Before getting married, I remember being inundated with advice. Don’t go to bed angry. Make time for date nights. Cling to your vows. Follow Jesus above all else.
I took this as a “heads up” of all the trials and struggles my husband and I would face in our marriage. And while no one enters their marriage thinking it’s going to be full of problems, I understood it was a reality of marriage—a phase that we would go through and tackle together.
The wedding also brought on a lot of words of encouragement and excitement. You get to grow old with someone. How fun to live life with your best friend. You will have so many adventures. There is nothing better than loving and being loved by someone. And this was the phase I couldn’t wait for, the phase everyone pictures when they think of marriage. Love, fun, passion, and good times. Yep, I was ready for it.
But, what about the phase of marriage that no one really talks about?
The phase where nothing is really wrong—you’re not fighting or arguing or unhappy with one another. You’ve seen your share of hard times and trials, made it through, and know there will be more to come. But you’re not in the honeymoon phase either. Those feelings of never wanting to leave each other’s side, the youthful passion, and flirtatious moments are fewer and farther between.
I like to call this phase of marriage the comfort phase. It’s going to bed at different times because one of you works early and one works at night. It’s dividing and conquering time with your kids so they feel like they have some one-on-one time. It’s being OK with not going out for date night so you can put that money toward a new bathroom. It’s trying to watch a movie together but one of you (OK . . . always me) falls asleep before it’s even halfway over.
It’s being fully and completely content with each other and where you’re at in life—and it’s a different level of love I never anticipated.
And while this phase of marriage is definitely not bad, it can turn quickly. What starts as simple and practical ways to approach each day and get through life, eventually turns into a routine that can sometimes feel lonely. You forget about doing the little things for your spouse, the extra things that remind them why you love them. You pass by each other multiple times in a day just trying to get through your tasks, and sometimes, the only acknowledgment you give is a quick grab of their hand or a wink and a smile.
Your husband unintentionally takes a backseat while every other role in your life takes precedence over wife.
The same is applied to you, and yet, it’s not a problem. You always find a way back to each other.
That true, unconditional, all-forgiving love is still present—and that right there is comfort.
And while this phase of marriage can be overlooked and may not be what you dream of on your wedding day, it’s one of God’s biggest blessings. While it’s far from perfect, to have a foundation to come back to no matter the time or distance or mundaneness of your everyday life—that is true marriage.
So, amidst my day with various roles of mom, worker, snack-maker, maid, etc., I’m reminded to focus on my most important role—wife. To show love to my husband and to thank him for his presence that is so trusting. So safe. So forgiving.
So . . . comfortable.
And while this phase of marriage wasn’t one I expected, it’s becoming one of my favorite.