Friday, May 27, 2011

Marriage, Romance and Reality, On My 12th Wedding Anniversary

This week marks twelve years since my husband and I stood in front of our family and friends and promised to face life together.  We got married at 19, not because we had to, but because we were certain that we would be able to live and love and respect each other. Even at 19, we were wary of the future.  In our wedding vows, we didn't promise to "honor and cherish until death do us part". There was certainly no mention of obeying, but we promised to choose love over anger, trust we misunderstand, face life together, good or bad.  We've managed to keep everyone of these promises, and to us, that is amazing.

A lot has changed for us during those twelve years. Together we have dealt with many changes from divorces to deaths, arrivals and animosities, graduations, relocations, austerity and prosperity.    Through it all, we've managed to stay together, start a family, graduate from school and make amazing friends while still staying together.  Not everything has been rosy, and there are times we weren't sure that we were going to make it.

Tough times have taught us that marriage is not about romance and love and matching furnishings (yes, we have them, but that took a lot of time and patience).  Marriage is about making promises you can keep to your partner.  It's about talking through you troubles and remaining friends during those times when romance is scarce (like when you haven't slept or showered in days because your newborn won't sleep).  It's about being their to listen when no one else will.  It's about making plans and revising them when an unexpected disaster bollixes them up.  It's about laughing and crying and listening to your partner snore, almost every night, but missing the noise when they're gone.

Marriage is completely unglamorous, and frequently unromantic, but it's not without merit. Knowing that somebody chooses to be with you, flaws and all, is comforting.  That sort of security lets me explore being me, without fear. We don't always get a long perfectly, but we've learned to listen to each other. We drive each other crazy, in both the good and bad senses of the phrase, and we wouldn't know what to do without the other.  We wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Anniversary, honey!

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