Posted by: 1of10boyz | September 7, 2014

An “Instant Noodles” Marriage

Did you know that in 2012 China consumed more than 40 billion servings of Instant Noodles?

Personally, I am not a big fan of instant noodles. I don’t really find the convenience to outweigh the fact that it doesn’t have but maybe one or two dehydrated pieces of meat and maybe only several dehydrated pieces of vegetables. Even when I do eat them I am always adding something to the mix to make it seem more like a meal. I have added more meat and more vegetables in nearly every circumstance that I have had instant noodles.

In China, I am told that romances are also called “instant noodles” when it is a whirlwind romance. When the couple is quickly married following their “introduction” they are “instant noodles”.

When my wife or I tell the story of our courtship we often like to leave out the part that we went to high school together and that we spent a considerable amount of time talking about many things together as friends long before we started dating. We just tell them that it was 6 weeks from our first date until we were married. We leave out the part of her being my confidant and “insider to what girls think” when I was dating other girls. We don’t mention that she told me that if I couldn’t stand to spend very much time with a girl I was dating that I probably should think about finding a new girl. We don’t tell them that she had no idea, nor did I really, that I would take her advice from a Thursday night discussion and put it into action on Friday and ask her out for a date that Saturday for a concert I had purchased tickets for several weeks earlier. That is just too hard for people to understand that she never had the intention of “catching me” or “making some room in my life for her”.

We just tell the “instant noodles” story of how we went on our first date on a Saturday, got home early Sunday morning after a drive back from the concert. We sometimes will include that she knew that night through an answer to prayer that we could “make this whole da## thing work out”; and, me figuring it out by the following Thursday with a lot of nudging on her part to follow her example and take the matter to prayer. It is really just a matter of fact, it was 6 weeks from the time of our first date until our wedding date. That is a whirlwind, a tornado, a package of instant noodles.

I have never wondered how someone could be betrothed and married in an arranged marriage. It doesn’t seem strange to me that someone could find a marriage like this to be just as fulfilling as any marriage; if that was what was always expected. What really matters in marriage in my opinion is not how you met or even how long you knew each other before you were married. What makes a difference is what you do AFTER you are married. I promise you that no matter how much you think you love someone or want to be with someone before you are married it a pale shadow of what can be after spending years and decades together.

Marriage is what you make of it. Marriage is something that makes everything around it blossom and grow or wilt and die. Marriage is the harsh sun that can either make things better or destroy them. It must be approached knowing this so that the participants can take the appropriate precautions. I was “lucky” in that my “instant noodles” partner had lots of things that made it work out. Things that neither of us was smart enough to know to ask about or even care about at the time. There was indeed luck involved by some peoples measure but I don’t really believe in luck; luck implies that nothing else was required to achieve success. Marriage is never without effort being required.

What I have seen in now over 29 years of marriage is that work is required to attain success. Action is required to overcome the natural tendency to think that marriage is magical and that “my soul mate” will just make it occur suddenly and without effort. There is a design for success and that success comes when the most important person in the marriage isn’t the one you see when you look in a mirror.

I have been fortunate that my wife and I have both recognized this and have done everything we could to make the other happy. Yes, there have been bumps in the road, we have argued, we have disagreed, we have felt hurt and neglected, but we have always known that when we cut through all of those feelings that we had one thing that was always there: our commitment to each other.

We have learned a lot from living together these past 350+ months, it has been worth it. Ok, I will admit here that we haven’t lived together that long, my work has required her to be on her own for more than a few of those months and even now we have to spend time apart because of other health and work issues. I would like to think that over the course of these 29 years we have done a lot to this meal of “instant noodles”. We have added things to our bucket of hot water, noodles, and some cubes of dehydrated vegetables and meat. We might still be instant noodles but we have added courses of meat, vegetables, fruit, seafood, fish, and who can forget about desserts. In fact I would say that this wedding feast that started as instant noodles continues a smorgasbord that we add to each day, each month, and each year. Our feast is no longer a simple snack but a marriage that has proven itself through the challenges of life.

I have told her many times that I love her. I have told her many times that it hasn’t been easy. I have been asked if I would do it all over again or if I would change things along the way. I have told her that there are many things that I would change, that I would likely change much if I could do it all again and I would start over if I could. There is only one condition required for me to do it over and that is that I get to do it with her. Because as hard as it was and as difficult as it was it was bearable because I was doing it with her.

So as much as I don’t like instant noodles I would go back for the same thing every time knowing I would have her in my life. I wish the rest of you the success I have had with my instant noodles because no matter where you started your wedding feast statistics show you may never be lucky enough to have what I have now. That, my friends, is more than luck.


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