It’s that time of life. You’ve been married maybe 7 or 15 or even 23 years. You may have a few kids (or dogs) and have finally found your career and settled in. You have bills, “meetings” of a various sort, a lawn to mow, and your usual “date night” consists of dinner at one of three typical restaurants and a movie. Then, if it’s Friday, you might even have sex. You have entered the Marriage Middle.
Once upon a time, you and your partner probably looked like this:
Happy, in love, anticipating the future. And you felt warm fuzzies every time you saw picture like this pop up on your social media:
And spoke dreamily about the days ahead when you would be sitting on your porch, watching a bunch of grandkids running around in the late afternoon sun.
But, what happens in the middle? How does the young couple actually become the old couple on the couch. Well, it might look something like this:
And so many more. Photo albums worth. Big and little and mundane and exciting moments that make up the years in the middle. This is the time when your relationship expands and contracts. Maybe you go to a relationship retreat, have arguments about disciplining kids, learn how to be intimate in new ways, get stuck in ruts, get out of ruts, and notice a few more laugh lines at each anniversary dinner. But, somehow, those laugh lines become endearing and full of memories and you wouldn’t get rid of them for anything.
This middle time IS your marriage. The two pictures above are just the bookends. And to get from one to the other requires commitment, endurance, work, laughter, understanding, patience, passion, forgiveness and perspective.
So, even if life seems mundane and predictable, take a step back and look at all you have and be grateful. The two old people waiting for you will be glad you did.