This year marks 4 years married, 16 years together "officially dating," but in reality we've been together for 18. The years we were "apart," we still talked on the phone nearly every day and hung out. So does any of that really count as not being together?
So why did it take us 12 years before tying the knot? Simple. We were kids when we met. I had a timeline to stick to for school and college and life. It wasn't commitment issues although the number looks like that. In his mind we were already married, and that the "official" paper is nothing but just that, a piece of paper. But he knew it was important to me and so, we did the whole shebang.
Looking back, I do think weddings are a ridiculous waste of money, but I also think they're beautiful and I still love my own wedding. I would still do it all over again.
Marriage and relationships are important to me. I don't understand people that don't treat it with respect or importance. Commitments are not something to be taken lightly. If you fall out of love with someone, at least be responsible and respectful enough to tell the person and end the relationship. I never understand people who cheat. It's a very selfish act. Like one person wasn't enough for you???
But I'm also ridiculously lucky. How many people end up with their highschool sweethearts? How many people these days are even in meaningful relationships? My husband comes off tough and mean in real life the way he talks and acts around me when people are watching, but my friends and family know it's all a front. I'm married to someone who's ridiculously head over heels in love with me and sends me angry text messages when I'm not home on time from my city adventures because he merely wants me by his side every free minute he has off from work. My husband absolutely adores me. We don't have a lot in common and despite that, he still loves me and wants to spend time with me, even if we don't share the same taste in what is fun to us. He also does a lot for me and helps me whenever I need something done that I don't know how to do, or just don't want to do because lazy. He takes care of me in a lot of ways and is truly a protector. He is overprotective which I sometimes take as jealousy but it is simply because he loves me. I need to understand this and love him more.
It’s incredible if you can find someone that can uplift you in both good times and in bad, but especially on your rainier days. But that’s the vow you make when you commit to someone and these are things I don’t take lightly when I commit to someone so I’m glad my husband doesn’t either.
If you ever find that special someone that can do all of these things for you, don’t ever let them go. Count your blessings. Every day.
So how do we make it work? We work at it every single day. But it doesn’t feel like work when you love the person you’re with. But here are some things I’ve tried to follow when I read wedding advice and marriage stories while planning my own.
Never stop courting. Never stop dating. When you commit to each other, you promise to fiercely protect the heart of the one you love. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. They CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and never get lazy in your love.
Fall in love over and over again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. That person doesn’t have to stay with you, and if you don’t take care of their heart, they may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win that love just as you did when you were courting them.
Always see the best in them. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest person on earth to have that person by your side.
Make each other laugh. Every single day.
Learn your partner’s love language. Find the specific ways in which they feel important and validated and CHERISHED. Use what you learn to make it a priority everyday to make them feel like a queen/king.
Be vulnerable. You don’t have to have it all together, all the time. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes. Be fully transparent. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share everything. Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let them in when you don’t know if they will like what they find. Part of that courage is allowing your significant other to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. If you feel like you need to wear a mask around them, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.
Marriage isn’t about happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come. It’s an investment in your future and with investments, there will always be cycles of ups and downs. You have to be willing to weather through those storms to see the sunshine after the rain. It’s hard work but after 18 years of knowing each other and fighting about almost everything, I would still say it’s worth it. I love this man so much still after all these years and as cheesy as it sounds, I am excited to grow old with him and experience everything life continues to throw at us.