Today, my husband and I will celebrate our 7th anniversary as a married couple.
In dog years, we’d be closer to 50 and that’s just about what it feels like. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
We’ve already made a lifetime of memories and we’re doing our best to raise our boys right. We’ve traveled across the country and back again in search of freedom, self-discovery, a better life and more opportunities for our little family of four. Plus two dogs and a cat.
This marriage has now encompassed nearly a quarter of my life. As with any long period of time, birth through first grade, for example, a person changes dramatically in character, hopefully forming a stronger, deeper connection with themselves and gaining knowledge and compassion along the way. We have both become very different people than the day we met. Not entirely. But many small steps were taken and many goals were achieved to get us to this point today. We’ve struggled, perhaps more than most couples our age and our tenure, but we’ve also grown out of those struggles into (hopefully) more mature individuals and an even happier couple.
We are no strangers to adversity. We’ve had our fair share of personal, legal, and financial problems, even illness, both chronic and temporary, which means everything from mental health disorders to addiction. Both strong-willed and stupidly stubborn at times, we’ve had arguments comparable to World Wars. We disagree about a lot of things, like who should do the dishes after they cook a huge, messy meal, but we agree about an awful lot more and especially about the important stuff, like what values we want to teach to our boys.
Thankfully, our theme has always been perseverance. We have continually pushed through all the bad stuff to get back to the good stuff as quickly as we could. We have tried our best to weather the storms holding onto one another’s hand. We have both fallen so hard at times and exhausted, we almost felt that we couldn’t help the other person up. We wanted to quit. But we dug our heels in and gripped onto one another so tightly it hurt. We made mistakes. Then we made more. And we will continue to make mistakes until we die, I hope. I no longer fear of making the wrong choices because we have always persevered and came out the other side still intact, maybe a little dusty and ragged but we’re always ok in the end.
This is what a real marriage looks like though. We all carry our own burdens and struggles. And sometimes love is not enough. You need persistence and compassion. Gratitude and optimism. Flexibility and compromise. And a great partner who shares similar ideas. I’m just grateful to have this guy that wants to be in my life and wants to help me carry what I can’t handle.
Marriage is hard.
But nothing worth having ever is easy.
“Love is like a brick.
You can build a house,
or you can sink a dead body.”