Sometimes I think our culture takes marriage for granted.

The beauty of it.

The sacredness.

The hard work and dedication.

The commitment.

The sacrifices.

The molding of ourselves so that two can truly become one.

Our culture doesn’t speak too highly of marriage.

When we do speak of marriage, we like to fantasize it as a fairytale, a romance, an unending love and passion.

We like to think it’s easy.

And I’m not saying it can’t be those things.

Some days, or some seasons, it might be just that.

But I think there’s a little secret that goes into marriages.

A little secret that ends up making marriage so authentically beautiful.

It’s the daily hard work behind the scenes.

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The sacrifices and the constant forgiving.

The unpopular choices made to keep the marriage holy.

The choice of words used about your spouse when your spouse isn’t around.

Loving the ugly parts of one another through the hard seasons.

It’s letting your partner see all parts of you. The ugly, the beautiful, the everything. And never giving that sacredness to anyone else.

The tears, and the determination to never give up.

To keep going.

To keep choosing.

The choice to always see the best in your imperfect partner, and the choice to love one another, when there are seasons when that just isn’t easy.

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Marriage truly is a daily sacrifice.

A sacrifice of ourselves.

Of our egos.

Of our pride.

A “chipping away” of the ugly and selfish hidden within each of us.

A lot of times it’s a sacrifice of our individual wants, for the betterment of “together.”

It’s standing up for what’s right.

The secret of marriage is how beautiful love really is, when we see it for what it really is.

It’s not a fairytale. It’s not always perfect.

It’s seeing that the mess makes it beautiful.

The sacrifices make it pure.

The daily choices make it sacred.

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It’s the fact that no one else knows exactly what goes into your marriage . . . what you’ve been through—the highs, the lows, the in-betweens, except for the two of you.

And through it all, it’s looking back at your spouse, and knowing that person is worth the hard work.

Because I don’t want a fairytale love.

I want a forever love. 

This article originally appeared on Messy Footprints

Marriage takes work. Thankfully, there’s an app that can help! Lasting—the nation’s #1 relationship counseling app—provides accessible sessions designed to help you build a healthy marriage. Download and take Lasting’s free Relationship Health Assessment. 

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Kaleigh Christensen

Kaleigh is a stay at home mom, wife, and former Kindergarten teacher. In her spare time she loves to write about the things that matter. She shares real and honest vulnerability about the ups and downs of motherhood, marriage, infertility, miscarriage, and just plain life. She loves to inspire others to find the beauty mixed in with the mess of life. To read more of her writings, like her Facebook page, Messy Footprints, @MessyFootprints

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