a good marriage. Nearly a decade of passive-aggressive battles held our marriage back from being great. I wanted kids. She didn't. She wanted my faith to mirror hers. I failed. There were other issues, but none of them rated by comparison.

We were attached to impractical ideals of each other and ourselves.

I desperately wanted to be a father. She desperately wanted to be a faithful pastor's wife. I think every marriage has these issues in one form or another. Some guys wish they were carefree bachelors. Some women wish they could pursue their careers without guilt. It's all dross.

I'd love to say that we've entirely let go of those ideas, but in reality we're still working on it. That said, things are better than ever - I'll go so far as to say that our marriage is great. She is okay with me being a faithless intellectual. I have come to understand her style of motherhood. Our family has grown and changed for the better.

We've learned to accept each other as we are (most of the time).

While I could frame this improvement in terms of letting go of grudges, that would be focusing on the symptom and ignoring the disease. The problem is unrealistic expectations. The result of expecting one thing and observing another is often disappointment. It makes no sense to hold Krissy responsible for my failure to see what's right in front of me: a sensual, fun, intelligent woman with her own ideas, goals, and desires. The solution is letting go. Letting go entirely is also impractical, but with practice, it gets easier to do from moment to moment and life gets easier.

I have to let go of the woman I think she could be. Every day. I'm glad that woman is a fantasy because the real Krissy is far more interesting and fun to be around.

Link: Letting My Wife Go
Awww. This is lovely.