Well, Folks. I’m back at it. Contemplating all of the advice and all of the moments that have happened in the last 10 months of being married.
I wrote a blog post when we had been married for 4 months, about why I didn’t agree that “Marriage Is HARD”. Read Here : Blog Post
I received SO much encouragement and feedback on the post and for that, I am incredibly grateful. But what seemed to stick out was one comment about needing some more time under my belt before deciding if marriage was hard or not.
What rose up within me when I read that comment was defensiveness. I wanted to sit down and tell her the reasons that my marriage, although new, was still full of all of the things that marriage can be. I felt misunderstood. Plus, behind a computer, all words just seem black and white. In person, it would have been much easier for me to receive.
So I gave it 6 more months, and I thought that now, I would weigh in on my first post.
You see, Kyle and I have experienced a LOT of changes in the past 10 months. We got married, moved in with each other, purchased our first house, Kyle had a job/career change, and we had the busiest season of photography that we have ever had.
Neither Kyle or I had lived with anyone prior to our marriage, so I will be honest when I say THAT has probably been the thing that we have had to learn the most. How to co-exist with someone who is in so many ways OPPOSITE from you.
I’m a mess-maker. I had NO idea before we were married. No, really. I thought I was SO organized. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. I make piles. On Piles. On Piles. And in my head, they make sense. They are organized. In Kyle’s mind, they are piles. Piles of junk. Which in all honestly, is probably more accurate. Things I will “get to”. Once I have some extra time. In 47 years.
But living together has brought SO many benefits. Forget the days of having to fall asleep alone, I have an eternal bed-buddy. Forget having to say goodbye, now we just kiss and say goodnight.
Let me give you an analogy… Have you ever eaten a Chipotle Burrito bowl? You know where you get to add scoops of delicious things, and while eating it feel a teensy bit like you just were on vacation? Well, explaining a burrito bowl as just a bowl of rice would be the same as explaining marriage as…HARD. Because there are SO many other parts of both things. To leave out the chicken, black beans, GUACAMOLE, etc. is the same as leaving out the joy, friendship, hilarious moments, moments where I felt heard, understood, loved, confident, encouraged. Because THOSE are the biggest parts of marriage. The hard moments are few and far between when we look at the bigger picture.
The most important thing that we have learned, in my opinion, is to never forget that we are on the SAME team.
That might sound simple. But in an argument, it changes everything to realize that Kyle is only MY team. Instead of being defensive, it causes me to listen to what he says, knowing that he wants the best for me. MORE than even I do.
The same goes for him. When we have hard conversations, it is not because I want to tear him down, it is because I want to make him great. When Kyle points out an area of insecurity that I struggle with and need to work on, it is not to pour salt on the wound, but instead to air it out. Put some light on it. Let it breathe. Let it heal.
When we enter a situation with the attitude of being on the same team, something shifts. We might have to work through disagreements, but at the end of it, we know that a disagreement will not alter our commitment to each other.
How crazy is marriage when we think of it realistically. To take two people, from different backgrounds, with different ways of operating, with different ways of communicating, and put them as close as possible. There is nobody who knows me better than Kyle does. And being married you get to be real close to your spouse. On their good days, bad days, anxious moments, mountain-top moments, naked moments, emotional moments.
It’s amazing. Amazingly challenging in some ways, but amazingly complimentary in others. Kyle has strength in areas where I am weak, and I have strength is his areas of weakness. He balances me. He causes me to break out of my anxiety. I cause him to bust through discouragement.
So, here I am. 6 whole months more have flown by, and I’m still tooting the same horn. The “Marriage Rocks” horn.
If you are selfish, marriage will reveal that to you. If you are impatient, nobody will see that more than your spouse. If you struggle with discouragement, it’s hard to hide that from someone who sees you morning and night. But if you thought you loved your spouse on your wedding day, you will look back and see that love grows deeper as time progresses. I love Kyle deeper today than on 3.22.14, and I feel loved more deeply than when I first took his last name.
I have wonderful parents, and I have grown up knowing that I was unconditionally loved, I understand that this is not always the case. But in a way, I think parents just naturally love their children. Ask any mom and she will say that the love she has for her child is indescribable, from the moment they were born. However, Love in a marriage is a choice. And knowing that Kyle chooses every day, to love me and protect me, even though he has seen me at my worst, THAT feeling is indescribable. The power of that kind of love is enough to break down my walls and insecurities. When he promised to love be for better or worse, he meant it. And each time I have a meltdown and he looks into my eyes and tells me that I am loved, he keeps his promise.
I’ll leave you with this quote I read in a book called “Sacred Marriage”. It says, “The beauty is in the struggle.” Let’s just let that sink in. I can tell you that Kyle and I have learned that as we continue to communicate through misunderstandings, change, and hard moments, our relationship develops more facets and becomes more rich and fulfilling. Pressing through until we find resolution and understanding sometimes can be a struggle. It would be easy to sleep on the couch and put that in a box for another day, but instead we have committed to work through it. Before we fall asleep, before we allow our discouragement and imaginations to run wild. We want to see the beauty, so we will endure the struggle.
#thestruggleisreal…But it’s SO worth it.