Several nights ago I watched the movie “Runaway Bride” starring actress Julia Roberts and actor Richard Gere. The plot involves a bride named Maggie (Roberts) who left three grooms at the altar. As she walks down the aisle, she panics then runs out the door.
In the film, main character Maggie attempted to be someone else in each relationship she had.
She was not honest with herself. She did not really know herself or let her suitors know the real Maggie.
We hear this happen among marriages. People grow apart. Couples try to “find themselves” again at different points in the relationship.
The easy thing to do is to run out the door, to escape from facing the reality of uncertainty. But as character Ike (Gere) tells Maggie in the movie,
“I guarantee that there will be tough times. I guarantee that at one moment or another, one of us will want to get out. But I also guarantee that if I don’t ask you to be mine, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life.”
I reflected on my own marriage of fourteen years as I watched the film. My husband and I know each other well. We have grown and changed over the past decade but we have managed to grow together and closer instead of apart. The struggles do come and go however.
A certain look or facial expression can say more than words often can. We know what the other person is likely thinking. We don’t pretend or play games or run away from problems.
After two kids, several moves and career changes, we have cultivated a raw honesty in our relationship. We have real discussion even when the conversations are not easy. My spouse will often tell me things that are tough to hear and vice versa.
Still I never have the urge to runaway. Not even in the tough moments.
In fact I have quite the opposite feeling. I run to him. I cling to him and I thank him for loving me despite my flaws and nuances. I thank him for wanting to be with me and make our relationship stronger even when I’ve been preoccupied or less affectionate.
I give him the tightest hug and a deep embrace after we exchange our problems or discontent. I know we can work through anything because we want to and we care. Our family is number one even when we let other things temporarily get in the way of our goals.
Our oldest daughter asked us recently if we would get married again. She said this because she wanted to be our flower girl in the ceremony. We laughed at it and said she was being cute. We appreciated her sentiments.
But I thought about it for quite some time afterward. Would I marry my spouse all over again?
The answer is yes. Completely and totally yes, I would. I do. I am. I will.
No marriage vows renewal party is planned in the immediate future. However, I wake up each day with a renewed since of love, commitment and desire to make my relationship with my husband stronger and deeper.
I want to stand by his side. I know he’s always been by mine. He has even picked me up when I’ve fallen or stumbled.
Although I’ve not felt like an incomplete person the way Runaway Bride character Maggie does in the film, I believe I’m a better individual because of the love and support of my spouse.
I will not run away from my marriage and any challenges that come our way. I stand proudly next to the man who knows me best. Hand in hand, we go forth and share the love we feel with our family. Each day I silently say “I do” all over again.