"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

07 April 2009

Friendship in Marriage

"Love is the same as like, except you feel sexier." This is a quote by Judith Viorst. (author, most famous for "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day")
I saw it in a little book I bought my husband one Xmas entitled "Perfect Pairs". The book features famous couples from famous, classic movies.

She also said this: "Close friends contribute to our personal growth. They also contribute to our personal pleasure, making the music sound sweeter, the wine taste richer, the laughter ring louder because they are there."

This month's topic for Marriage Monday is Friendship in Christian Marriage.
Most of us believe our husband's are also our friends. Or at least I assume most women believe that. I know that my close, personal friends who are married believe that.
BUT.....does the friendship "feelings" last throughout the marriage or is that just something that was evident during dating days but seems to fade once the marriage vows take place?

For Dave and I , our relationship began as a friendship that resulted in marriage. You can read about that here.

The first quote listed above is the "feeling" I got after dating him for a few weeks, which occurred after a couple of months of true friendship. Spending time with him almost every free minute. Hanging out together on Fridays after teaching all day. Doing music ministry together. Taking long, long, looonnnnnggg walks together on the Hudson River Pathway or the Mohawk Trail. Biking together. Going out for dinner every weekend. Mentoring the City Life teens together. Talking on the phone every nite after the routines of living in the city, renting an apartment, being a single woman. This was pre-cell phone days! Sitting in church together, attending small goup together.
In other words: doing life together. As just friends. Until that day that I realized I was "in love".
Of course I was hesitant due to having come out of a very bad relationship a couple of years earlier....I was very cautious. But...when it is a "God thing" you just know! My hesitancy gave way to hope. Hoping Dave was "the one". Hoping to get engaged. Hoping to build a life together. I was "in love" but I was "in love" with my best friend!

Are we still friends after 18 1/2 years of marriage?
YES! only now life is so much busier. We have 2 very active, over-achiever daughters. To make it even more challenging, they are 5 1/2 years apart. This can be tough sometimes because just as we are getting used to our teen being out until 10 pm at nite, we still have a 10 year old at home! We can't just go out on a whim if the teen is out unless we hire a sitter. Which we do when necessary!

Our friendship consists mainly now of making sure we have time to communicate, connect and compromise on certain things. We are both in busy ministries. I also now teach again (just part time!) after being a full time SAHM for 5 years. We are in a very active church where there is something going on every single nite of the week. Of course we have learned in the last 3 years that we simply cannot attend every single thing that Grace Fellowship has to offer.....but...it took us the first year to figure that out!
Now that we are in our 4th year there, we have found our "niche" in what ministries we should be involved in, and what events to attend separately or together. We have learned that to keep our friendship solid, we need to be in worship service as much as possible together. This is not always possible but most Sundays throughout the year we can do this. We are in separate small groups, currently, although for the first 2 years we took as many marriage small groups as were offered!
We also serve in 2 very different ministries. I also serve in a ministry that is not a part of our church campus.
We attend our daughters' various functions together and school meetings together. We applaud at each daughter's orchestra concerts. We tramp off together to watch our baby dance on stages. We took turns getting our oldest to and from the barn when she was involved in her equestrian sports thing. We attend School Open House together. We get our teen to and from her small group and Youth Center events.

We also make sure we have "date nites". During the school year these are few and far between but we do spend weekend evenings together at home doing something special. Even just sitting on the couch, drinking a glass of wine or hot tea and watching a flick, is a "date nite" to us! We play games. We walk. We kayak, play golf, hike, bike, read next to each other. We are comfortable with each other. We text each other. We try to meet each other's love language often if not daily. We are still doing life together!

I sometimes wonder how it would be if it had just been the 2 of us and we had decided not to have children. I think having the girls has made us even better friends. WHY? Because to be effective parents you really must have that communication, compromise, and connection down pat! Plus, I just cannot imagine my life without my daughters!
I think we are good friends who have balanced lives. We are not perfect.
Communication sometimes breaks down.

Connecting sometimes doesn't happen.
Compromise or I should say, trying to compromise, sometimes causes strife.

But..that is where Christ comes in! We cannot communicate, compromise or connect, in a true way, without Christ. He is the Center of our marriage!
"A 3 fold cord is not quickly broken" . That is found in Ecclesiastes.

It means that Christ is the center of our cord. He alone holds us together.

And just like the 2nd quote from my first paragraph says: Dave, my close friend (and husband!!) makes my music sweeter. He makes the wine taste better! The laughter rings louder in our house. He contributes to my personal pleasure. He keeps me grounded. We could not do this thing called Life or Marriage with out our Savior...who gives us the grace to live as friends and love unconditionally.


Sandy said...

I like the 4 C's
Connecting, Communicating, Compromise and Christ! :)
They are so important in marriage!

Susan said...

Wow, this was great!!

Thanks for sharing♥

Persuaded said...

i really really love hearing about successful marriages. your post made my day♥

Erin said...

Oh, I love this pic of you and Dave!

Susanne said...

I loved reading the ins and outs of how you guys keep you friendship thriving in the midst of a busy life. Those four "C's" were awesome.

Matt said...

wow this is soooo encouraging! This also goes along with the dating/marriage books I've been reading recently.

Thanks for posting this!

e-Mom said...

This post is just amazing! You two are such a wonderful example of a well-adjusted couple. WOW! Your daughters are so blessed to be under your roof.

Thanks for contributing, and sorry it took me so long to get over here and read it. I'll add this link to MM's Mister Linky too.

Have a blessed Easter!