Wednesday, 20 January 2016

walking together at the same pace

#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

I wrote a blog post in July last year about married life and how it isn't necessarily all bells and whistles, but what is rewarding is the shared love, and commitment, and history, and the connection that 30+ years together gives us. It was one of my most viewed posts - I guess because so many of us are finding that balance in a world where lust and hot sex are worshiped and where depth and commitment to the long haul come a poor second.

I often read posts and see quotes from starry eyed young couples where they are certain that they know it all. They assume that the love they have on their wedding day will carry them through and life will be rosy. They are very quick to give advice on the fact that they have said their vows and they will love each other forever.

There is so much more to marriage than those first shiny days together when we are skipping through life and all is right in our world. There are many, many paths we will walk together - some of them gentle and smooth, some of them uphill and slippery. There will be rough paths and potholes and detours. Nobody gets a free ticket to a garden path that winds through shady glades "until death us do part".

The tough part of marriage is keeping the same pace - not having one person running ahead or one person lagging too far behind. We need to be there for each other - sometimes as a support to lean on, sometimes as a hand to hold, sometimes as as a cheerleader, sometimes just to share the scenery and the cool breezes.

Love is more than just walking into each other's life… It's about walking together in the same direction.

I would never rain on any newly wed's parade, but I do hope that they keep walking in the same direction. I hope they don't give up when the path gets rocky. I hope they don't take different forks in the road and end up so far apart that they can't find their way back. 

Marriage will constantly present you with new roads to choose, and I hope you make the decision to walk down them together hand in hand. 


26 comments:

  1. I worked on my marriage for ten years and I and my ex were one of those starry-eyed couples who thought our love was forever and strong enough to stand the test of time. We were very naive to say the least. We both brought issues into the marriage that neither of us knew we had until it was too late. By then we had two kids to take care of and primarily tried to stay together for them. Meanwhile, so many bad things happened between us that the communication went first. Then the trust and honesty and finally, the love. There were many forks in the road and each time, we chose separate paths. I chose to work on my mental illness and get better while he chose to live in denial. It definitely put a strain on our relationship. After we split, it took some time to come to terms with our failed marriage but we both learned a lot from it too. For one thing, we both realized that we were never friends. We barely knew each other before dating and while that may work for some couples, it didn't work for us. We met, hung out a couple of times, started dating, moved in together, then had a baby, all within the first year. We moved way too fast! I won't make that mistake again. We are finally friends now but that's as far as it goes and we are both happy with that. Some people are only ever meant to be friends but we got two great kids out of the deal so neither of us have any regrets. I agree with you about the young couples today, as I said, I was one of them. They are in such a hurry to live the perfect life with a partner that they don't realize that life isn't perfect. It isn't meant to be and when life starts sending challenges their way, they immediately want to throw in the towel. This is a great post Leanne. You make a lot of great points! #waywow

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    1. Michelle that was beautifully written and I am so impressed with how far you and your ex have come. To be friends and to be able to parent those lovely children is so important. I think starry eyed romantic love is wonderful, but it doesn't make anyone an authority on the long haul of marriage. Some make it through and lots don't, but it's worth the investment of time. I hope you get another chance to walk some paths with someone special x

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  2. So beautifully written and something to which I can entirely relate. 19 years down the marital path and 24 together… I have learned so very much.

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    1. it's definitely a journey and not just a pleasant stroll isn't it Carla :)

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  3. I love this. I am now divorced, which was for several reasons, but one of the main reasons was the pace - just as you said. We were traveling at different speeds, and at times, different roads altogether. What I find interesting is that we were together for seven years before we got married, so you'd think we would've had the pace thing figured out. But we were young. Started dating in high school. We had a beautiful son, and many wonderful years, even though the ending wasn't the one I wanted at the time. The older I get, the more I realize how poorly marriage and relationships tend to be represented (the lust and hot sex part you mentioned). There's so much more to staying together for the long haul. I wish there was a way to portray that to young couples. But as with all of life, we just get wiser with age, don't we?

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    1. I'm so sorry that your marriage didn't make it through the tough roads Heather, but I still take it as a win if you can look back and see good parts to it (and a lovely son who was part of the journey). I do think that marriage is "sold" as the wedding and all the fun bits and nobody tells you about the tough times - and there are a LOT of those!

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  4. Hi Leanne! I've missed you! This couldn't be any truer. A long, successful marriage is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. If you really, really lucky though you can make it through the hard parts and come out the other side whole. It takes a lot of work, but is so worth it in the end.

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    1. Yes, I haven't heard from you for ages Rena! I missed you too. I think those of us who have done the long haul can certainly relate many a story of the tough patches that we walked through, but coming out the other side in one piece is such an achievement and so satisfying!

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  5. I love this.
    Going down the same path at the same pace. Holding tight to that hand. Doing life together.

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    1. Harder than it sounds sometimes Diane - but definitely rewarding if you make it through!

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  6. So true. As someone married 35 years, I can tell you marriage can be thorny as well as wonderful. And yes, walking the same pace and staying friends is the glue that holds it all together. Thank you.

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    1. Hi Laurie - congrats on 35 years - we're coming up for 33 next month and there have definitely been a lot of thorny paths, but some very pleasant ones too. Keeping pace through it all is the trick!

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  7. Wow, Leanne- 33! That's great. And you're so right about the thorny paths and staying on the same road. Excellent read! xx Abby

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    1. thanks Abby - I can't believe it's been that many years either! Sometimes it seems like less and other times it seems like forever!

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  8. Truer words were never spoken. We are coming up on 32 years and I am so glad we stuck it out during the tough years - and there were plenty of them. The love and appreciation I have for my husband now is so much deeper and richer than at the beginning. It comes for experiencing life and all its ups and downs together. Thanks for your post.

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    1. thanks for stopping by Cathy and you have summed it up beautifully. All those tough times become water under the bridge if we let them, and then the journey continues.

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  9. Your post made me smile Leanne. I've just come back from a walk with my other half and taking your post literally, he always walks faster than me (his legs are much longer) so I end up tottering behind, asking him to slow down and walk with me. I think you are right about the metaphor here. Although he's not walking with me all the time, the fact that he came out for a walk with me, just to keep me company and to enjoy some fresh air, as a couple, speaks volumes. I was only walking to the supermarket to get some honey so it wasn't in any way a two person job, but it was just nice to do it together. The simplest of things but hopefully these things will keep us together for the long haul. The more you do together and think of the other person, the better chance you have of making it.

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

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    1. My husband walks faster than me too Sally - I have to keep asking him to slow down a little. Keeping up with each other is what life is all about - remembering to include each other is the key x

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  10. Leanne, I love how you get to the heart of the matter, to what's really important. When I was younger I put too much time into planning the wedding and I should have been figuring out if the man I was marrying was the one that I would want to spend my life with. As I got older I learned those things, but it was a painful journey! Now I see more clearly and most of it all stemmed from loving myself enough now to seeing that if I loved myself I would be lovable, the right man would come and with work we could have a wonderful partnership. Great post! There are so many more important things than the initial butterflies, although it's great to still have those, but for different reasons!

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    1. I agree Nikki - you need the romantic love but you also need the commitment to see it through the tough times. It isn't always sunshine and rose petals, it's about keeping your vows and hanging in there til the sun shines again.

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  11. Beautiful quotes. This is definitely how I see my relationship with my better half - it's not all stars and fireworks, but we understand each other, and are happy in sharing our lives. x #overthemoon

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    1. Sharing our lives is the key isn't Jessica? It's about keeping enough room for your other half in your life. Keeping on walking together hand in hand.

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  12. What a lovely way to paint it with words Leanne! We have our 10 year wedding anniversary on Thursday and I have written a post for next week in the same vein. 30 years beats me pretty easily though! :) #WAYWOW

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    1. You'll have to link your post up to our OvertheMoon linky on Mondays Haidee because I'd love to read it. thanks for stopping by x

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  13. This is so lovely and so true! I love your point about keeping pace together... going to have to remember that!

    Thank you for linking up at #FridayFrivolity! I really benefited from reading your reflections. Pinning and tweeting!!

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  14. Thank you for sharing such words of wisdom at the Over the Moon Link Party. I think that couples forget that they are on the same team and that keeping a relationship up actually requires work. It's been almost 27 years since I've met my husband and I wouldn't want to spend time with anyone else more than him.

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