Eighteen years ago today, I made a commitment to Faith Stevens. I said out loud in front of many witnesses, "I will never divorce you." I also said that I would cherish and hold and love her for as long as we were both alive.
It was the best decision I ever made. I get pretty ticked off when I hear grizzled old married guys give advice to young men about to get married. It usually starts: "Well, just wait until..." with some piece of wisdom about how they will lose their freedom and be condemned to a life driving a minivan with a fat woman in a robe. The minivan part might be true...but everything else he says is worthless.
Marriage is what you make of it. People will tell you all kinds of things...
- People will tell you that romance dies in marriage. Don't believe them...keep dating and it will grow.
- People will tell you when kids enter the scene your relationship will grow apart. Don't believe them...it doesn't have to be that way.
- People will tell you that your wife will never again look as beautiful as she does on her wedding day. Are you crazy? My wife is hotter now than she's ever been.
- People will tell you that the quality and quantity of your sex life will diminish. Uh, excuse me? I'll put my sex life up against any newlyweds. (Practically, I'm not sure how we'd do the comparison, so just take my word for it).
- People will tell you that you won't be able to make any decision about your time or money without getting permission from "the wife." First, stop calling her "the wife" -- and secondly, build a relationship on trust and mutual vision and you'll soon be thinking alike on these issues.
Don't get me wrong, it's not easy. Any successful relationship takes hard work, focus, intentionality, selflessness and unconditional love. But the pay-off is indescribable.
Oh, one piece of bad news...if you are waiting for the perfect woman, she's not available. I married her 18 years ago today, and that makes me the luckiest man alive.