Today marks seven years since I walked
down the aisle across a parking lot in the hot August sunshine. Before me my youngest brother had escorted my mom to her seat. My oldest brother and cousin both held an arm of my best friend at the time and Maid of Honor. And I clung tightly to my daddy’s arm. Nothing about our wedding ceremony was how I imagined growing up. It was in a church I was unfamiliar with, with practices that were foreign to me. But the man I was doing it all for? Was worth it. So this aisle runner covered black top is where I took my first step into marriage.
In my About Me section, I talk about the journey Princess Daddy and I have gone on. We’ve been through things most couples never even imagine. We aren’t perfect. We have hidden struggles even today. But we are surviving. And we are coming out stronger in the end.
As we celebrate our 7th anniversary, I picture the movie with Marilyn Monroe, years and years ago, “The Seven Year Itch” and I can’t help but wonder if this is in our future? We seem to have overcome the 3rd and 4th years. Maybe we can skip the 7 year since we tackled enough already and just fight the 12th year? (See this post for basic background info on all this itchiness.) All I can say is that we must be doing something right.
We both came from grounded parents. They’ve both been married 30+ years and while they raised us very differently, they did instill the same foundation for marriage in us. Neither of us have seen or dealt with divorce. We have had our lowest of lows though and tossed the d-word around, and not just as a threat in a bad fight. There have been times when neither of us were happy enough. And neither of us had the energy to push any longer. But we dug deep and found that we had to figure it out because neither of us wanted to live without the other. So we had to bend. And we had to sacrifice. I don’t care about being right. I truly think that women are simply too stubborn. They are obsessed with having everything their way. And every single thing about marriage is a compromise. I’m not saying men aren’t to blame. They are stubborn too.
We have three girls. Kids make marriage hard. We love our girls. We would go to the end of the world for them. But we love each other more, just slightly, but more. The love you feel for the life you created is unconditional. You feel it no matter what happens. That child is a part of you. The love you feel for your spouse though takes a daily commitment. It doesn’t have to be a hard commitment. But I wake up every single morning and tell my husband that I love him. I go to bed every night and tell my husband that I love him. We reaffirm our love day in and day out. We show our love. We specialize our love. We’re not talking Sophie’s Choice kind of cruel you have to choose one of the other kind of love. They both happen simultaneously for us. Just as I can still manage to love my parents and my husband at the same time. But one still trumps another. Often times, (women especially) we forget to love our spouse or we confuse the type of loves we feel for our kids vs. our spouse. Marriage is not unconditional love. Yes, you should love each other no matter what, but you have to make that choice every day to say that your love is stronger than that condition.
So there’s my two cents. Seven years doesn’t really grant me a license to spout off marriage advice. But our history feels so much deeper. And the world really does need more love.
Happy 7th Anniversary, Jeremy! You are my everything. I will continue to choose you as my partner every single day, to love you and to always work towards bettering our marriage. The best is yet to come. May there be no Marilyn Monroe like women in our future.