Marriage Revelations on our 10th Wedding Anniversary
In just under a month, my husband and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. How did we get here? How did 10 years go by? One of my favorite parenting quotes comes to mind when I think about it – “The days are long, but the years are short”.
I was married at the ripe age of 23, engaged at 21. After spending just over a year apart thanks to a deployment to the Middle East, I was positive this was the man I wanted to spend my life with. But, thinking back to that time, I realize I didn’t know any better. I had never been in any other long term relationship. I was 21 years old, my husband was 29 and had lived a much more worldly life than I had. I was just out of college, no job, no money, no possessions of my own.
I was utterly in love with the fact that I was engaged. I was the first of my friends to be engaged, the first to go through the wedding planning process. Looking back now I see that through the entire engagement, I became lost in the true reason we were even engaged.
I loved my husband, but looking back
I had no idea how to be a wife.
While I am no expert, I can truly see how so many marriages fail the first few years.
Our first year of marriage was difficult. We dealt with the loss of three of my husband’s family members. I had no idea how to help him or be there for him. Instead of letting him be, I made it all about me. I realize this now looking back. But, my selfish behavior then was almost a deal breaker. Thank goodness for a good friend who was there by his side, just letting him be.
I had no idea how to handle money. I spent it like it was going out of style. My way of handling hard times at the time was to shop until I drop. Which led to a lot, I mean a lot of credit card debt. Which I hid in shame that I did it and pride in thinking I could get out of the mess myself. Again, another deal breaker that I still spend most days being reminded of everyday.
After having our babies, I almost completely self-sabotaged our marriage thanks to post-partum depression.
In all of this (and much more), there were days that the easiest solution would have been to walk away. It’s always easier to walk away from faults than come face to face with them. Marriage does that, without even trying, you see true colors. Sometimes they aren’t what you want to see.
Marriage is work. It’s hard work. It’s compromise. It’s working together. You need to learn to give in a little bit. Know when you need to be quiet.
I don’t need flowers, gifts or undivided attention to know my husband loves me. I just feel it.
I let go of my expectations and accepted the way things are. I spent years getting angry, really angry, over clothes on the floor or dishes left on the counter. While those things may drive you crazy and you are probably thinking I am crazy, I learned to pick my battles. And guess what? When I stopped nit picking and nagging over them, they started to go into the hamper a lot more often.