What Is Marriage?
Marriage is the beautiful blending
Of two lives, two love
and two hearts —
It’s the wonderful, magical moment
When a beautiful love story starts.
Marriage is caring and sharing
From the moment you first say, “I do” —
It’s learning of life’s little troubles
And all of its happiness, too.
She was standing at the closet as she uttered her words again, “We have to talk.” She was dressed in camel brown slacks with stirrups and a pink and white check shirt as she reached into the closet. “Are you okay with this?”
“Of course,” I answered as the doorbell rang.
An unseen “counselor” stepped in and the three of us sat down, Karen and I on the couch and the counselor on the straight chair. She grabbed my hand as the counselor asked why he was here. Karen answered, “We just need to reconnect and I thought an outsider could help us.” I looked at her and shook my head in agreement.
“Okay, your assignment is to remember why you first fell in love.”
I woke up for a midnight run to the bathroom, but as I drifted back asleep we — the counselor, Karen and I — were sitting at the big, round wooden dining room table. I was the only one who spoke.
“I fell in love with you because you made me feel safe in a hostile world. I knew I could tell you anything and you weren’t going to judge me. You are beautiful, witty and wise. You are my life. I may not show it all the time but my world revolves around you. I would do anything for you.”
Karen broke into tears as the counselor interjected, “Good. Next assignment is to go out together, just the two of you, and just listen to each other. Karen, open your heart. Joe, open you heart. What has made you happy? What has bothered you? What are your dreams?”
And, I woke up.
Some people think marriage
is outmoded now,
And they don’t want to make
the commitments and vows.
The next night as I drifted to sleep, we were sitting at a table in a public place. I was holding her hand as she talked, but was more focused on her black cocktail dress, her sparkling brown eyes, the red highlights shining in her hair as the light hit it and the quirky expressions on her face as she spoke.
She asked me if I was listening. “Of course. You said you wanted to feel safe and you wanted me to listen to what you say. You wanted to feel important. You wanted to be loved, not taken advantage of. And you know I do love and respect you and your opinions.”
I woke up but thought to myself, “Nailed it!” Hey, it’s my dream.
The next night we were at dinner at a five-star restaurant. Our assignment was to order dinner for each other. Although I wanted to order Chateaubriand for Two, I ordered Karen an unending plate of Alaskan King Crab, then worried if I made the right decision since she was wearing a yellow sequined top and long black skirt — you know, butter splash. She ordered me a Prime Rib End Cut.
And I awoke, with the taste of that beef in my mouth.
But I just can’t see
from their point of view,
And I know it’s because
of how much I love you —
A couple of nights later, it was back to dreamland. This time, we were talking to our counselor back at the house. He said to us, “You didn’t need me. You needed each other. You needed to remember why you fell in love. You needed to remember to take time for each other. You needed to remember how much you complemented each other, how your individual strengths helped your spouse’s weaknesses, how your vulnerabilities were covered by your spouse. You needed to get back to basics.”
With the strains of an instrumental version of I’ve Got You Under My Skin wafting into my consciousness, I awoke … and realized the dream sequences were a reflection of our life together. It’s bittersweet. This was supposed to be our time. The closest I am going to come to visiting with Karen is in my dreams.
I cherish each promise
that holds us together,
For you’re my life’s joy,
and you will be forever.
But at the same time, we enjoyed the time we had. We each gave 100% … and that’s what it takes. Marriage is not a 50-50 proposition, it’s 100-100 with some extra thrown in. It’s hard work but we survived … because “we had to talk!”
With All My Love
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, Forever