I love running.
I may not be fast, but I enjoy running for long distances and pushing myself physically and especially mentally. As a mom, I relish in the quiet that I have on a long run. Spending a couple hours to myself, with my feet hitting the pavement, I have time to reflect on my life. I think about my kids, my work, and my marriage. One day, as I was miles away from home, I realized the parallels between my marriage and running a marathon.
My husband and I have been together for 9 years, married for 7. We are in it for the long haul in our marathon marriage.
Those aren’t huge numbers, but still pretty significant when you consider that’s nearly one-third of my entire life. For the most part, our marriage has been smooth sailing. Usually, I’m filled with as much euphoria as I am on miles 1, 2, 4 and 9 of my run. When I reflect back on our 9 years together, I feel proud of our accomplishments as a couple. We’ve had two kids, bought a house, and are stable in a number of ways. This is similar to how I feel after a long run or marathon; I’m proud and I feel like the majority of my run was strong. My marathon marriage makes me feel the same way.
The best moments in our marriage have sparked similar feelings as those that I’ve reached on a runner’s high.
It is a state of contentment or euphoria that takes over, putting me on cloud 9. I’ve had this sense of well-being many times over, but a couple of major instances that stand out are on my wedding day and holding my newborn sons. When the endorphins kick in, or maybe the Energy Gu that I ate to give me a much-needed boost on my run, I am ready to take on the world! Or at least the next few miles, in a state of absolute bliss.
There are also those days. The days most couples don’t talk about because we’re not proud of ourselves. I don’t think any couple is perfect, and my husband and I certainly are not.
Some moments of our marriage have felt like mile 3, 10 and 20, where my body screams at me to stop running. We’ve had arguments that have seemed like uphill battles and there have been times I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep running in this race. Fortunately, in my marathon marriage, just like on a long run, these moments are short-lived. My husband and I have a pretty good track record for moving past our disputes.
One of the best feelings in a marathon is when you push through a difficult period and emerge from it feeling strong again.
Your feet are moving as if on autopilot and your mind is clear, rather than focusing on every agonizing step. I can say the same thing about being in a relationship. If you and your significant other can work past the conflicts, the resolution can be a sunnier, better place, and hopefully, you’ll feel stronger as a couple. I find it to be extremely rewarding to push through difficult times; whether it be on a run, in my marriage, or just in my day-to-day life.
I feel very fortunate to be running this marathon marriage every day with my husband. So far it’s been a marathon full of easy rolling hills, surrounded by beautiful scenery. There have been extreme highs and even a couple of the miles with trying, rough terrain; but ultimately this is a marathon I will continue to run.
Do you have a metaphor for your marriage or relationship?