Over the years I have blogged about many things, I have never written directly about my marriage out of respect for my husband’s
anti-social personality privacy.
In all seriousness and with my husband’s consent, I wanted to write about it, our relationship and the conscious effort that it took for us both to wake up this morning, messy hair and all…look at each other and say ‘I love you, here’s to 80 more.’
Marriage takes balls and Josh and I made a pact before we leaped into this journey: if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this. I come from an environment were there were multiple divorces, Josh’s parents are still together.
To my advantage, he grew up knowing that you can make it work. I learned that we all have shit we bring into relationships, but how we deal with shit once we have decided to commit to another person is the key.
Marriage is a partnership that you work on EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. The ring, the dress, the invitations and flowers are not what will sustain a daily exchange of energy that can be both exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.
We come from different upbringings, cultures, spiritual paths… so you would think we were destined to fail from the get go.
Today marks our 8th year anniversary. Here are some of the lessons we have helped each other learn:
1. Never go to bed angry. We will be the first ones to tell you that this is absolute bullshit. The truth is that you will go to bed angry many times. The truth is also that the next day, you get to decide if you show up from a place of love or anger. Anger stems from fear, insecurities that we all have, it also stems from our ego and its need to control.
Stop. Take a breath and remember that you are both on a journey to do the best that you possibly can with what has been given to you. It’s not about being right or having the last word, it’s about supporting each other as we navigate this glorious and messy journey called life. You both get to choose and you’ve chosen each other, get through it together with love.
2. Put your relationship first. In the toughest times remember why you got together in the first place. You have to be open and flexible to change. You have to be willing to adapt. You’re no longer doing ‘your thing’ it’s actually ‘our thing’, otherwise why commit to another person? If children are in the picture, the commitment level is even deeper. I’ve learned that it’s not about being complacent but that you give and take from each other, knowing that you have each other’s best interest at heart.
3. Be supportive and accepting but also be ready to be the one that calls bullshit. You are still individuals with things that you want to accomplish personally. It hasn’t always been easy and for goals to pan out they must be supported, understood and facilitated. BUT you also need someone to reel you in when your head is in the clouds. Josh has been my anchor when the dreamer and creative entrepreneur in me has gotten the best of me.
4. Mind your manners. Too often we show more respect to strangers than to those we love. We often expect manners from our kids but don’t use them with each other. ‘Please hand me that plate’ is kinder, gentler than ‘Bring me that.’ Would you, could you, please, sorry, these are magic words. Choose kindness.
5. Pick each other’s brain. Ask the silly questions, talk about your heart’s desires with each other. With growing up comes maturing over the years and you have to stay in touch with each other’s growth over all this time. Otherwise, you end up not knowing the person you’re married to as he/she changes over the years.
6. Divorce is not an answer to a problem. Almost all problems are short-term. Divorce is a long-term answer. I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say that Josh and I haven’t thought about it, discussed it and even considered it. I do believe that people drift apart when they choose to no longer participate in each other’s lives. And like I said when I started this post, marriage takes balls. It’s an exchange of energy that can deplete you if you’re on a YOU path and not an US path.
When I look into my husband’s eyes I see the man who when we first met waited for me for over an hour in the freezing cold with sunflowers and chocolate and said “Hello beautiful!’ I see the man who flew into the DR solely to meet my father and the man who drove 6 hours after working a night shift to get to my mother when I couldn’t. That same man pulled teeth and nails to get me to my father’s bedside before he passed, wiped my tears, held me close and held my hand while I was busy pushing out our 2 boys. I see the man who carefully plans out our weekends so we can spend time as a family. I see the man who has helped me grow into the woman I am because he has let me be, warts and all.
That man has a life vision for US. We piss each other off beyond belief sometimes, but we have always chosen to come back to love. That’s all I can continue to hope for.
Happy anniversary my love, you make my heart smile.