Wednesday, April 16, 2008

On choosing a spouse...

Ages 7 & 12

When I was in high school someone once told me, "When you get married you will marry a great guy because you compare all your dates to your brother". At the time I didn't think much about it. Now that I look back, it's true. I did compare guys to my brother.

Yes, it did get me a great husband.

The psychology behind relationships is fascinating. Many of the characteristics I thought I would end up with in a spouse didn't happen, and yet I got things I didn't know I wanted.

My husband and brother share many things, but the characteristic that I appreciate most is their desire to be better people. I've met too many people that think that striving to become better shows weakness. In truth, you have to be confident and strong in order to face those characteristics that are in need of changing.

Throughout my almost 12 year marriage I have come to appreciate many times over that willingness in my husband to change and grow. The people that we were when we walked down that wedding isle at age 20 are very different than the people we are now. In many ways we grew up together.

What if neither one of us had been willing to change?. I think that question is an easy one to answer. We wouldn't be together as a couple today. The ability to mold around each other like two trees twinging together as they grow is what makes a marriage work. Really work, not just coexist.

Lately we have laughed about all the ways we have become like each other. Which is good, because there are still so many times we want to scream because of all the ways we are different. Sometimes that change comes by choice. Sometimes we wake up one day and realize that we are more like each other today than we were yesterday.

We have learned how to communicate better, love more selflessly, give more generously, and be more open and accepting. The richness of life comes through relationships with other people. How they impact you and how you impact them. The ability to mold around each other makes those roots go deeper. It makes life more beautiful and worthwhile.

I will forever be grateful to my brother for patterning that kind of ability to change and grow. A characteristic that I didn't know I needed in a spouse, but subconsciously looked for and found.

2 comments:

Mom said...

Great goin',
I am impressed.
You are doing a wonderful job on this.
Mom

The Daring One said...

I'm loving these pictures! He sounds like a great guy. I always sort of wished I'd had an older brother.