I want to start off by saying that marriage can be very tough. The person you married, 10, 20, 30 years ago is not the same person today. They have grown, matured, adapted, and most likely been through some sort of personal struggle. We all have them, but most people don’t like to talk about their struggles, problems, addictions, or failures. These things can be easily hidden even within something so sacred as a marriage. Our lives are filled with production, business, and a constant sense that we are not living up to our full potential (that we are basically failures). Pressure mounts even more when children come into play. Am I a good enough parent? Do I spend enough time with my children or provide well enough for them? Holy Cow. It is unending. You can tend to fall a bit into self pity as you think to yourself, “this isn’t what I signed up for when I got married.” Hang with me here.
My wedding day was one of the best days in my life. Yes, it is very cliche to say, but there is so much love, hope, and promise that is piled into one day and you begin an adventure with the person you love most in this world. The problem is that there is no reality that can live up to the fantasy you have in your head on your wedding day. Those are amazing feelings and I would not want to rob anyone of those feelings by dishing out a “reality check.” However, as you progress in a marriage you begin to realize that it is really something you have to work at. Something that came so easily at first, you all of a sudden have to fight for to keep alive. What I am getting at is that you have to actually work and commit to your spouse and your relationship daily in order for it to sustain longevity. If there is an absence of love, care, and commitment, the relationship begins to fade.
I had the privilege of photographing a wedding vow renewal service recently. The cool thing about a renewal service is that it’s a public reaffirmation of your love and commitment to someone. Family gathers around in support of you in the same way they did on your wedding day. But is a service and a recommitment enough? I believe that you should be renewing your vows every day to your spouse. Whether through actions, words, acts of kindness and love, it is imperative that you show the other person you still care deeply for them. We have so many distractions in this world and ways of checking out or not making an effort, but if we can just stop ourselves sometimes and think what means more to us: human relationships or the distractions. Where you put your time is where your love and heart are, so invest in people, invest in family, and invest in your marriage. Dance with your spouse, read a book with them, have a beverage and a conversation…put down the devices, forget the distractions and INVEST.