The Thing About Marriage

It’s the same person, day after day.

Some days, I wake up and see him there and love the arc of his arm slung over the pillow, his back half covered by sheet and blanket, the other half kissed by the still air of the room we share.

Other days, it’s a rush and a swirl of waking up and passing one another like ships, with not much of a foghorn to announce our nearness.

Days like that can go for weeks and I begin to wonder when the last time was that we talked, that we stopped to take each other in, that we undressed within view of one another. And thoughts like that might give way to thoughts of wonder about how this happens, how we grow apart in each other’s presence.

But then a day comes when we stop and talk and really hear each other. A night like that proceeds slowly. We settle into parallels with each other in the bed we share and we drift into sleep in the middle of a sentence but then suddenly we snap awake and it’s like the night can last infinitely forever.

And we delight in one another. The taste, the lilt, the very concept that this person is the one I share my life with, and every day I choose to do so yet again.

This morning, we walked across Ocean Highway to the little lovely market that carries international foods and kosher items and so many delights of taste. It was a humid, bright morning at the beach, and we were in search of chocolate chips for Eliana to bake into scones, but we also bought another box of Wacky Mac because apparently more than just Asher likes it, and a freshly made baklava because Asher eyed it yesterday and a big container of plain yogurt for Shaya.

I loved walking next to him, this man who came into my life nearly six years ago and to whom I promised lifelong love and companionship four years back. It never occurs to me to want to be with someone else, I told him, because it doesn’t.

Six years is a long time in a way but it’s so short in the scheme of things. Enough time to grow bored and discontent, though.

And yet we never do. That’s the thing about marriage. It’s a journey. A journey that starts over every single day.

It’s a promise to stay together even when you don’t want to stay together, a pledge to walk side by side even when one of you is slower than the other.

Personally, I love being married to the man I am married to. But sometimes he makes me crazy, and I’m sure he feels the same way in my direction.

And still, we wake up each morning in the bed that we share and regardless of the overarching emotions of that moment, we know the shadow over our steps will be a familiar silhouette for many, many years because that’s the thing about marriage.

It walks with you as you walk alongside one another, in love and in dislike, in fed-up and in fear and in fun.

I never want to be with anyone else, I told him. And I absolutely meant it.

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