For a lot of us, marriage represented a kind of "fixed state" into which we were entering. We knew our parent's marriages, or so we thought, and they seemed pretty stable. Whether good or bad, they looked stable to us. We did not think of ourselves as changing and we certainly did not think our new spouse was going to change, so everything would be "just like today."

We learned, within a few weeks at least, that this was not true. Your suddenly sexual relationship alone made a big difference, if you were celibate until marriage, but everything changed. You suddenly lived together and saw each other all the time. You saw your spouse not just when they were ready to be seen, but all the time. Things change. 

Getting used to that change is sort of the center part of being married. You come to realize that all the "stable" marriages you saw when you were young only looked stable. They were actually dynamic relationships, changing all the time. The people who had you as a baby (when they were 25 or so) were very different from the people who raised you (in their 30's) and the people who hold your children as their grandchildren (in their 50's). 

That is kind of what it is all about. I realized, the other day, that I actually do not even remember the details of my marriage relationship from 20 years ago. I cannot remember the tones of voice that seemed so important at the time. I don't remember how much we laughed, or cried, or just sat silent. I remember some events, but the day to day experience of the marriage is not something easy to remember. (What I do remember, I do not trust. I know how memory clouds things.)

So, lots of things change. Everything, in fact, changes. You change. He changes. Your situations change. Everything changes.

Yet, still, there is something that must be said. I remember more than you might think. I do not remember all the little things of my life, but I remember my wife. I remember how she looked when I married her. I remember how she looked on our first night together. I remember how much I loved her then, knowing her only a very little compared to now. Sometimes, when I look at her now, I see the girl I married, as she was when I married her. I cannot look at myself and see myself as a young man, but I can look at her and remember her as a young wife.

Everything changes and we deal with those changes. We grow and our love grows and we have hard times. Sometimes, it seems that the changes may overwhelm us.

But, if we stay together, we build something worth having. Through all the changes, if we hold to each other, we end up with something that cannot be broken.

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