Marriage is hard. Not something that just comes together like a fairy tale. Two people meet, fall in love and live happily ever after. It just doesn’t happen like that in real life.
I’ve made many mistakes over the years. God had distributed much grace over those mistakes and allowed Adam and I to still hold hands before Him today. One thing I’ve learned is to take the advice of an old country song I used to hear in High School about two kids too young to drive so they’d set out on foot and meet at a central pine tree…
“I’d start walking your way, and you’d start walking mine. And we’d meet in the middle ‘neath that old Georgia pine. We’d gain a lot of ground cause we’d both give a little. And there ain’t no road to long, when we meet in the middle.” (Meet in the Middle by Diamond Rio)
Never thought I’d say this about a country song, but how true those fiddle playing words are!
Meeting in the middle is essential and a critical maneuver in marriage. Yet, it’s one of those things that oftentimes, I don’t feel like doing. I don’t want to meet in the middle, I want my husband to come to me.
When Adam and I first met I thought we had so much in common. Our personalities meshed, our dreams and goals aligned. But after several years I realized, yes, we have numerous big ideas and dreams of the same mind. However, the road we choose to get there: Completely Different!
I am a natural go-getter. I do things NOW. I want to do them with all of my focused energy and attention. I don’t like to stop until the job is finished. In other words: I jump in the deep end and figure out how to swim later.
Adam, on the other hand, also wants to do BIG things and will also pour all his energy and attention into getting it started. He just spends a little more time than I do analyzing the Excel spreadsheet he’s created for the idea or task. He’s plugging in all the if/then scenarios, charting the strategic moves, calculating the cost and checking our savings balance – you know, the silly, business, detail stuff! In other words: He’s making sure he’s fit to swim the required distance and can afford the right gear before he jumps in the water.
Meanwhile, I’m suited up and poised for an incredible dive.
In he walks with the news that it’s not the right time to do this right now.
What do I do know? Well, I can get mad. I can rant and rave “But you said you wanted to do this! I got all dressed and told all my Facebook friends we were committed to doing this. You’re just chicken! Where’s your sense of adventure?”
I can look at things through his side of the glasses. His lenses show a different perspective if I’ll get over the inconveniences I placed on myself and look – because I guarantee he’s printed it all on paper and he’s very good at calmly explaining things to me.
“I’ll start walking your way, and you’ll start walking mine…and we’d meet in the middle…”
After almost 16 years of marriage, this is what I’ve learned: I need Adam. And Adam will tell you he needs me. We both bring different strengths to the table and when used as a whole, we complete the pie that alone stands incomplete.
The key for me is realizing his ideas aren’t stupid. They have validity to them and God placed my husband in my life to analyze situations that I would speed ahead on and make a huge mistake. And God placed me in Adam’s life to give him some adventures to contemplate!
For if it were just up to him, we’d still be living in a 900 square feet mobile home in the middle of nowhere with 3 kids and a dog, eating microwaved frozen pizza and bean burritos. We’d have a huge retirement nest egg, but a grumpy wife.
If I had my way, we’d have moved 3 extra times, bought a few more toys and lived high on credit, but when the a/c unit went out, I’d panic.
I’d leave my luggage twirling around at the baggage claim at the airport because I thought I grabbed all our bags.
Adam probably would never take a vacation.
When Adam goes out-of-town for the night, I turn into a maniac and set about on every home project I haven’t had time to do. I don’t stop until 2am because there’s no one to tell me to slow down and sleep.
When I go out-of-town, he queues up a Band of Brother’s marathon with a Costco size bag of chips, some Fresca and homemade salsa.
We need each other! Not in a co-dependent, unhealthy kind of way, but because we’re different and we help balance each other out.
I could get mad that he didn’t do any household projects while I was away or I can laugh and when he says, “And that’s why I married you!”
When we accept our differences and use the gifts God’s given us, we can actually enjoy swimming with the right gear at the right time on a vacation paid for in cash because we saved up for it – and we may or may not tell our friends we’re going.
“For we gain a lot of ground ‘cause we both give a little. And their ain’t no road to long, when we mee-eet in the middle!”
That’s why I’m thankful God gave Adam to me.
Thanks to Flickr for the feature image that I did resize.