Golden Fractures

My husband and I are celebrating 15 years of marriage on the 18th. If you asked either of us how long we have been married, we would tell you that it didn’t feel like 15 years. If I had to rattle off a number without actually thinking, it would definitely be in the single digits. Time flies when you are having fun, right?

I am a huge meme fan. I can find memes to fit nearly every situation. I was searching for memes to send to him for our anniversary. The memes that I saw depicting marriage were both sad and depressing. Below you can view a few that I found. Use the narrows on the left and right to scroll through them.

My husband and I have a truly unique relationship. We are each others best friends. Through good times and bad, we are there for each other. Our marriage isn’t perfect. It never has been. However, we work hard to make sure that we are the best versions of ourselves for each other. If we give 100% effort to our jobs, our kids, our friends, shouldn’t we be willing to give more than that to the person we have pledged our love to?

There are days that I do not like my husband very well. Days when he is grouchy, or I am irritated by everything. Even though I don’t like him in those moments, I still have a love for him. A deep, unwavering love. My love for my husband isn’t conditional. I don’t just love him when he is at his best. In fact, I show him love more when he is at his worse. But why?

Well, truth be known, the first reason is slightly selfish in nature. I want my husband to treat me the same way. On days that I am completely unlovable, I want him to love me enough to break down those walls. The second reason that I love him more when he is at his worse is because this is what I have called to do as a wife. Proverbs 10:11-12 says:

“The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.”

Let me be real for a second. I haven’t always done this. In those early years I was hateful if he messed up. He will even tell you that I threw a hairbrush at him. The truth is, I threw the brush on the bed and it bounced up and hit him. He refutes that with the argument that I know angles because I was a math major. He says that I threw the brush at the exact angle that I needed to, to make it hit him. We laugh about it now, but in the moment I probably could have done that.

Even now, after 15 years, I still want to throw a brush at him. Instead, I tell him I want to punch him in his throat. He tells me he loves me too. I call him a jerk face. He laughs. And I do too. Those phrases are terms of endearments for us. They let him know that I am frustrated, and he loves me through it. We laugh through the frustration, and then we love harder because that is what we need to do.

Our children know this. They know that mom really isn’t going to punch dad in the throat. They know that we do not solve anything in our house with violence. What they see in those moments is a playful relationship between their parents. They see us extend grace to each other, and they see us laughing at the end of it. They roll their eyes at us, because that is what kids do.

Before I go farther, I do want to say that I understand completely that not every marriage should be fixed. Abusive relationships are not okay. If a relationship ever becomes abusive, run far away.

Our marriage takes work. A lot of work. It’s worth it though. We live in an instant gratification culture. If something breaks, we throw it away and get a new one. We don’t try to fix it. In Japanese culture, there is a history of broken pottery being fixed with gold. This process, called Kintsugi, doesn’t camouflage the flaw, however they emphasize the breaks. The end result is that the piece becomes more beautiful, and is given a second life.

Our marriage is like the heart above. There have been fractures along the way. Yet, we don’t just patch them with glue. We talk about them. We come to an understanding of the effects the fracture had on each of us. We pour time, the most valuable thing we have, into making things better. At the end, the fracture is there, but it is made into something beautiful. Our golden fractures have molded us into who we are now. Both as individuals and as a couple.

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