Well I can hardly believe it, but this week my husband and I celebrate our fifth year of marriage! When I look back over the last few years I can’t believe how much
my our life has changed. It would be easy to say that I would have never imagined our life where it is today, but that’s just not true. I knew pretty early on in our relationship that my hubby was the guy for me. And we were always on the same page about our future. We both wanted a large family and we both knew that I would eventually become a stay-at-home mom.
There have been plenty of bumps along the way. We’ve lost pets, experienced miscarriage, lost family members, moved houses, set a truck on fire (yes, seriously– but that’s a story for another day), traveled, fought, and cried many tears. But for every difficult memory there are so many good ones. We’ve blossomed in our marriage by strengthening each other. We have welcomed two beautiful, healthy children into the world (soon to be three). And we have so many happy memories it’s hard to choose just one to share.
I thought about doing a really mushy, gushy post and sharing all the things I love about my husband. But he’s a pretty modest guy and I don’t think he would enjoy that as much I would. So instead I want to take some time and share some lessons I’ve learned in our first five years of marriage.
There’s an Ebb and Flow to Marriage
When we first got married it was just the two of us. So we spent every waking moment together (when we weren’t at work), we did everything together. And we loved it! He would bring me home flowers at least once a week, I gave him foot rubs and bake often. Life was bliss.
And life still is blissful, but in a different way. Now flowers are rarely in the budget and if I do bake he’s lucky to get any before our 4-year-old eats everything (or licks everything, take your pick). But we’re incredibly happy. Our life is hectic and full, but we love each other. And we’ve learned how to go with the ebb and flow of our marriage.
There are periods when we invest A LOT into each other. And there are periods when life is moving fast and we’re invested more in our businesses (my husband also owns a business) or the children.
And that’s ok. Because it won’t last forever. Eventually we will get back to a routine of spending quality time together (sans children). That’s just the ebb and flow of marriage.
I’ve Learned to Show Him Respect
Pretty early on I figured out that he does stuff differently than I do. And I’m controlling enough that it drives me crazy. So when he folds laundry instead of saying “hey thanks!” I would say something like “you folded the shirts wrong.” That’s kind of rude! And it’s really disrespectful to him and the effort he made. Besides, can you really fold a t-shirt wrong?
Over the years I have learned to show him respect in many different ways. I thank him when he helps around the house and I respect him enough to keep our private life off the blog. It’s not something I’m great at, in fact I think I kind of stink at it (he says he doesn’t feel that way, which is good), but it’s something I’m always working on.
You Don’t Have to Yell
I’m a pretty emotional person. If I’m mad, you’ll know it. You’ll know it because I’ll tell you I’m mad but I’ll also show you by yelling, stomping around, and slamming doors. I really like to make it a production. Ya know?
But I’ve learned in our marriage that I can express myself by calmly explaining why I’m upset. And you know what? My husband is actually more inclined to listen when I can be calm and direct. Imagine that?!
Marriage is Hard Work
Good marriages are made, they don’t just happen. I think people tend to go into marriage with this idea that if you married the right person everything will just fall into place. And therefor any hard work or bumps in the road must be a sign that you didn’t marry the right person. But I don’t think that’s true at all.
I think when two people commit their lives to each other, they are also committing to putting in the hard work. That means listening to the other and really hearing what they have to say. It also means meeting the needs of the other person, even before your own needs are met.
My husband is my number one, he’s the most important person in my whole world and it’s important to me that his needs are being met. Whether it’s something simple like baking his favorite treat or something bigger like supporting him in a life goal. I work every day to meet his needs.
And he does the same for me. He supports me by helping around the house, parenting with me, and doing extra husband duties so I can fulfill my dream of starting a blog. He works to support me all the time
Marriage requires a lot of dedication and hard work. It doesn’t just happen and the work never stops. It changes, but it doesn’t stop. But man is it worth it. Which leads me to my final lesson…
Marriage is the most rewarding commitment you will ever make
few years back ok many years back when Starbucks would put quotes on their cups? I found this quote once and it became my favorite:
The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating – in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life. — Anne Morriss, Boston MA
To this day it is my favorite quote and I think about it often. I used to hate when people would say they were “afraid of commitment”. Hate. It. I would always say “You aren’t afraid of commitment, you’re afraid of committing to the wrong thing.” And I still believe that. How can anyone be afraid of commitment when commitment to anything is in itself so liberating?
I find marriage to be truly rewarding because I am free to be me. And someone in the world loves and accepts me just as I am. Flaws and all.
Here is a person who has truly seen me at my worst. He has seen me lose my cool with our children many times. He has held me on days that my grief of losing our baby kept me in bed. My husband has helped me heal through two c-sections, and encouraged me through breastfeeding. He has seen me at my lowest, my absolute worst. And he still kisses me good night and says “I love you” every single night.
How incredible is that?!
Marriage is rewarding beyond words. It is truly the commitment that has liberated me and allowed me to live my life to the fullest every day. And I have my husband to thank for that.
Happy 5th Anniversary, Babe!! Here’s to many, many more years. And no more truck fires. And maybe a limited amount of additional children. I love you!
What’s a lesson you have learned in your own marriage??