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What Marriage Really Looks Like

Updated: 7 days ago

husband kisses wife in kitchen as she is preparing food

What Marriage Really Looks Like

I think the idea of marriage is terrifying to some while seeming like a novelty to others. I'm sharing what marriage really looks like for me and many other couples because after thirteen years I have some wisdom to share and our marriage has benefited from other couples who've generously shared with us along the way. I recently had someone ask me if my marriage was peaceful, because peaceful to them meant boring. My response was, "We have been together for 13 years, it's peaceful, but not all the time. Thirteen years and it's not going to be peaceful all the time, but peaceful does not equal boring!" When I accepted my husband's proposal I thought about what it would be like to be a married couple. No longer living a single lifestyle, dating each other, but in a solid, long-term, committed relationship. I considered what that would look and feel like and it excited me! Fast forward 13 years, 4 kids, 6 deaths in the family, financial struggles, and lots of ups and downs later and I have some insight! Now, there's something to be said for the innocence of not knowing, so if you would like to leave, this is your warning, now's your chance...

What Marriage Really Looks Like

Marriage means easy like Sunday morning and also hard work and hard times. Like really, really hard work from both partners a lot of the time. It means fun, spontaneity, and excitement. It can also be boring as hell, stagnant, and bone-ass dry!

What Marriage Really Looks Like

It looks like spooning in your sleep or sleeping with your backs towards each other because neither of you get restful sleep when you "cuddle" through the night. Sometimes it means taking the couch so your child can snuggle with the other parent when they don't feel well.

What Marriage Really Looks Like

Sometimes it means quickies before your partner leaves for work, and playing "This for That!" What is This for That you may ask. This for That is a game my husband and I created after we had a hard realization that our sex life had changed for that season in our lives, "this for that" bargaining worked, for both of us, it was a win-win! Example- "If you give me 20 minutes in the bedroom, I'll let you sleep in tomorrow and get up with the baby so you don't have to!"

Sleep, did someone say extra sleep? Deal baby!

You're welcome!

Marriage for some couples means going months without seeing each other because of long deployments. It means getting back into the swing after this long "break", it's not all easy! Marriage can be harsh words, pure disgust, and contemplating the "D" word. Yes, divorce! It means putting the other person before yourself at times, many times. It might mean counseling, even by yourself if the other person won't go. Marriage means talking, lots and lots of talking.  It's saying you’re sorry even when you don't know what you did or understand why it hurt the other person, but you say it because you know your intention wasn't to hurt them, you did, and you are willing to learn what it was that hurt them. Marriage means you may not always be madly in love with your partner, but you love your partner! It means purposing to make time for one another. It means making time for opportunities to fall back into love again and again. Marriage means recognizing the other person's shortcomings, but meeting them where they are instead of calling them out! It's speaking words of appreciation for the everyday things we tend to take for granted. It's reminding yourself that they are human just like you and they have not given up yet either!

Marriage means you’re listening, you extend grace, and your trust and honesty game must be on point! We have found that knowing and understanding each other’s personality styles, love languages, and setting some ground rules helped us tremendously. These may not work for everyone and are really meant more for examples than direct guide for you. For our marriage it's been very helpful.

Our ground rules:

  1. No name calling

  2. No arguing in front of the kids about the other's parenting choice. (This has been the hardest for us by far. Our parenting styles are so different, but trusting (which came with time) helped both of us know that we don't have to understand to trust the other's choice and decision even though it may be very different from our own. We will and do argue in front of our kids, on occasion, and feel it is not only acceptable, but beneficial for them to see us have our differences. We also make sure, when apologies are necessary that we do it in front of the kids as often as possible so they witness that as well.

  3. Once forgiven you can't throw it back in their face! Forgiveness, but not forgotten! Marriage is about love! It's about beginning with the end in mind. Marriage is about knowing when to fight and when to walk away. It's about not falling asleep at night mad at each other. It's about squashing the bullshit because you realize life is short and this is the person who you love more than any other.

It's about taking the road less traveled and creating your own detours!

When you think about what marriage really looks like, know that it's beautiful, but not without mess. It's not all smiles and happiness, it's rough, it's raw, it's crazy, but it can also be beautiful and fulfilling!

woman wearing glasses and a orange dress sits in a hammock chair smiling on the front porch

Authored by Elizabeth Luke

Elizabeth is the founder and CEO of The Jacksonville Baby Company. Elizabeth and her husband and best friend, Richard are parents to four children. With certifications in Postpartum and Infant Care Support, Childbirth and Newborn Care Education, Lactation Support, and Infant Sleep, Elizabeth is a wealth of knowledge and has a heart for helping parents live their best lives while also ensuring their children are safe, happy, and leading their healthiest lives possible! Contact us today for day, night, and live-in support! 


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