Black Boxes

I’m learning more and more that marriage is a black box. I don’t mean a black box in the flight recorder sense, but rather in the way IT folks like myself use the term. We use it to describe an entity in which some sort of activity is taking place, but all we see is what comes in and out. A black box is something that we do not see the inner workings of, just the results.

I’ve had married friends in my life since college, and I thought I understood them. In the last few months I have come to realize that I had no clue about their lives.

I think part of the reason the inner workings of a marriage are hard to see is because even the two people in a marriage don’t always know what is going on. The emotions and motivations in relationships are complicated to say the least, but marriage is a whole new ballgame. I know the idea is out of fashion these days, but the reality is there is something mystical in the one-flesh union of marriage.

When two people strive for the same goals, there are inevitably conflicts and disagreements. Methods will differ, preferences will diverge and as a result there are often times when the conflict isn’t even clear to the parties involved. I suspect that the longer two people are married the more clear this becomes, but I’d wager this misunderstanding never goes away completely. We’ve learned this lesson in the few months we’ve been married. I’ve looked at others’ marriages with more grace because I know the fog that sometimes obscures the reality of my own.

The challenge of this blog has always been being open and honest about how we are doing. It’s the whole point of this effort. There is good news though, we’ve been honest with you, and we’ve been honest with each other. We have a very clear view of our issues and challenges. This blog has forced us to talk to each other, to communicate on the things that matter. I’d like to think the contents of our black box are getting a little clearer, at least to us.

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