The Balance of Marriage Meets the Balance of Life

“Family and friends, welcome to the Ashford Estate.”

And so I began my sister’s wedding, a wedding in which I was performing the ceremony alongside the groom’s sister.  My “career” as a wedding officiant had officially begun.

Little did my sister know, but version 1 of the ceremony was way different than version 10.  But common to all versions was the focus on the meaning of marriage.  What is marriage?  What does it mean to me?  What should I tell my sister and her future husband that it means to them?  Do I even know anything about marriage being only 9 years in?  I was forced to ask myself these questions, and to be honest, version 1 probably missed the mark.

Marriage is hard work.  Marriage is about not losing your individuality in a environment of shared, well, everything.  Marriage is trying  to raise your children to the best of your ability while also attempting to keep up with laundry, dishes, meals, snack time, yard, dog, potty training, story time, taking out the trash, bedtime stalling tactics, bills, family and friend events and engagements , extra bills from those events and engagements, kids’ games and practices, my fantasy football team, eating healthy, staying in shape, the backlog on the DVR, and oh yeah, making time for yourself and your spouse.

Got that sis?

Obviously I didn’t go into that much detail, but that was basically the tone.  It took some bad news to flip my perspective.

Sure I also included parts in version 1 about having the comfort of someone in bed next to you each and every night, getting to spend the rest of your life with your best friend, the fulfillment of that silent, proud look you share with each other after your kids say “please” or “thank you” without being told, and the awesome feeling that comes along with finding that special person who loves you with all their heart and has decided that you are the one they want to spend the rest of their life with.  It was all in there in version 1, but the problem was that it wasn’t being put in the proper perspective.

The bad news took care of that.

That’s when I realized many of those challenges I spoke of, the “hard work” part of marriage, were nothing more than on par with getting mad at the person driving slow in front of you.  This stuff doesn’t matter in the big picture.  Snack time isn’t challenging, it’s a blessing we are even presented with the opportunity to serve picky eaters snacks every 35 minutes.  Taking out the trash?  Just do it.  Dishes, get them done or leave them in the sink, who really cares?  The yard?  Throw on the headphones and crank the tunes and enjoy it.  The dog?  Well, picking up after these animals is still the worst thing ever and nothing will change that.

It’s all about balance.

Version 10 of the ceremony ended up being a lot of sunshine (it was a wedding after all), and then went on to define marriage as the ultimate balance.  Respect each other as individuals… as you build a life together as a couple and a family.  Celebrate the good times… but also tackle the challenges.  Marriage is about communication and love… as well as compromise and patience.

What I personally realized during this experience is that the balance doesn’t stop at marriage.  It continues into life.

Remember to make time for yourself… but also for each other.  Never be too busy to play with your kids… yet encourage them to play by themselves.  Take pride in your work as a professional… but don’t bring it home with you or let it ruin your day.  It’s okay to keep an eye on what you want… but never forget about what you already have.  Dance and celebrate at weddings… and be present and supportive at funerals.

Marriage is a balance much like life is a balance.

It also doesn’t matter if you have good or bad balance, just be thankful you are still balancing.

Brad the Dad can be reached at bradmarmo@gmail.com and found on: Facebook|Twitter|Pinterest

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About Brad the Dad

Enjoy a unique, fresh and entertaining perspective on parenting as Brad the Dad learns what it takes to raise 2 boys in today's world. #DadsRT co-founder.

By Original author: Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937) (Manual reconstruction by Denelson83) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Comments

  1. Carter says:

    Good post, Brad. Perspective is not always easy to maintain, but it’s vital in marriage.

    • Thanks, Carter. It sucks that sometimes it takes these significant events to give one perspective, but I guess the true crime would be never gaining perspective at all.

  2. JamesHudyma says:

    Balance.  That is always a priority for me.  Achieving it seems to be like finding a unicorn, or for me, like a Sasquatch.

    • @JamesHudyma It’s a tough thing indeed, but definitely a priority.  And will you guys just release pictures of Sasquatch and stop teasing us down here!  I know he exists, and once we can get that behind us, we can all focus on finding pics of Loch Ness.

  3. Keeping an eye on the future, but remembering everything you have in the present. Great advice!

    • @DaddysinCharge I may or may not have been inspired by a line in a Sheryl Crow song with that part. “It’s not having what you waaant. It’s wanting what you’ve goooot.” #soakupthesun

  4. TX_Lisa says:

    Lovely post.

  5. readbradthedad says:

    @twinfamy Thanks bud! How’s your balance going? Twins keeping you busy?

    • Twinfamy says:

      @readbradthedad Been a long few weeks. All 4 of us took turns getting sick & finally on the tail-end. Approaching our hectic normal again 🙂

      • readbradthedad says:

        @twinfamy Nice! These colds seem to be lingering extra long these days. I still have a slight cough 4 weeks later. WTF?

        • Twinfamy says:

          @readbradthedad I hear you. I’m on week 3 myself. These damn microbes won’t listen to reason.

  6. readbradthedad says:

    @Happiestdaddy Thanks homey, I appreciate the awesome RT.

    • Happiestdaddy says:

      @readbradthedad Back at you, bro.

  7. readbradthedad says:

    @SportsDadHub Thanks, man. Was an interesting weekend to say the least.

  8. readbradthedad says:

    @stuart_sheldon Thanks for reading and for the kind words. Much appreciated.

    • stuart_sheldon says:

      @readbradthedad Keep the dad wisdom coming.

  9. AskAGreatDad says:

    Great post, as you know I had been struggling with that work/life balance. I always try and look at the good things. Who would have thought my brightest part of the day would be hearing my daughter come in the bathroom and say pee & poop for the first time. I was then rolling on the floor when she came back in and her pants were off.

    • Thanks! That’s hilarious about your daughter. Just wait until she says the same thing after sticking her hands in her diaper to better show you exactly what she is talking about. I wish I was joking…

  10. Being on the road all of the time makes this especially challenging. Some weeks it feels like we have the balancing act down while others feel like we have no idea what we’re doing. I think the key is not to be too hard on yourselves in the moments when it’s not working and make sure you remember that this is sort of a moving target with better times coming back around to you.

    • Great input. I sometimes get frustrated at us being frustrated because I don’t want us to lose sight of how lucky we are to even be having these frustrations. Frustrated with kids? We have two healthy ones. Frustrated with job. I’m employed. Etc… Thanks for weighing in. And as someone who is back with the good times after a challenging summer, I hear ya 100%.

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