Saturday, April 18, 2015

Guest Post: No Such Thing as a Bulletproof Marriage (Chelsea Dyreng)

So I started dating this new guy.
We’d known each other for a couple of weeks. He was tall, blond, funny and a little cocky. He told me he was good at tennis. So when he invited me one weekend to watch him play in the annual Fourth of July tennis tournament in his hometown, I tagged along. I was curious if this guy was actually as good as he said he was.
Of course, I didn’t know anything about tennis. So I sat on bleachers outside the courts, next to his 14-year-old brother, who was clearly amused by my vast ignorance. But he was nice and patiently answered my questions and kept me updated on the score. As the tournament progressed, I began to see that my date really did seem to excel at this sport. I smiled. I sat up a little straighter. I flipped my hair. If anyone asked me who I was, I didn’t bother with my name. I just pointed out to the court and said, “I’m his date.”
But the best was yet to come.
During one match, my date jogged up to the chain-link fence and said to his little brother in mysterious tennis language, “Watch this. I’m going to ace him on the next serve.”
“What is an ace?” I asked loudly, not wanting to be left out.
Whispering, (because that is what you are supposed to do when you watch tennis) the little brother smiled and said, “Just watch.”
I peered wide-eyed through the fence as my date prepared for his serve by bouncing the ball a few times and casting a piercing stare across the net. Then he tossed the ball up in the air, at the same time bending his knees and pulling back his racket. Time stopped for just a moment as he waited for the ball to make its decent. Then, when the ball was in the perfect spot, he whipped his racket out from behind him and pummeled the ball, hurling it across the court. Before his opponent had a chance to even wet his lips, the ball crossed the net, hit the corner of the service box and shot passed him, rattling the fence. Without his opponent even touching the ball, my date had scored.
Then he turned, pointed his racket straight at me and said, “That is an ace.”
Six months later, we were married.
I loved this post from Chelsea Dyreng that I read in the Deseret News and I couldn't agree with what she has to say more.
Rising in love
Falling in love was so exciting. Scott was by far the most fascinating person I had ever met. But soon the “falling” part of love quickly got, well, impractical. Life happens. How are we going to divvy up responsibilities? How do we pay for the things we need and still have something left for things we want? Should we go into debt or wait till we can pay in full? Should we move or should we stay? Then children come along, and all of those fun, private couple moments are the first thing to be thrown overboard as each of us is just trying to do our best to keep the ship afloat. When all this is going on, who has time for each other?
In addition to that, those wonderful things that attracted you to each other in the first place can become unbelievably annoying. (“You are going to go play tennisagain?”)
That is when you stop falling in love — and you start rising.
Falling in love is spontaneous, unexpected, surprising, a little reckless and oh so easy.
Rising in love is deliberate, thought-out, scheduled and sometimes very, very hard.
I don’t know why some marriages work and some don’t. I am only an expert on my own marriage (although Scott probably thinks he’s the expert). I don’t think anyone gets married with the expectation that the marriage will fail. At the beginning, every bride and groom intends for their marriage to last forever. After all, we are soul mates. Nothing will ever extinguish the love we have for each other. We are bulletproof. Right?

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