Marriage: thoughts on consistency and spontaneity, commitment and change

My grandma, hip lady that she is, posted this status on Facebook yesterday:

“Sixty five years ago today I married my best friend. Would I do it over again? In a heart beat. We are older and possibly wiser but love the choice we made.”

What a legacy! First of all, sixty-five years is longer than most people have been alive. But also, to commit to one thing, one person, one relationship for six and a half decades (and counting)– it’s a kind of commitment that’s becoming rarer year by year. I remember talking to a friend a few years back (pre-marriage, for both of us) about the claustrophobia of tying yourself down to one person and the realization that brought her to the point of readiness for the big Yes. “What I’ve realized,” she said, “is that it’s not stagnation. You’re not tying yourself to a static person. You, ever-changing and ever-growing, are tying yourself to another ever-changing and growing person, in a relationship that will have to grow and change as constantly as each of you does. So marriage isn’t actually about settling down and settling in but about introducing this whole other dynamic factor into your life!”

Saltcoats sunsetGeoff and I got in the car yesterday after an appointment in Glasgow, and we made it halfway home before we just sort of didn’t take our exit. We drove west through farmland and hillside villages until we reached the seaside, and we had way too much fish and chips for dinner, and we climbed a lookout tower and joked and sang and watched the sun set, and throughout all of it we talked about our emerging dreams and shifting roles and evolving understandings of God and the world. I’ve changed so much in the two and a half years that we’ve known each other, and he’s changed as well, and we’re both more of who we really are, and we know less than we used to know, and through it all– through it all, we’re being woven together in trust and dedication and togetherness.

We’re older (a little) and possibly wiser (?) but love the choice we’ve made. We’ve made it every day, and we’ll keep making it every day, whether we feel like it or not. Whether, in that moment, we like each other or not. There are two constants for us: we’re in this together as long as we’re both breathing, and that age-old constant of change. But with the first in place, we can get in the car and miss an exit or two and know that wherever we’re going, we’re going together.

Geoff & Molly at Saltcoats

And, my friends, there’s something in that.

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