My thoughts this morning have turned to marriage. My husband and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last month....quite a milestone. Our marriage started off very rocky and I always tell people the first ten years are the hardest.
A friend who has been married for a few years said to me recently that she keeps expecting that her husband will "grow up". I told her don't count on it.
What we owe our spouses: The love and support to help them become the best of themselves that they know themselves to be at this particular moment.
What our spouses owe us: Everything that they are capable of giving at this moment.
Having specific expectations of your spouse is a sad business...one in which you will most surely be disappointed. Your spouse will likely grow and change over time....but not according to your expectations. People are individuals, no matter how close the relationship. They can only grow in the direction their own self takes them.
Think of your spouse as a seed that you found. You can't tell from looking at the seed what it may sprout into. Will it bear fruit? Will it flower? Will it even ever sprout its head above the dirt? All you can do is plant that seed in the loving soil of your marriage and care for it. Shower it with love, comfort it with warmth, feed it with encouragement....and watch it grow! And enjoy the process...the years, the growth, the ups and downs, the beautiful crazy path that is life. Busy yourself with your own self as well...looking to become all you are in each moment.
And one day, under all that love and care, you will look at your spouse and realize all the change that they have gone through and recognize that beautiful self that they are. And you also will have grown and changed in unexpected ways (if you have let yourself) and you will look at each other and laugh together at where you have been and where you now find yourselves.
And then you will grasp each other's hand and turn to the future...with openness and interest and humor. Knowing the next 25 will be even more amazing!