John and I planned a wedding in four months. No, we did not have to get married, we just couldn’t wait to get married.
If it would have been socially acceptable, I would have done cartwheels down the aisle to him because nothing else mattered but becoming his wife. Colors, flowers, music, details, and all of the things brides get crazy about, I let people arrange. I just wanted to marry my best friend.
And when we stood at the alter saying our vows, I thought I knew what they meant. I couldn’t wait to kiss him and skip down the aisle…happily ever after.
But, marriage is hard. Marriage is really hard. And really good. And really hard.
Marriage in the first year is finding the new normal after both of you lived on your own and did things your own way.
Marriage is making dinner (not cereal or ice cream) every night.
Marriage is cuddling up to the man that wraps his strong arms around you at night.
Marriage is finding out you are pregnant when you were not supposed to have kids.
Marriage is fighting and realizing that you can’t storm out because you live together.
Marriage is forgiving quickly because if you do not, the grudge will get bigger.
Marriage is loving your wife when she gains 80 pounds with each child. (insert “Oh My Word!” Emoji) and telling her she looks beautiful with his eyes when he looks at you.
Marriage is meeting each other in your darkness and slowly pulling the other out of the darkness.
Marriage is seeing the love in your husband’s eyes when you have post-partum with each girl and he continues to love you because he doesn’t know what else to do.
Marriage is having your own interests and cheering the other on when they do their thing: coaching, hunting, marathons, staying late in their classroom or office, finishing their graduate degree with two kids under two, and CrossFit.
Marriage is laughing at the private jokes that only the two of you understand and almost peeing your pants.
Marriage is not liking your spouse sometimes and loving them at the same time.
Marriage is praying with and for each other.
Marriage is appearing as a team when disciplining your kids, even if you do not agree how the other handled it.
Marriage is getting mad that he doesn’t see the things to be done that women see and just giving him a list because that is what he understands.
Marriage is respecting your husband and allowing him to lead your family. And your husband loving his wife so much, she knows he would lay down his life for her.
Marriage is showing grace everyday even if you do not feel like it.
Marriage is doing whatever is necessary for your family when the economy tanks.
Marriage is staying awake, listening to your husband breathe, hoping your husband wakes up, when doctors do not know what is wrong with him.
Marriage is celebrating the little growth in each other that only the two of you can see.
Marriage is sneaking off into a closet to get away from your kids to get some alone time and laughing when you get caught.
Marriage is listening to the doctor tell you that his abrupt personality change from his illness could be permanent and he may never be the same. And you choose to find a new normal with your husband no matter what that might be.
Marriage is growing as individuals, but never leaving the other one behind in that growth.
Marriage is arguing your point, but not always having the last word. (Even though you have one more point.)
Marriage is forgiving and really letting it go.
Marriage is hard. Marriage can end when one person does not hold up their end, become selfish, holds on to wrongs, and grows leaving their partner behind. Marriage takes more work than the fairy tales tell you. Because at the end, it should say, “They worked their butts off to stay very married together.”