Friends of mine got married recently. Weddings are, by their nature, joyous occasions, and knowing the bride as well as I did, it was easy to share in that moment.
The lady and I took a walk a day after the wedding, mostly because it was nice outside. Well, we were sure it was going to be: it started out windy.
Analytical, thoughtful sorts that we are, we got to talking about the wedding, among other things. I’m grateful for our conversations; that she allows my wandering mind room to air itself out, and is equally thoughtful when we converse. Her perspective and patience grounds me, and I trust her with my thoughts. It’s freeing to have that.
She’d seen the dark side of those relationships, in her work. She talked about someone who’d been married three times, and was dealing with being abused by her current spouse (and potentially prior ones, from the sound of it). A marriage, a relationship, a trust, gone wrong.
I’d seen that dark side as well, to a point. My own work with banking and finances has shown that money can divide people in ways that we cannot conceive. You need to trust the other person, implicitly, with everything. When you don’t, it breaks down. Even dealing with just the money end of a separation, there’s been a couple of clients where my primary purpose was as much counselor as creditor (a role that doesn’t pay, sadly).
Marriage is joyful, and should be celebrated. During the service, the pastor reminded us and the happy couple that there would be troubled times. The key was that both partners needed to put the other one first. In those struggles, that was where they would find a path, a balance that could be achieved. With the abuse victim, she was putting her husband first (to her detriment), but her husband was not returning that favor, to say the least. The balance was askew.
But people still seek love, and others get married. Even in dark times, when people struggle, when there are practical reasons not to get married, when people are duped and betrayed and taken advantage of in ways that are unimaginable, people still seek out genuine companionship. Some see that as unfortunate. I see it as an encouragement, that there is belief, faith, people pursuing that togetherness when practicality and separation could rule the day.
We talked about all that, and so much more. A gorgeous afternoon, my lovely lady for company as we walked, conversations ranging from the mundane to the meaningful, all combining to make me feel like all was right with the world. And for that moment, it was.
Even in the troubles, in the lady’s work and mine, having seen the darkness, we were here, on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, walking along the road, confident that the wind would die and the sun was going to come out.