What Melody didn’t mention is that, along with the indiscriminate gushing, the journal also served as a place to air out our gut fears and the frustrations we felt during our long distance engagement. At those too we can laugh. Some reckon we married young because we were just "marriage people,” but the truth is that we didn’t know what we were doing. There are entries in the journal where one of us (mostly me) is agonizing over an argument that we had, unsure of what it meant for our future, arriving nowhere by the end. Someone once said, “The problem with seeking counsel with yourself is that he thinks like you!” Self-reflection can only speculate about experiences that are new.
So we sought wisdom. The advice we got from a number of stalwart marriages we were blessed to know amounted to something that was at once commonsensical and counterintuitive: love each other. In other words, do your duty, which over the years was grueling, perhaps gut-wrenching, some moments at odds with every fiber of our being; but like the body ought to be trained so must the heart--and in the same way after years of proper training, you can look back at the obstacles that used to seem insurmountable to you, and laugh.
“[Love] is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God…It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.” - C.S. Lewis