Anne Lamott once said, “A good marriage is where both people feel like they’re getting the better end of the deal.”
There’s a lot of wisdom in that. Because that was probably how we felt the day we walked down the long church aisle looking like Wedding Day Barbie. We couldn’t believe we were lucky enough to be joined together in holy matrimony with this incredible man (Wedding Day Ken Doll, but better than Ken because I’ve always thought Ken appears to be a little shifty) for the rest of our lives.
But then years go by. There are disappointments and hurt feelings and days of angry silence. There’s the monotony of laundry, dinner, paying the bills and arguing over really important things like why he thinks towels magically hang themselves back up in the bathroom.
And we can start to feel like maybe we got the bad end of the deal. We were duped. He doesn’t appreciate our wit and our charm and our ability to make dinner out of nothing but chicken and salsa from a jar. We can forget why we fell in love in the first place and fail to see the amazing person we married. We live in a world that can make us feel like marriage is disposable, it’s just an “conscious uncoupling” (Can you feel my eyes rolling all the way back in my head?) and we can do better, be happier, find our soul mate.
You know who your soul mate is? The man you’ve already vowed to love until death do you part. He’s the one worth fighting for.
Here’s the thing. Marriage can be hard. We all know that. And there are millions, or at least hundreds, of books out there with all manner of advice telling us how we can be better wives or speak each other’s love languages or pray for our husbands. And that’s good. Sometimes that’s what we need.
But in a world where Fifty Shades of Grey spent months on the bestseller list, maybe we need a book about a real relationship. A real, messy, beautiful, normal marriage and what an incredible thing it can be and what a gift it is to spend your life with a man who can drive you crazy and make you fall in love all over again in the midst of the mundane and the routine and the what’s for dinner tonight and the soccer carpools.
Maybe instead of reading more statistics about divorce and hearing all the gloom and doom, we need a little hope that marriage, with all its ups and downs, can bring us joy.
Because it’s often in those hard moments that we are becoming the person God created us to be. We’re dying to self and learning what it means to forgive and sharing all the triumphs and struggles that life can bring with another human being. It’s in the simple chaos and absurdities of everyday life that you and your husband are weaving a legacy for your family.
And if we can’t find the laughter and the humor and the security in that? Then I think we’re missing the whole point.
That’s why I wrote The Antelope in the Living Room. So that for a few hours or days or however long it takes you to finish it, you will laugh and cry and feel normal. That you’ll know you’re not the only one whose husband buys peppermint bark in bulk or lectures you on how to turn the closet doorknob the right way or didn’t buy you a Lexus wrapped in a big red bow this past Christmas.
I want it to be a reminder that marriage is funny and fragile and hard and wonderful all at the same time. It’s God’s gift to us and sometimes I think we can all use a reminder that it is worth fighting for.
Because as I’ve really spent time thinking about what my hopes and dreams are for The Antelope in the Living Room (the book, not the real antelope because my hope for it is that it mysteriously disappears) something has become clear. I want it to fill you with the realization that you’re normal.
And maybe to help you remember how it feels to look at your husband and think you got the better end of the deal.
Today I am giving away five copies of The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life. To be entered to win simply leave a comment sharing a reason why you love your husband.
To purchase a copy, you can visit my book page here to see a list of all the online retailers.
And, finally, I thought you might enjoy this video. I feel like I need to let you know upfront that I don’t really have a wall of pictures in the shape of a heart in my house.