Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What My Marriage Has Taught Me

He likes to let me drive in the mornings, which is a good thing considering he's still rubbing the sleep from his eyes. Ripley knows the drill after a few months: as soon as my fingers touch my steel-toed work boots she's already halfway out the door, eager for the ride to work.

I try to tell him every morning how much I appreciate that he drives me to work- even if I do the driving. Nightowls aren't meant for 4am wake-up times. He nods, sleepily, and smiles, but I'm not sure it really got through to him. Somehow I'll make it up- hashbrown waffles this weekend or re-watching Ninja Turtles again- there's a constant give and take between us.

Three years of marriage and there was one bit of advice that stuck with us the best. His dad spoke at our wedding- an outside affair that warranted slacks, a button-up, tennis shoes and a fishing hat. There was a lot he wanted to say with almost 40 years of marriage under his belt, but he narrowed it down to this: Give more than you take. If you both do this, your marriage will be blessed with love and happiness.

I didn't realize how flexible I could be until I was married. I didn't realize how fast I could swallow pride and anger, how quickly I could get things done or how much I could handle when I thought I'd had enough. I didn't realize how selfish I had been and how selfless I could be and how much I still had to learn about myself and my relationship with those I care about.

There was an awful article earlier this year that spoke out against getting married young, and while she had some interesting points to make, I couldn't--won't- agree with everything. There's nothing wrong with a built-in security blanket, a permanent best friend to see you through life's ups and downs. Why degrade those who have chosen to make this important decision for their personal life when all you've seen is how it may not work for you?

One of the lectures Mr. E and I attended while he was in film school was a Q and A session between producer Emma Thomas- Christopher Nolan's wife, director Betty Thomas and Alex Rose, a professor at Chapman. They were asked multiple times how to get started in the business, and the answer finally boiled down to this: find your support group. Find that person- or group of people- who will push you to do it again, who will celebrate when it goes right and will hash it out with you when it sucks. In some cases this is your best friend. Or your mom. For a lot of us it's our spouse. You'll need them, time and again, to remind you why you do this everyday.

Mr. E turned his headset to mute, found my hand and leaned across the red plush theatre seats, whispering,"I'm so lucky to have you."

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