So you guys...today is my 14th wedding anniversary. I don't normally write about this kind of thing but I honestly am so floored that it's been so long—14 years!!!—that I just feel like I owe my marriage a few paragraphs. I hope you don't mind coming along for the ride!
I'm also telling you about this, about marriage and in particular, my marriage, because it's a good part of what my book is about. It's about the lives we choose and how they aren't always what we anticipated, but that oftentimes, that's the very best part of them. It's what I've been thinking of as my own anniversary approached, and as Ed and I sat (see that picture up there?) at my cousin's wedding this weekend.
So in honor of my marriage, and all these years we've racked up, I'm actually sharing a post I wrote four years ago...the day after our tenth anniversary. I hope you don't mind seeing re-churned content but it still rings true for me so I'm hoping it does for you too! Here it is:
Marriage (from 6/1/12)
Yesterday was my anniversary. It was a big one...ten years. And I had planned to write a bit on how wonderful my husband is, and how I'm so lucky to have him, and how I'm amazed the time has gone by so quickly. And all of those things are true.
Instead, it was a pretty crappy day. From kids activities that went awry to miscommunications and irritation, life seemed to really do us in yesterday. I found myself having to remind myself of all the ways Ed is fantastic, just so I wouldn't throttle him. Or anyone else.
And I thought, how am I supposed to write about our wonderful ten years of marriage when I'm just not feeling it today? And therein lied the answer.
Because here's the thing: when you are in a marriage, and you plan on staying in that marriage, and you're making a family, well, it's not all roses. The honeymoon is, in many ways, over. Gone are the lazy mornings together, the time to give each other everything you've got. To stay up late laughing and learning to be in a relationship. To do things that impact only one other persons life, and to honestly want to do things to lift that person up. I mean really, can you imagine?
The thing is, isn't this the point? Isn't it the whole point of marriage? Not that we would lose the romance or it would all be akin to some version of Married With Children, but that eventually, our relationship would have to grow to include people besides us? That eventually, we would get to a point where the other person would actually see the real you, for better or worse? And still love you? And maybe even more important, still like you?
There have been days, weeks even, when we're at odds with each other. These times mostly stem from exhaustion and irritation and the fact that we are enmeshed in the details and sometimes from that viewpoint, it's hard to see the whole. But here's the part that makes marriage so much different than dating, or living together, or whatever you did before you got to this point...marriage is for the long haul.
That's really meant something to us. The idea of forever can be daunting, at times, but it is also really freeing. Because I know that even when my worst self rears her ugly head, Ed can see through it. Experience has taught me that though we have certainly endured our fair share of valleys, I can look forward to continual peaks in our relationship as well. I certainly believe in treating one another with kindness and respect and mutual appreciation. But I also believe that when you're at your worst, there has to be one person who can see through all the crap and love you despite, or even because of it.
Here we are in the beginning. Full of hope and dreams and energy and happiness, only imagining what our future will hold.
And here we are now. A little more wrinkled. A little rougher around the edges. Definitely more exhausted. And not alone.
In many ways, we're a little worse for wear. But in other ways, we are so much better. We've learned that we're not the center of the universe (neither one of us) but we've also learned to really care for one another. We've learned that we are not just enduring the tough times, but that they have actually made us stronger. That for each rough day we've had, there's a lesson to be learned. And we have created a base, a foundation built not just on love and trust but on time and experience, and it is a foundation that is sturdy and strong, and can support both our worst and best days. It's amazing, really. To be able to live with someone, and actually still like them after so much time.
And so. A happy anniversary, it was not. But it was symbolic of the fact that we can thrive through so much, so much...congratulations to us...I wouldn't change a thing.
As a follow up, lest you think all my anniversaries are the pits, this one was just-right...
Danielle Davies (@daniellendavies) is the creator of the internet sensation, My Life with Bradley Cooper, as well as a writer and artist living in New Jersey. Read more...
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