When my husband and I got married, I knew him pretty well.
After all, we had been dating for four and a half years, with a few breakups scattered in between.
I, the cautious one, had postponed marriage because I believed that marriage was a permanent bond for better or worse.
I wanted to be sure about this happily ever after thing. There would be no turning back.
It's true that a lot of young couples enter marriage believing they know all about each other, only to look across the table one day and think, "Who are you anyway? Where's that loving person I exchanged vows with?"
Like a 19th century cynic said, " It doesn't matter whom you marry since you're sure to find out the next morning it was someone else."
Sometimes that can be a rude awakening because marriage isn't all roses and smiles. It's hard work and sometimes not so wonderful.
Without love, a lot of couples just wouldn't go the mile.
Marriage is commitment, disagreeing, sharing, crying, talking, praying, and loving too. It's being tolerant, supportive, and full of compromising.
It's holding onto your sense of humor when things aren't funny.
Like the time I didn't stay in the ruts.
Okay, let me explain.
Because my car was low on gas, I drove my husband's pickup into town for milk and bread. I had to drive three and a half miles on a narrow gravel road, going and coming.
After running my errand, I parked the truck in its appointed place near the house, and everything was fine.
Well, not really. The next morning my husband climbed into his truck to go to a neighbor's house to look at some crossties or something.
I watched from the window as he pulled from the driveway. Then I started running, waving a dish towel at him.
"Stop," I yelled. "Look at the back tire. The tire is coming off the rim."
He looked, grimaced, and agreed that it was. I think this was where he raised his clenched fists toward heaven and shook them.
He was glum the rest of the day. And it was all my fault.
I should have stayed in the ruts, he said. He was convinced that the right rear tire tore up because I didn't stay in the ruts when I drove to town the afternoon before.
"Stay in the ruts," I shrieked. "I couldn't stay in the ruts. I had to move over for the school bus."
A few days later my husband was in a grocery store telling the store manager that I tore up a tire on his truck. I might mention that my husband had a voice that could be heard the length of a football field. .
People in the checkout line were listening in. I hid over behind a stack of Pepsis hoping no one would see me.
Finally one of the employees interrupted, "Sir, how old was the tire? When did you buy it?"
My husband scratched his head.
"Seven years ago" he said. "I believe I bought my last set of tires seven years ago."
A customer spoke up. "Man, that tire didn't tear up. It rotted off."
I tell that incident because marriage is made up of such incidents.
And some not so amusing too.
Marriage isn't always excitement and fun.
It's sharing the good times and the bad...together.
It's overlooking the fender bender.
And sometimes it's just staying in the ruts.