In case you didn’t know, marriage is hard. Really hard. Add two babies, a move across the country to the land of yes, beautiful landscapes, but also zero friends or family, the financial stress of a second mortgage and working side by side with your spouse every single day…now it’s really, REALLY hard. That all being said, I’m choosing now to write because only now am I able to see through the haze of everyday irritations and long-held resentment and understand my marriage for what it is.
Above everything else, it is a commitment – a commitment to do and say nice things to each other even when you don’t want to, a commitment to accept the other person as they are and not as you’d custom-design them to be if you could (or in my case, just try really hard to do this!) and it’s a commitment to forgive and to let go of past injustices or hurt feelings. Just like anything else, marriage is also a cycle – it has extreme highs, extreme lows and everything in between. I personally enjoy the peaceful coasting phase of the cycle, only because I often find the extreme lows to directly follow the extreme highs. Example: Having a baby together = extreme high!! Fighting about social calendars and parenting responsibilities = extreme low!! Similarly, moving to Colorado into our new home was something that Sean and I were jointly anticipating and excited over, but once the dust settled (wildfire ash, literally) we found ourselves bickering over the same things we always have except this time it was different. This time we couldn’t take turns going out for dinner and drinks with friends, this time we couldn’t have Nana & Papa watch the kids so we could have a weekend to ourselves, this time we couldn’t even vent our frustrations to coworkers.
This time we were all alone with our issues. And it sucked. I deliberately use the past tense of that word because as the cycle of our relationship continues, we have fought through another challenge and we are looking forward to brighter days. We have learned to make adjustments in the way we treat one another, but we’ve also learned a lot about our own limitations. I, for example, desperately need human interaction on a near-constant basis. I have chosen, therefore, to go work at a local coffee shop a few days a week in order to keep my sanity. Sean, on the somewhat opposite end of things, really appreciates adventure in the wild and doesn’t mind being alone while he does it. He, therefore, is spending this entire weekend at a flyfishing ranch by himself in Creede, Colorado.
In the end, though, I really have my trusted step-father, Rob (Poppi), to thank for my contribution to the improvements. He mentioned a little thing called perspective and basically told me to get myself some, which I did, and it helped me realize that I am one very lucky woman with one incredible husband. Surely he feels the same way! 🙂 It’s also important to remember that “this too shall pass.” Nothing lasts forever, including the ruts we all find ourselves in once in awhile. But when I think about the best day of my life, ahead of graduations, buying my first home, the birth of my children, and a whole slew of other things, I still put my wedding day at the top of the list. Every single time. If you ever find yourself in your own marital slump, pull out those pictures and videos and think back to the feelings you had on that day. Pull out the cards and notes you’ve written to each other over the years and think about all of the good stuff. It helps. But so does listening to “Mexico” by James Taylor and booking a trip to Cabo. December 6-9, here we come!!! 🙂
Wonderful post with wonderful points! I like to refer to that cycle as ‘Peaks and Valleys’. Although the ‘valleys’ can be tough, I feel we wouldn’t truly appreciate the ‘peaks’ without them. Miss you!