10 years ago today, we got married. I can’t believe it.
It was probably one of the few times in my life that I didn’t overthink something and just went with it. Maybe I should do that more often, LOL. Because we still not only love each other, but we like each other. We enjoy each other’s company. We still have stuff to talk about. Stuff to share together. We still want to grow old together.
I don’t have it all figured out. At all. But here are some things I do know.
You will change. Who I was at 24 is very different from who I am at 34. I’ve grown up, and along the way, I learned many things about myself. And my husband is also a different person to me now than he was then. He’s grown too, and he’s opened up about things. And somehow, we were able to grow into who we are and that still works together as a couple. Some of the stuff that came out would be huge dealbreakers for other people. I guess it’s dumb luck for us that it wasn’t for us.
It’ll never be perfect. I was at dinner with some friends recently, and one of them found out how long I had been married, and asked me something along the lines of “do you still fight?” or “do you still get on each other’s nerves?” We totally still get on each other’s nerves. (We call it “poking the bear.”) You just have to figure out how to diffuse it. We rent a small condo (fewer than 900 sq ft). There is very little “me” space and room to get away from each other. So when one or both of us are annoyed or pissed or angry with the other, we try to diffuse it as quickly as we can. We’ve learned some tricks along the way on how to turn the other’s frown upside down.
It should get better. I like to reference an old song and tell Robert “I love you more today than yesterday … but not as much as tomorrow.” And he responds with “oh boy, I can’t wait for tomorrow!” Cheesy, yes. But after 10 years of weathering the ups and downs of our marriage, I honestly do feel like our love has grown deeper and stronger than it could have been on our wedding day, a mere two and a half years into our relationship. I feel happier today than I did then, but it’s a different kind of happy.
No two marriages are the same. We went through some big, uh, growing pains a few years ago. Very personal stuff. At one point, I thought it was the end. I thought we had gotten to a point where what we each needed to be happiest was incompatible. But we were able to figure out how to move forward, together and happy. And now we like to refer to our relationship as Marriage 2.0. It was a new start for our marriage, and we were able to do it our way, instead of creating something that looked like what marriage “should” look like. Whatever that is. We focused on what works for us. No matter how weird or crazy or “wrong” it might look to someone else. It’s our relationship. It needs to work for us.
Remember why you committed to each other in the first place. When things do get rough, and I have doubts about why we’re together, I try to think about why I agreed to commit to this person in the first place. Everyone’s reasons are different. But there are specific reasons that I looked at this man 10+ years ago and knew I wanted him in my life, always. Sometimes it’s easier to forget those things and get distracted or weighed down by the challenges. But focusing on why we came together reminds me of what is so great about this person, and about our relationship.
That’s a lot of heavy stuff, so I’ll stop there. What relationship advice/wisdom/reflections do you have????