In April, I started my Here Year, a yearlong examination of the topic of Presence through a new lens each month. April was Home. May was Parenthood. And June will be Marriage. I'm so excited for the month ahead, but I'm also a bit anxious about it. Why? Because from the very beginning I've chosen to be quite private about my husband and daughters. I've grown willing to reveal bits about myself, but have been very careful when mentioning my family. I do not show their faces or name their names and while I sometimes feel I am being unnecessarily cautious about these things, I've stayed consistent in my approach. And honestly? This has been a bummer sometimes because I would so love to share beautiful pics of my sweet girls or my good man, but it is what it is and I ultimately feel good about my choices.
So how will this go? How can I spend a month talking about marriage without talking specifically about my husband and without delving into details about our relationship? I can't really. I will of course bend the rules a bit and offer more about these topics, but I will do so very thoughtfully and the majority focus will be on Marriage itself.
A huge disclaimer: While I consider myself to have a good and healthy marriage, I would never boast that my marriage is perfect. We have our stuff just like everyone else. Plus, what in the world does a perfect marriage look like? I would also never claim to have any particular expertise on marriage or what it should look like. This month will be about questions and ideas and experiments.
One thing I will say: I think a good marriage, whatever it is - and I imagine it comes in many shapes and sizes - contains a robust dose of presence. I'm thinking that perhaps the best thing we can do for our partner is be present for them, be there, be here.
Anyway, I could ramble on and on, but I have a whole month to do so and don't forget that my friend and Here Year contributor Lindsey will be rambling and asking alongside me, but before I go, I wanted to mention that we would love for this month to be incredibly collaborative. We would love your thoughts on marriage, on what makes one marriage work and another crumble, really any thoughts at all. And if you have any ideas about the intersection of marriage and presence, let us know... Feel free to email me at aidandonnelleyrowley [at] gmail [dot] com. We are thinking of publishing both credited and anonymous posts on marriage this month and are seeking both male and female opinions.
Before I go, here are some marriage-related posts I've posted over the years. Feel free to check them out!
Are there any marriage-related topics or questions you'd like us to consider this month? Any immediate thoughts on marriage that you'd like to share here. Is this a topic that interests you as much as it does me?