I was giddy-happy on my wedding day. Now, three and a half years later, I'm soul-happy. Like, rich, deep, soul, hearty happy. I've had three and half years of life lived with a hubbins. And there are times when I want to smack him on the forehead so hard, but it makes all those times when I can't stop kissing his face and hugging him so hard even sweeter.
Can you see the difference?
I can. I can feel it, too, of course. This is why it drives me to bonkerstown when people say to enjoy the honeymoon phase while you still can. "It's all downhill from here." No, really a man in a bar told us that on our honeymoon.
If, by "enjoy" they mean that your spouse will live up to all of your expectations and you'll never disappoint one another and they'll always brush their teeth before they kiss you and you'll eat your meals by candelight and you're both healthy, then yeah....that honeymoon ends pretty quickly.
But that's not my definition of marriage, and it's not my definition of enjoyment.
If, by "enjoy" to mean the joy you get when you see your husband holding your son for the first time even though you're twenty pounds heavier than your wedding day, or the way you burst into laughter after having a really big fight, or the way you pray together so desperately, or the way you get intimately knitted together by trials and tragedies and salmonella and rashes and newborns and dogs throwing up on you, then that enJOYment is the one that lasts "as long as you both shall live," and that's the happiness that I'm talking about.
I get joy from keeping my vows even when I don't feel like it, or even when I wonder if they were written all wrong. HAPPINESS in marriage, to me, is keeping your vows and watching the fruit and joy that comes from it when you're faithful to each other and faithful to forgive and love and fight and stick the heck together.
What is happiness in marriage to you?