Marriage and the Mountain

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When I was young I used to look out my bedroom window at night and gaze at the bright moon. I would think right then, at that very moment, the man I was going to one day marry was looking at the same moon. When the time was right we would meet, fall in love and live happily ever after.

Then I met him he said he was never getting married or having children. It wasn’t as I envisioned but was a challenge I accepted. Along the way I learned a lot about love and marriage. I discouraged my daughter from believing in the fairy tale and encouraged her to believe in herself. It worked. Growing up Arielle never felt the need to be more than friends with boys. She was very secure with herself and driven to explore her future career options.

There are times when I’m trying to offer advice to my young adult daughter and it doesn’t always go as well as planned. This was one of those times…

I was having lunch at the airport with Arielle. She was about to catch her flight back to college. Somehow our conversation turned to love and marriage. I heard the words coming out of my mouth and it was one of those moments where I wished I could have caught them in mid-air and shoved them back in because I didn’t have enough time to fully explain myself. I said something about being shocked that I was still married. Yeah, not really the best phrase to tell your 19 year-old daughter.

I tried to explain–quickly. When I was growing up I promised myself that I would never live unhappily with someone. Have you seen Hope Springs? At a young age I realized that that’s what marriage could be and I told myself I’d never live that way. As a result, when I did get married I was always ready to run. As soon as my marriage became difficult thoughts of my promise to myself would scare me into delving deep inside my emotions and searching for an answer to the question…am I happy?

Luckily, I had very good friends who knew more about marriage and relationships than I did and their guidance in the early years of my marriage was invaluable. They taught me about love and family and that happiness is always present you just have to see it and acknowledge it. It was easy for me to see happiness in being a mom but not always easy with being a wife.

Eventually I learned to trust that I knew who my husband was and not all the fears that plagued my mind. For me it took years to understand marriage. This is what I was trying to tell my daughter. I didn’t want her to be fooled by movies or fairy tales. I didn’t want her to think for one second that marriage was easy.

marriage and the mountain photo Zermatt


I wished I’d told her that marriage is like climbing a humongous mountain. The journey begins after the ceremony. At first everything is new and exciting. Some days you’ll hold hands with your partner, help each other along the way and enjoy the view. Other days storms will bring dark clouds, making it difficult to see what’s ahead. However, after the storm the sun appears again. It’s best not to hold memories of the storms, only the sunshine. There may be days when you want to give up–stop climbing. That’s when you have to take a deep breath and look to see how far you’ve journeyed. There are two of you so when one falls or becomes discouraged it’s the other’s job to hold out their hand and say, “we can do this.” Know that feelings come and go according to thoughts of love and fear. Know that if you stand still and put no effort towards climbing you won’t ever reach the top. See the beauty that surrounds you. The higher you climb the more you will come to know your partner and the mountain. That’s marriage.

And here’s my book. It’s not about marriage but it is about a young girl’s journey.


by KD Rausin

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