When I was a kid I remember watching a t.v. show called "Married... with Children" with my mom. She loved that show, and thought it was so funny. The whole family treated each other horribly. The mom seemed to only communicate with her husband by whining and manipulation and the dad always joked about wishing he were dead instead of stuck in that family. Her other favorite family sitcom was "Roseann" which was only marginally better.
I remember wishing that my family could be more like the one on "Family Ties" where the family, although occasionally exasperated with each other, clearly loved one another. The dad was full of wisdom and the mom was self confident but loving. But then, I was looking at it all with a child's eyes and didn't catch most of the issues being discussed. Now here I am, 14 years into a marriage with Daniel, and I realize that no t.v. show character really captures how individuals truly are. They aren't static, either always wise or always foolish, always loving or always cruel.
We have days where Daniel and I feel like silly young teenagers in love, holding hands and snuggling, and other days where we have trouble speaking to each other without sarcasm or annoyance. So many of our disagreements happen because of pride, both of us thinking that our time is more valuable, our to-do list is more time sensitive, our grievances more important, our view of a situation is the only correct one. But in spite of frustrating days, underneath it all lies a bedrock of unshakable love and commitment to one another and to God that brings us back together with "I'm sorry's" and "I love you's" and openhearted discussions where we both try to see each others' viewpoint. That's my favorite thing about our marriage, the willingness to compromise and change.
This year for our 14th anniversary I surprised Daniel with a special day. He didn't find out until we were on the way that we were going hiking at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. It was beautiful and awe inspiring. Daniel loves outdoorsy stuff, and this was just tame enough for me and adventurous enough for him. Afterwords we played together at Chuck E. Cheese and used the tickets we won to get prizes to bring home to the kids.