Thursday, May 3, 2012

9 Years In The Blink Of An Eye

Josh and I are celebrating our anniversary today. We specifically chose May 3 because the year was 2003 and we thought it'd be easier to remember. We also engraved it on both our rings because we're both horrible about remembering stuff like that. I can honestly say it's been 9 years of bliss. When I started seeing the therapist, she asked how my marriage was and I said, "great!" She prodded and dug and asked more questions. I don't think she quite believed at first that we don't fight, we share responsibilities and we turn to each other when the going gets tough. But it's true, we're just about as perfect of a match as you can get.

There's a somewhat recent song out sung by Martina McBride called I'm Gonna Love You Through It. The story line of the song is about a wife that has cancer, but the chorus applies to how our marriage works:
When you’re weak, I’ll be strong
When you let go, I’ll hold on
When you need to cry, I swear that I’ll be there to dry your eyes
When you feel lost and scared to death,
Like you can’t take one more step
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it.
I don't know if it's dumb luck, "meant to be" or "gotta do this", but we manage to have our individual low points at different times.  When one of us can't go on anymore, the other finds the strength to carry the family.  And that's gotten us through. 

If I had to pick one piece of advice to offer newlyweds, it would be to let go of the little stuff.  Whether it's a bad experience in a restaurant, a mini-disaster on vacation, a chore your spouse is expected to do and doesn't, or a bill that incurs a late charge because you both think the other is taking care of it.  Let it go.  If you can manage a "laugh it off" attitude about the little stuff, everyone is in a much better position to talk about the big stuff without it growing into an argument. 

Okay, one more...be aware of the give and take.  Between a rough pregnancy, my gallbladder trouble and subsequent surgery, and this anxiety stuff, Josh has definitely done more giving than taking lately.  I recognize that and honor that and have asked him point blank, "you've done a lot giving over the last 2 years; what do you need?  What should I give back to bring this more into balance?"  It's okay for one spouse to need to lean on the other, it's not okay to take it for granted. 

I can't believe it's been 9 whole years.  It sure doesn't feel like it.  Someone made fun of us for holding hands a few months after we got married.  We still hold hands whenever we can.  We have more stressors in our life, but we have just as much fun together as we always have.  I'm looking forward to many many more years!!

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