June 2nd marked our eighth wedding anniversary. So much has happened and changed in those eight years. Career changes. A child. Mortgage payments (sooo many mortgage payments). Home repairs. Vacations. Laughter. Tears. Fights. But one constant? Whatever it is, we face it together. We are willing to fight for one another through arguments and tears, and work for each other and our marriage.
(11 years ago and newly dating!)
Today I’m sharing with you eight things I’ve learned in our eight years of marriage:
1. You will totally fight.
Sometimes your arguments will be over big things—like money. Sometimes, they will be about little things—like putting clothes in the hamper. Some things will get resolved quickly, and some things will never get resolved. We were able to solve our money struggles by implementing a new budget (a la Dave Ramsey), in hours. But yet, we still can’t come to an agreement on which way to put forks in the dishwasher. (When he does dishes, it’s prongs up. When I do them, it’s prongs down. You know, in case you were wondering…or wanted to pick a side.)
2. You won’t always like each other.
There will be times when you will get on each other’s nerves SO badly that you won’t be able to stand one another. At other times, you won’t think you can possibly love each other more. It’s a total toss up dependent on a million little variables. Are the clothes in the hamper? Great, I like you. No? I don’t like you. It is sunny outside? I like you. Do I have PMS? I don’t like you.
3. Men can’t be trained.
No, really. I am pretty sure it’s impossible. I have asked for dirty clothes to be put in the hamper for YEARS. They’re still not. We used to fight about it, but I have given up. I do things that I’m sure he’d rather me do differently (prongs up, people!!) too. (So, I guess women are pretty untrainable too…) It’s all about picking battles.
4. Kids definitely change things.
People say it because it’s true. Kids are hard. It’s a fact. They change the entire dynamic of your home and your marriage. You have someone completely dependent on you—for everything. Take time for each other, and you’ll survive. And don’r forget—you have someone to play rock, paper, scissors with to see who gets up at midnight for a diaper change.
5. It’s the little things.
It’s not how big of a gift I get for my birthday or how expensive dinner is on our anniversary. The things that keep me going and the things that make me fall in love all over again every day are the little things—the day to day, if you will. Offering to take me out for ice cream after I’ve been home sick with a broken air conditioner in 89 degree weather. Win. Letting me sleep in on the rare days he wakes up earlier than I do. Win. Keeping our daughter at home with him so I can grocery shop without having to buy Lucky Charms. Win. You get the idea.
6. You’ll even each other out.
One of us is the spender. One of us is the saver. I’ll let you guess which one is which. (Hint: I don’t own 20 pairs of workout shorts.) One of us is the worrier (don’t let me anywhere near WebMD). One of us can ask our daughter to do something once, while the other has to ask 4,093,840,980 times before she obeys. In all of these instances, one of us is able to calm the other down, cheer the other on, reign the other in, or help the other out. We’re best as a team.
7. It’s not 2 become 1.
I’m my own person—with my own hobbies and interests. He is his own person—with his own hobbies and interests. Collectively, we are also a couple with mutual hobbies and interests. Marriage isn’t about two people becoming one person in all aspects. It’s about each person coming together, with the love they have for one another in the middle, holding them together.
8. Love evolves.
The love I have for my husband is much different now than it was when I first said, “I love you.” It’s even different than it was when I first said “I do.” When my child was born, I thought my heart might explode from the love I felt for both her AND for him as a father. Seeing him as my husband was one thing, but seeing him as the father of my child was completely different. The love I feel for him on an average Tuesday, when I come home tired from work to a clean house and happy family, is so much greater than I ever expected to feel for anyone.
(11 years later! Happy Anniversary to us!)