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Marriage in the Long Run
Wives: Did you marry the man of your dreams?

When you were a young girl, what did you imagine your life would be like once you were married? Did you picture yourself kissing your husband goodbye every morning as he left for work? How many children did you envision? What was your dream?

If you imagined a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence, two or three youngsters and a mate who came home every night, you aren't alone.

More than one woman has hoped to marry a tall, dark and handsome man who would be by her side to accompany her to social events, school plays and family celebrations. If you were to ask the wife of a professional driver if her dream was to sleep alone, raise her children by herself or be responsible for their home, she would probably deny it.

How did we find ourselves in this situation? Why did we choose the man we are with? Why do our friends and family think that our marriage isn't stable because we are alone much of the time? It's not that easy to understand, but it doesn't mean that we "settled" for anything less than we wanted.

As teenagers, we had the luxury of dreaming about a perfect world. We pictured our life as an adult and selected the best of everything. Then, when we enter adulthood, we look for the ideal. We learn, however, that sometimes we can't have everything as perfect as we'd envisioned.

What kind of house did you think you would have? It was probably spotless and full of light, maybe some plants and enough bathrooms for everyone. You probably didn't think that we would be responsible for the cleaning, either did you? Where do you live now? Is it your dream home? Maybe not. Does that mean that you aren't happy? Of course not.

The same situation applies to our choice of spouses. Maybe we thought we'd regularly have a partner by our side as we go through life, but that isn't always possible. In fact, our partner's choice of occupation isn't an indication of his commitment. Your "ideal" husband may have stayed at his office late every night and left you alone too!

So how did we end up with a truckdriver in our lives? It has nothing to do with our teenage dreams, nor with settling for less than what we think we deserve. It has everything to do with what is important to you. If your perfect man was someone who had an easy smile, who thought you were the most important person in the world and who treated you well, then that's what you looked for. Then, when you found that irresistible hunk who fit the description, his occupation wasn't all that important. You knew that you could handle almost anything, because he was the devoted partner you desired.

Maybe that dream house in the suburbs would be nice, but with a wonderful man who greets you with open arms and a warm kiss, your surroundings aren't important anymore. His chosen career isn't a reflection of your love for him, or his dedication to you. Maybe your neighbors think that his absence is due to a troubled relationship, or something less than a total commitment to you. But, they can't see the love you share over the phone, or in the notes you leave in his truck, or the gifts he brings home to you. They judge your marriage by their own situation, so they'll never understand how you manage to survive the time apart.

We know what keeps us going, and although the perfect house in the suburbs would be nice, it's not a guarantee of happiness. A husband who comes home every night might have been in our dreams, but we couldn't imagine the way he could make us feel when he walks through the door after days or weeks on the road. Your tall, dark and handsome husband may be slightly balding or carrying a little extra weight around the middle, but he is still the man of your dreams. He is the one who makes you feel important. He is the one who treats you like you are the only one for him.

Those dreams we had years ago were the product of an ideal, not centered in reality. We might not always get exactly what we wanted, but we know when something special walks into our lives. Remember what's really important and appreciate what you've got . it will make your marriage stronger in the long run.