Happily still striving for ever after by celebrating our two year wedding anniversary this week. While that is not long for some, we have gone through more life changes in just that short period of time than most. I can’t help but reflect on what we have learned and the challenges we have endured and overcame as a couple. Not only are we a family size bigger but my husband is now home every night after almost three years of working across the eastern half of the United States. Now more than ever we truly get to be a family, we get to be a team raising a family as one, but most importantly, a husband and wife.
This time last year I was comparing our marriage to a house. I don't think anyone ever prepares you for how hard marriage truly is. Imagine building a house with no prior background with nothing but the slight knowledge of the name of your tools. You know how a house is supposed to look, so it should be easy right? The further you become into your project you realize you didn't know as much as you thought you did. There are set backs, trying and not succeeding, frustration, fights, long days and longer nights. After completing your house you don't stop there. Without a constant love to keep it upright it can crumble and fall. Even with its flaws you are proud of what you have made and how far you will go to continue to keep it standing because without a home the ones inside have nothing to look forward to. Once you are finished you come out knowing more about yourself than any other obstacle life could set you up for. The sense of accomplishment is so overwhelming knowing you have the greatest view that you've made yourself.
Another year has passed and just like the previous we have faced new challenges. Some, of which, I think are worth sharing.
1. Go With the Flow
In total my husband and I have been together for over three years. Within that timespan we have gotten married and welcomed two beautiful baby boys into our lives. In between exchanging vows, pregnancy appointments, and bathing two naked bums, my husband has been in and out with work for almost all of our time together. Feeling like a single parent and wanting to be taken seriously, by two boys who seem to look directly through my tough persona, I have had to rely heavily on a structured schedule. If something doesn’t get done or a deadline is missed it’s if I can’t complete my day properly knowing it all could have been avoided had something been done differently. With a second set of hands around, to catch me when I fall, I have been trying to embrace the saying “Life Happens”. If we’re being completely honest, I was really upset when the reality of our kids joining us for our anniversary night out hit me. But here they both lay curled up beside me with my husband across the room in a separate bed and I’m okay with that. Sometimes you need moments such as these to have a deeper appreciation for where you are now and the life you have created together.
Social media RULES our society. It seems as if every time I am on Instagram scrolling through my explore page there is another glorified picture collage of a series of couples labeled “Relationship Goals”. I have received messages insisting my husband and I are a match made in Heaven or how they too wish one day they can find what we share. Although I love my husband dearly, this is not reality. The only secret behind the magic is you are only seeing what they want you to see. Rather than trying achieve a falsely represented relationship set your own goals.
3. Disconnect and Reconnect
MCM(Man Crush Monday). WCW(Woman crush Wednesday). SMH(Shake My Head)! We are losing our vision of what a “house” is supposed to look like by focusing more on if we make someone’s weekly appreciation post. Living in the twenty first century we show our thankfulness on Thursday while calling our significant other “Bae”. As shallow as it may sound, without the use of social media, you no longer feel the need to post every life event because the only one you feel you need to impress is already with you. Keep a little mysteriousness and intimacy about your relationship by minimizing what you share. Instead of posting how much someone means to you, GO TELL THEM. Put down the phone and see what it changes. Disconnect and reconnect.
4. The Little Things Matter
Aside from maintaining a marriage and two boys I have a new list of household chores to finish with my husband home. I have more laundry. I cook more often. I clean more dishes. After being a single parent within the household for so long I really enjoy feeling like I’m actually getting to be a wife doing the small things for my husband. Every day I pack my husband’s lunch. It’s not much but the effort doesn’t go unnoticed when I wake up to find little love notes taped to the wall. Don’t waste your money on material things and go fold the clothes and put them away or offer to unload the dishwasher. Always make an effort to go the extra mile to say “I love you”.
5. Say Sorry More Often
Recently my husband has taught me the importance of an apology. I have and still struggle with this daily but it turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks. It is so easy to get caught up in the moment and give up mentally. While fighting a battle with yourself you can become mute thinking of everything to say none of which are worthy of word. No matter the situation, big or small, imagine what the silence can do for your partner. At the same time you’re fueled with frustration, your partner is seeking the resolution of communication you fail to release, leaving you both with confusion and doubt. Whether you feel like you are in the wrong or not, you are taking the time to take into account both parties without leaving your significant in the dust. As my husband explains it’s not a matter of taking a hit to your pride but showing you care enough to say you are sorry.
Our relationship is far from perfect. I have learned how to appreciate more and love deeper over the past few years. Together we are still learning how to lay our foundation for our house to withstand the years to come. But even with a missing nail or two you don’t stop your project.