Last year, Seth Adam Smith wrote a blog post titled “Why Marriage Isn’t For Me,” and it went viral. It was read by millions and recently turned into a book.
The post revolved around some marriage advice Seth got from his father while experiencing the all-too-common pre-wedding jitters: “Marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”
A few months ago, I got a chance to sit down with Seth and his wife Kim in Florida to talk about love and marriage. Here are two big takeaways I had while talking with these two awesome people.
You Never Lose by Loving
Despite being relatively young, Seth and Kim have a relationship that’s approaching two decades. Throughout their relationship, they’ve had a chance to experience a lot of amazing things together, but they’ve also faced many hardships.
One of the most difficult things they’ve confronted together is Seth’s battle with depression. Before marriage, when Seth had bad days, he could just spend time alone and get over it. In a marriage, you have someone there all the time. Your spouse is concerned about you and wants to know what’s going on, how he or she can help and if you will be ok. It introduces a new dynamic to the challenge of dealing with depression.
One thing that helped them was Kim’s immense patience. At one point, Seth was going through a rough bout and in an attempt to understand and connect with him, Kim pulled him close, cupped his face in her hands and said, “I feel like there’s something inside of you that’s keeping you away from me, and I want you to know that I’m going to be here for you. Even if you retreat inside yourself, I’m still going to be here for you.”
That moment, when Kim took a stand to love Seth regardless of what he was going through, became a pillar of strength for him and for their relationship. Instead of accusing him of not pulling his weight or being angry at feeling unloved or misunderstood, Kim chose to act out of love.
Kim explains, “You never lose by loving. You never lose out by choosing to love somebody else.”
Difficult things like depression can either bring a marriage to its knees or it can be a catalyst for an outpouring of love, affection, patience and strength. Do you view your challenges as opportunities to bring you closer together, or as reasons that your marriage won’t work?
One of the scariest things about marriage is committing to someone without knowing what the future holds for that person. Life is constantly changing, and therefore people are always changing. Jobs change, interests and hobbies change, your roles in life change, responsibilities change, health changes, even personalities can change. Change is inescapable, but it doesn’t have to be scary.
Although you can never know who someone will become, Seth and Kim shared some great advice on ensuring that you remain close throughout the journey. To remain close, you first need to know that you’re headed in the same direction.
One of the things Kim loved most about Seth before they started dating was the direction in which his life was moving. She loved that he was always up to big things, that he wanted to change the world for good and that he wanted to inspire and uplift others. She knew that hitching her horses to this wagon would get her where she wanted to go.
The changes of life can be the most exciting part of your adventures together and expose you to beautiful parts of yourself that you never knew existed. Listen to Seth and Kim’s interview to hear more details about their amazing journey, how they fought and continue to fight depression, and their valuable insights on love and marriage.
What do you think? Is marriage for you or is it for the one you love? What are some things you have done to battle against challenges like depression and anxiety in your relationship? What obstacles have you used to bring you closer together as a couple that could otherwise have torn you apart?
Leave your insights in the comments!