Marriage Is A Choice, And I Choose It Every Day

by Marina Kmiec
Originally Published: 
A couple on their wedding day, standing in front of each other, looking into each other's eyes.
bjones27 / Getty

I lied during my vows.

My husband and I are quite different.

He is a home body, he enjoys relaxing, reasonably priced dinners, fixing up houses, or watching the most recent show related to alternative thinking.

I am, quite literally, the opposite. I am constantly looking for somewhere to go, I love over-spending on the moment, and the only thing I will watch all the way through is a documentary on World War II. Or Game of Thrones. Or any episode of True Detective 1. Or any episode of The Office. Or any episode of The West Wing. But nothing more.

We met through mutual friends, all of whom we are still admirably close to (two stood up in our wedding). Our first encounter, we fought about the Italian and Greek empires.

It was fun, probably factless, and an obvious landmark for how our relationship would always be.

At first, our relationship was fueled by commonalties: our passion for unions and the middle class, American-made cars (BUICK FOR LIFE, WOOO WOOOOOOO!), our subtle anecdotes referencing our families, and our overwhelming desire to contest whomever was in front of us.

It was fun. It was fast. But it wasn’t a life together.

When we moved in together, things started to shift.

Our inquisitive and healthy debates turned into harsh accusations about 3-day-old laundry that then turned into savage attacks on each other’s characters.

And that’s what marriage is.

It’s picking your battles.

It’s realizing their weaknesses and either complaining about them until it tarnishes your relationship, or realizing their bad spots aren’t as diminishing as to how illuminating their attributes are.

Marriage is a choice.

And it is until it’s over: whether that be divorce or death. It’s choices, every step of the way.

My husband thinks that I am condescending when I am upset, and I think he overreacts about things that don’t matter.

Both of us aren’t wrong about the others habits, but we both tend to be ultra-sensitive to them. What is most interesting to me though, is that the things that drive me nuts about him now (and him about me) are the exact same things that made me fall in love with him in the first place.

When I talked about him in 2012, I described him as, “loyal, whatever he believes in he will fight for until he can’t and if you’re lucky enough to be his friend he will defend you with whatever he can, as long as he can, no matter what you did.”

When I talk about him now (when very upset) I say, “He’s blindly loyal. He’ll follow anything that someone he respects tells him to, he puts his friends in front of his morals.”

See what I did there?

I didn’t mean to, it’s just what happens.

I can’t speak for him, but if I had to guess, in 2012, he would probably say that I was ambitious and brilliant.

And if you asked him now (again, when he was very upset) he’d probably tell you that I manipulate arguments and wait for a weak point to expose something to discredit a point that had nothing to do with the original argument. He’d probably say I use rhetoric as a weapon.

See what he can do there?

And that’s my point.

We can compromise on household chores, we can compromise on holidays, or whose turn it is to wake up with the baby, but we should never compromise on what assembles our characters.

And those characteristics might very well be the reason a marriage ends, but they are also probably what made it possible to begin with.

I love my husband, and I will until I’m dead.

He gave me the cutest baby, countless laughs, giant boulders of confidence and a dish washer.

But if there ever comes a time, where we both can’t stand to be around the other one (for longer than 6 months), we will always have a communication line to figure out what is best for us, our child, and our livelihood.

Marriage is a choice every single day.

So, I didn’t say it on June 21st of 2015, but I vow to always keep him a top two priority.

To try my very hardest to always get over whatever ridiculous argument him and I find ourselves in.

I vow to always put our son first.

But most importantly, I vow to never allow him to be an obligation instead of my favorite choice.

He always deserve to be the very best thing that ever happened to me, and I deserve the same.

I vow that if that ever changes, I will not stay quiet.

He will never be a duty to me, but instead an astonishing election. I lied during my vows.

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