This was originally published on PonderingJane.com (the former name of this blog) on 9/12/11.
Today marks eight years that my husband and I have ben married. Really, I write this to him:
We were so naïve when we got married. We had not yet had kids, or made significant career changes. We had not been married before.
We were healthy, had lots of friends and were enjoying our mostly responsibility- free life in an idyllic coastal town in New England. We shared the most wonderful group of friends, and thoroughly enjoyed all of our nights out and cook outs.
Our honeymoon was once in a lifetime, and we came back to our small and perfect one bedroom apartment. Then, we settled into life.
Neither of us having lived with a significant other before made the adjustment period significant. Admittedly a horrible roommate, it took me the longest. In fact, eight years later, I am still adjusting.
We made it through the most intense part of learning to live together just in time to move. Not far away, but somewhere bigger with more to offer. Then we started dealing with family and personal illness, unexpected job changes and the realities of marriage. Challenges, struggles and seeming impossibilities loomed before us and around us.
Much of this we had not even faced on our own before. Now we were dealing with these things, along with a new marriage comprised of a stubborn and strong willed wife, and defensive husband.
There were some really tough stretches, I know.
So do you.
But here we are. Beyond the “seven year itch” (though now, I wonder who can “itch” with young children at home) and moving forward. Together.
There have been times when I know we both thought that we made a mistake, that we could not move beyond the obstacle in front of us- our poor communication skills, that you shrunk my shirt, or that I left dishes in the sink. That we could not break out of our patterns or come up from the downward spiral of fighting that we were trapped in.
I am glad that we did. You have challenged me- sometimes unintentionally- and pushed me and called me out. You have forced me to do the same for you. In the interest of our marriage and our children.
Now, with all of the work that we have done to improve ourselves, and our partnership, things are getting really good. We are laughing more, and cashing in on the hope that we clung to during our most difficult times: that indeed we had chosen correctly. That our commonalities are those that matter most: family, values and loving God.
That the glances we exchanged even amidst those horrible arguments, were accurate. We do know each other and are well suited.
So now, as we sit and enjoy our life and our children, I am grateful for our stubbornness. My self improvements would not have been as vast, and likely neither would yours.
More challenges are yet to come, of that we are sure. But with each struggle I feel more confident that we will work through it, and come out on the other side feeling more connected and trusting and invested.
So here is to us. The good times ahead, the bad times behind and confidence that we will conquer whatever is thrown our way.
Happy Anniversary Kris, our little family trumps it all.