– Dedicated to my beloved wife
I realized this process wouldn’t be complete without an explanation of where the motto “enjoy the process” originated from. I’ll save the full story for another time, but basically it was the theme from the beginning of my relationship with my now wife. When we started dating, or what we defined as courtship (despite a NY Times article released shortly after titled “The End of Courtship?”), there were many hurdles we had to jump over. But instead of looking at them as negatives, we simply wanted to enjoy the process through the good times and bad.
My wife and I were wedded March 2014 and we recently celebrated our one year anniversary. There were times that were definitely very challenging, however, the beauty of marriage, a healthy marriage, is something that is incomparable to anything else in life. We shared a few things that we learned or were thankful of after our first year together. A couple of mine are below:
I am most free when I am with my wife
There is the adage you hear amongst “bros” when either their girlfriend or wife is out of town, “I’m a free man!” I remember being alongside friends who had girlfriends/wives that would say this and when their “significant” other was no longer around, then it was time to go out and have fun. The sad reality of this condition, especially for those that are committed in marriage, is that the commitment seems more like an imprisonment rather than a joy.
I wasn’t sure what to expect once I got married how I would react if my wife were to be out of town, but I was given the opportunity to experience this not too long ago. She was away for an extended weekend and the little bachelor inside my head thought, “It is time to have some fun!” However, once apart, I realized after the first night that I was not having more fun nor did I feel more liberated. In fact, life didn’t seem complete. It was then I realized that the relationship that my wife and I nurtured, especially in the earlier stages, was so mutually beneficial that I was able to do everything that I wanted to do even with her. I was so thankful to have a wife that is understanding and it made me want to “sacrifice” certain areas of my life that perhaps some bachelors may view as not worth sacrificing. I know that my life has been more freeing now with my wife than the illusion of freedom during my single hood.
My reality is better than any fantasy
The second thing I learned and was tremendously thankful towards my wife may be a little bit uncomfortable for some couples or individuals to read. There is another adage that “men are like dogs” when it comes to their sexual desires. Though I credit myself to be a little bit more civilized than a dog, I know that if left to my own vices, I am no different and the lure of sexuality is most certainly present in my life.
What I realized that most men would do regarding these lures is to either suppress them or entertain them in their own minds (the former most likely leading to the latter anyway). I realized that as I would try to keep suppressing or avoiding the thoughts, it would usually lead to frustration as it is no different than trying to stop thinking about a pink elephant in the room. An exercise I did was to just play out whatever lure it may have been, that is, whatever fantasy was conjured up in my own mind (and of course, this will probably look different for everyone). I realized as I “played out my fantasy” in entirety and how it would affect my life, there was no way that the fantasy could ever replace the reality I had with my wife. There is nothing nor anyone that can ever replace her with all our quirks and intricacies that make us us, and that is when I realized that my reality is better than any fantasy.
Now I must add that a tricky part to this “exercise” is that if the relationship is not healthy, entertaining the lures of sexual desires or playing out fantasies may ultimately lead to a reality, which then will lead to the plethora of broken and hurt marriages and relationships we see today. I must urge that it is paramount to ensure that the relationship is healthy and then be able to tackle whatever other issues present in life.
All in all, I cannot wait to keep enjoying this process with my wife, and I could not have asked for a better year together. Happy one year anniversary love.