We all have things that bond us together in marriage. I’m not just talking sex or children, but things like circumstances weathered together, shared dreams, or even tangible objects.
There have been two very dark times in my marriage. One was the death of our unborn child, and the other was a few years later due to miscommunication and selfishness. I believe 2 things helped keep our marriage together.
As crazy as it may sound, one was a secular television show. We had just started watching a show on Netflix right before I miscarried. At a time void of happiness, it was a shared bright spot in our darkness. Yes, we each had Christ, but my husband was angry at God so we didn’t share that normal bond. God in his mercy knew that issue and sent something to help keep us together – laughter. We laughed so hard we cried, and it was so nice to cry for a different reason. Slowly, we healed. No one else will ever fully understand the shared pain of our lost child; not that others haven’t known loss, but no one understands the loss of River like my husband does. It is an invisible glue that will always bond us together no matter what.
The other thing God used was a bluegrass group. We both have very different taste in music, but we both enjoyed listening to this group together during a time we weren’t as close and shared fewer interests. There wasn’t a lot we agreed on then, but that group gave us both something to enjoy together, including a very memorable date.
Thankfully, we are no longer in those dark places due to hard work on our marriage. Although every marriage has rough patches, I think there is one major thing that distinguishes those marriages that stay together versus those that fall apart. That is that they keep growing together and learn to share common interests. My husband and I have changed greatly since we were first married, and have had to learn to adapt continually. Sometimes we have done a better job than others, but we have always found something we enjoy doing together.
One such thing we have learned to enjoy together is gardening. Never in a million years as a 12-year-old child would I have thought I would end up enjoying gardening. There was a year my Mom decided to grow a huge garden, and I hated it with a passion. However, in the past 5 years not only have I learned that I enjoy gardening, but that my husband does as well. We make a great team since he is awesome at planting and tilling, and I am great at picking and canning. One day I see us being one of those old couples puttering around in the garden together, and the thought brings me joy.
Another thing we love doing together is road trips. We look at land, dream, and talk about our future while riding the roads. When you dream together, you place each other in the future and that helps you feel more like a team. Often, we load up the kids, pack a cooler of snacks (to keep the natives from getting restless), bring a bag of things for them to do, and take off on a driving. It is often spur of the moment, and frequently it is with no destination in mind. On the back, winding roads, we have a “date” in the front seat and dream together.
Sometimes there is something one spouse has always loved that the other spouse learns to appreciate just because it brings their other half so much joy. For me, this was football and guns. Before we got married my father loved football but I just found it annoying since it always tied up the TV; however, after we got married Logan took me to my first live football game. I will never forget the energy of that game and how much I enjoyed myself. I enjoyed it so much I learned most of the rules, which came in handy when I watched him play pick-up games the first few years of our marriage. There is something about watching your spouse play a sport that helps you appreciate it more. Growing up my mother wasn’t a fan of guns since they scared her. They just weren’t a part of my life and I knew nothing about them. My husband, on the other hand, is knowledgeable about guns and is certified to teach others how to shoot. Over the past 14 years, I have slowly learned not only to appreciate guns but also to enjoy shooting them. Both football and guns are not something I naturally gravitated towards, but I can honestly say I truly enjoy both now.
I am so thankful for all the things that knit us together as a couple, and I plan on continuing to find new things we enjoy together. How about you? What are some things that you love to do as a couple? Do you have an experience that has knit you together?