Do you remember saying those words as you looked lovingly in the eyes of the person you were going to spend the rest of your life with? Do you remember holding their hand as you spoke them thinking "How did I get so lucky?" Do you remember how you counted down the days until you were married so you wouldn't have to say goodbye when the night ended but instead you would be able to say goodnight as you went to bed together?
Or has it become a distant memory interrupted by the chaos of life? Has your marriage become a routine of getting up, getting ready for work, saying a quick goodbye only to return home exhausted and frustrated? Have the date nights been replaced by dirty diapers and piles of bills? Do you ever wonder what happened to the fairy tale romance you once had?
Did he leave the dishes in the sink overnight after he said he would wash them and now you are stuck scrubbing dinner off the pan that you made? Did she leave the car with no gas and you now are late to the meeting you had a work? Are you tired because he isn't getting up with you in the middle of the night when the baby is crying? Are you frustrated because she doesn't understand what budget means and overspends? Do you feel as though the marriage is crumbling, cracking and breaking and you don't know how it will ever be resolved? Has life interrupted the dreams you had of what a marriage was?
May I give you a piece of advice? The little things that are causing you to fight and making you upset, they do not matter. It's not worth fighting over the dirty dishes. It is not worth screaming over the lack of gas in the car. It is not worth slamming doors and getting frustrated over the laundry that no one wants to put away. It is important to have balance and shared responsibilities in a marriage, but fighting over the little things, don't matter.
"For sickness or health." I said those words almost 6 years ago never imagining that sickness would come and would come so soon after the vows. And as I visit my husband in the hospital as he gets his second cycle of chemo, it makes me realize just how much those little things did not matter. As I listen to his oncologist use words like low platelets, transfusion, bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy, side effects and white blood counts, I realize now more than ever how much those little things that used to frustrate me did not matter at all.
So let me challenge you instead of getting frustrated at what your spouse did not do, thank them for the things they did. Uplift them with your words. Love them. I dare you when you get home from work even though you are tired tell your spouse how much you love them and appreciate them. I dare you when your spouse walks through the door even though you are tired and had a long day let them tell you about their day first. Find time this week to spend together. You may not have the budget for a date, but you can cuddle on the couch.
Talk to each other. Hold hands. Kiss. And remind yourself about the day you stood across from them so excited that two were becoming one.