So I’ve been married for 3 1/2 months. We’ve been together for 5 years as of October 11th. We’ve learned what works for us and what doesn’t. We’ve put in the time and work to make two imperfect people have the closest thing to a perfect relationship we can get on earth.
To many we’re in the “honeymoon stage” or “newlyweds”. However I will say our honeymoon stage didn’t start over with wedding rings. We left that in our first 6 months together and honestly I like it better this way. Being our full and complete selves all the time without fear of what the other will think. Nothing really changed except we live together now which means we see each other everyday. As opposed to just weekends.
I’d say the most common thing people have asked us when we see them, since the wedding, is “how’s married life going” or something to that effect. I usually come back with “well we’re both alive and still want to be married so as good as it can be”. More jokingly than anything else.
People always laugh when I say it. But it’s hard to keep it short and sweet acknowledging it’s not easy everyday but say we’re loving it.
It’s an adjustment no doubt. Living with somebody else. Figuring out each other’s weird little quirks that we didn’t know until living together. Neither of us had lived with anybody except our parents and siblings and never on our own.
Eric has learned I like towels folded a certain way and actually refolded earlier this week. He asked what was wrong with it and I said they have to be folded a certain way, that’s how my grandma does it, and that’s how my mom does it.” He said “well then we’ll just have two different types of folded towels” unfortunately for him I let him know “no we won’t cause I’ll refold yours. It goes against everything I was told growing up haha”
It’s a learning curve and more times than not makes us laugh than argue such as the towels. But I wouldn’t change any of it. We knew each other in and out before getting married. And I think that’s why it’s been an “easy” transition. And I say that lightly because there’s nothing easy about it. We both have to make the choice to show up and try everyday.
Part of my response “we’re still alive” is sort of a long story short phrase to summarize it all. We’re obviously early on in marriage, but we became friends and got to know each other for years before. We had been together over 3 years before we even got engaged. From early on we were ourselves. No hiding. It was full force. I guess we were both confident enough to say either you’ll like me for me or not. Luckily for us we love each other specifically for what makes us different. And I think being ourselves with each other from day one is what built the foundation up so well to build our relationship on.
We shared all parts of ourselves with each other. The proud parts and the not so proud of ones. The weird habits and pet peeves.
I was so fortunate to be surrounded by dozens of strong marriages to look up to. I also come from a family that has a real, no bull way look at life and especially relationships.
They’re hard. Sometimes they’re not fair. Sometimes you want to throw the speaker, you’ve asked him to move and take care of for two weeks, through the window. Other times you just made dinner together, cleaned up the kitchen, and cuddle up on the couch with the puppy and watch Alaskan shows.
There are times we shake our head at each other. There are times that I just walk into the other room and take a deep breath.
It takes work. It takes hard work. It’s not a secret to us after 5 years now. Relationships take constant work. But that’s what I mean by “we’re alive” not because we’re struggling. I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. I love where we’re at and the life we’re building together. But because it’s not always easy. We made that decision to commit to each other for life.
Life has its ups and downs and right now we’re in the up side. The down side will come inevitably but it’s because of what we build on the high points that we’ll get through the lows.
The second part of my response is “still want to be married”. Sounds horrible. Of course we should still want to be. But like I said. Some days we just get on each other’s nerves. We work on ourselves to be better for each other. And there’s nothing that’ll ever make me not want to be married to my best friend. But sometimes we just need our space for a little while.
The first time I said “still alive and still want to be married” it caught people, including myself, off guard. I’m sure they were expecting some stories.
Every struggle is worth it. Every load of laundry and meal made is worth it. The spare bedroom that looks like a camo tornado went through is worth it. The boots that sit right in front of the door are worth it.
All of the little “bothers” will come and go. We’ll get better at it everyday. We’ll figure out how to live together better and better. But he is the one I want to come home to. He’s the only one I want to wash a cup of milk that has sat out all day. He’s the only one I want to run into a door that doesn’t open all the way cause he put his boots where I asked him not to for weeks. He’s the one. It’s simple.
I grew up in a family that if it’s broke you fix it. Usually macgyver style. Whatever it takes to be able to use it or keep it working. Well that’s just my plan for my marriage. You take things with a grain of salt. Leave it on your pillow before you go to bed. And wake up the next morning ready to take on the world with him by my side.
My dad was gone in a freak accident. Nothing any of us could’ve prepared for. My mom went from a wife of 11 years to a widow with 4 little girls in a matter of minutes and one phone call. You never know the last time they’ll walk through that door. You never know when you’ll kiss them the last time before they go to work. You never know when you’ll be able to argue with them about taking care of something again.
I learned many many things from my dad and his death. One was treat everyday like it’s the last. And now it’s treating my marriage so that there’s no regrets. That if something were to happen I wouldn’t have guilt or regrets of my last moments with him being negative. That if I was in my moms position I would find peace in knowing I wouldn’t do anything different.
We’re in probably one of the craziest parts of our lives right now. Just bought our first house. Just got married. Both going through school. Both working. Have a puppy. Trying to figure out this homeowner thing together. Hunting. Fishing. And some days suck. They simply don’t leave anything in me by time I get home. I’m on edge because it was a long day of classes. I got piled with homework for the week and not sure how I’m going to keep my head above water for the week.
But Eric gets home. Comes and gives me a kiss and I remember that all this is worth it. One day I won’t have the homework, I can only hope our puppy grows out of her puppy stage, and I’ll have a few more seconds to breathe. It’s all temporary.
One day the struggles we have now won’t amount to how proud we can feel looking back on these times. We work our butts off for this life. We work for this relationship. Every day. We made that choice when we said “I Do”.
We started this journey at 16. We’re now 21 and married with a house and building a life together. We’re young. And that no doubt came with some let’s call it “advice” of how we need to wait. We’ve got our whole lives. But we knew the reality. We knew it wouldn’t alway be a walk in the park. We knew what we were getting into and still wanted it with all our hearts. It wasn’t something we just decided and jumped into on a whim.
We also spent 3 years putting in the work. Knowing what it meant to love wholeheartedly and no matter what. Learning everything we could about each other. Figuring out our dynamic. We built a relationship with God at the center and is virtually unbreakable. Age doesn’t mean anything in my eyes. What does is your willingness to acknowledge the bad days and push through together till you reach the good ones again.
My philosophy may be too real for you. You may decide that a 21 year old newlywed has no idea what she’s talking about. But I have learned a thing or two. Life is hard. Life sucks everything out of you sometimes. Life is not something to take lightly. This world will try to take everything that is left after life takes its toll for the day.
But it’s all temporary. Pick the battles. It’ll be over one day and it’ll all be worth it. Put in the work everyday and you’ll never have to have “what-ifs” if they don’t walk through that door again. Make compromises. Be real with each other. Be brutally honest with yourself. Take the time and never stop dating. Create a relationship that always feels like your first date and gives you butterflies every time you see them. I’m not saying we’ve got it all figured out. We’re just starting our life as a married couple. But it’s the majority of 5 years we have to back that up.
It’s the realization that it’s not always going to be easy, but it’s always worth the work. That was literally part of my vows
“This life may not always be easy but it’s ours and I cannot wait to spend it with you”
We never got caught under the “perfect life, perfect relationship” bubble. We’ve always been honest, even brutally honest sometimes, with each other. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a family that was rough and tumble not dancing under the rainbow with unicorns. One of my all time favorite TV quotes is from friends. There’s just something so true and real about it. There’s no better way to say it in my mind.
So after all that rambling I’ll end with this. First, If you want it, you have to work for it. And that goes for anything in life. Nothing comes for free and often times anything worth having doesn’t come easy or everyone would have it. Second, give it to God. Surrender it all and just follow his direction. Third, fighting is not bad. It’s good to have disagreements. It’s good to get it out. It’s ok to not live in silent peace all the time. It’s healthy even. It’s just when that’s all you do is fight that things can go south. Lastly, live with no regrets. Live as if you will never see them again. I can’t promise it’s the perfect formula, but make the adjustments to fit you and your situation. I know that up to this point in our over 5 years I don’t have a single regret. I wouldn’t change anything. We made God the center of our relationship and he has blessed us. I know without a doubt Eric loves me and all of me. Every impatient, ocd, towel folding, part. I know I’m a lot to handle sometimes. But I know that I can always be real and honest with him. And him me. We work everyday for us. For our life. And for our future.