Marriage – Come Rain or Come Shine

It was a wonderful wedding.

For my husband and me, it was a milestone, as we watched the first of our friends’ children to be married, a young woman we have known since she was 9 years old. Now twenty-four, she was as beautiful and confident as a bride could be, crazy about her groom, both of them giddy with the happiness that comes from being in love and being loved in a way they never have before. The Reverend, with a voice that could be on the radio, said this: “God has been preparing you for each other.” I thought that was such a profound way to describe the path that leads each of us to our partners in life, and whether you believe in God, or fate, or something else, there is that moment when you realize that THIS is the person you’ve been waiting for.

 

The next Sunday, as I settled in with the Sunday New York Times, I was struck by the perfectly timed coincidence of an article in the Opinionator section by Diane Ackerman, titled “The Brain On Love.” Ackerman has the unique ability to translate scientific data into readable, fascinating prose for the general population – as in her book “A Natural History of Love.” In this article, Ackerman talks about how the brain is literally transformed by loving relationships of all kinds, especially with a spouse or other life partner. I especially like this point:

“When two people become a couple, the brain extends its idea of self to include the other; instead of the slender pronoun “I,” a plural self emerges who can borrow some of the other’s assets and strengths.”

Is there any relationship more powerful, more important, than a lifelong commitment that works? The depth of the connection between two people in a long-term relationship is something no one can explain – it is unique for each couple. Ackerman compares the love between a happily married couple to the contentment felt by an adored baby, the ultimate sense of security and peace. How can one top imagery like that?

The newly married couple’s first dance was to the classic Ray Charles song “Come Rain or Come Shine,” which is such a perfect example of the feelings of love and commitment one hopes to find in life. No matter what, I’m there for you. Through the good and the bad, I’m there for you. You are my other half. Come rain or come shine.

I was honored to be asked to write a few words to be read during the ceremony explaining women to the groom. After talking with the bride, I came up with this:

She’s complicated. Women are mysterious, a mix of moods and emotions that men grow to understand as the marriage bond deepens. Her love for you is constant, her commitment to you unwavering. What she needs most of all is to know that you are always going to be there for her: to make her laugh, to look at the world with the same eyes. You are the strength to her softness, a hand to hold in the middle of the night, a shoulder to lean her head on when she grows tired. Your love should be as easy as a gentle touch. She will be your partner in life, your safe haven. Perhaps she’s not so complicated after all.

My hope for these two is that their love will deepen and strengthen as they make their way together in the world, that they will look at each other and see a mirror of themselves, a face looking back at them that says “I know you.” This is the best thing that could happen.

Come rain or come shine.

 

 

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24 Comments

  • AnaMaria

    I was so anxious for you to post this beautiful words- thank you so much. What a lovely post written by someone confident, beautiful, and giddy (in a mature way) with love for her spouse!
    AM

  • Very sweet post! Your words for the wedding about made me cry!Good Work!!

  • Claudia

    Sharon: Beautifully put. What a gift of words to the newly wed couple. 🙂

  • Perhaps it’s all not so complicated after all … just LOVE each other… deeply and truly. One of the sweetest things ever said to my first husband and I was from one of his older cousins … she said, simply, always be sweet to each other. I’ve never forgotten what she said, though we forgot to heed her words …. I do share those words with every newlywed couple that crosses my path …

    Thank you for such a sweet post!

    Namaste … I honor you.

  • So beautiful. Also “Come Rain or Come Shine” is one of my favorite love songs 😉

  • Ellie

    What a lovely post. Your words to the young couple touched my heart. While I wish my first husband and I understood what it meant to be life partners, I am still thankful for the life we had together and the lessons I (eventually) learned about myself and my desires.

    I am now planning a wedding with a man who…from the moment we met….my heart knew I was home.

    Your gift of words to this couple with remain with them always.

  • I am a sucker for a good love post. I think love is wonderful and I always wish everyone could be loved and love the way I am and do. Apparently you feel the same.
    Beautifully done Sharon. ♥

  • What a lovely post, and your wedding words were just beautiful.

  • What a fantastic post on love. I’m so blessed to have found love like this..

  • This is such a lovely piece, Sharon. So glad I found your blog through Write on Edge. I love Diane Ackerman too, but I had never read this piece. I attended my cousin Anne’s wedding last week, and sadly, among the beautiful accoutrements of marriage there, this deep, profound connection was what was lacking. Married for almost 16 years, I feel like I can sense those with the love that lasts a lifetime. It’s definitely crossed a divide and made each person someone new and more powerful and perfect. Lovely piece, Erin

    • Thank you for reading, Erin. I agree that you can sense if the connection is there or not, especially if your connection to your spouse works. All the bells and whistles in the world won’t make up for feeling alone in a relationship.

  • What a lovely post. You are so right that the connection of a long-term relationship is entirely unique. Don’t we all just really want to be seen, known and loved for who we are? Beautiful.

  • Peggy Fitzpatrick

    Lovely post Sharon!

    What a nice way to remember a special day.

  • Anna

    I love this, especially considering the current divorce rate, this is an uplifting post on marriage! I love what you wrote for he bride and groom too! Great post!

  • Every line of this post was better than the last and all were especially touching since I am helping my daughter prepare for her wedding. You’ve written strong pieces, but this gem touched me personally. Thank you. Will you be one of my valentines?

  • Sharon this is utterly perfect. The groom was very lucky to have you to send him on his way…hope the other men in the room were listening.

  • Lovely words for the wedding couple keep in mind as they begin their journey. And also a reminder for me to to cherish the past 29 years with my French Valentine!

  • Beautiful post, Sharon! So romantic. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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