I should probably just get this out-of-the-way now so that all you nay-sayers and hoo-rayers can get your jaw dropped mouths up off the floor to read this post. My husband and I are 14 years apart in age. Yes, 1-4. Yes, he was born in 1977. I was born in 1991. Yes, please do continue to gawk for a moment longer. Alright, please remove your jaw from my carpet and we shall continue. (I know many of you will have very strong opinions on this, keep the mean ones in your own lane if you will please.)
We recently celebrated 5 years of marriage (July 2018). It’s been a hell of a ride thus far. Do you how many things you can pack into 5 short years? Let me give you a quick breakdown of our 5 years before I get onto the actual meat of this post, which will be about our marriage not just the major life events. We got married in July 2013, had Bug (our daughter) in February of 2014, my father passed in August of 2014, we moved from out starter home in may of 2015 moving into a tiny ‘temporary apartment’, we had Bear (my younger son) in September of 2015, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer in November 2015, we moved into our current home in February of 2016, and my mother-in-law passed in May of 2016. Also missing from this all is that I stopped working my full-time job to stay home with the kids, my husband made a major career move by changing companies after nearly 10 years with the same people. I started recently working again, full-time in a law firm, I help some part-time jobs in those 5 years but nothing major. Is your brain mush yet? Because sometimes I feel that way, but luckily things have been slowing down. Besides house renovations there isn’t too much more that I can see shocking us these days.
And before anyone of you puts it into the universe (because I know more than one of you thought about this). My husband had a vasectomy, and yes, I know it can fail, we are taking care of that too. So, no there will be no surprise baby, not unless it has fur, a tail, and walks on 4 legs.
I am going to say something that most people just look at me funny for. You don’t find love, it doesn’t just fall into your lap while you are walking through the cherry blossom trees on day. The seeds of it might. Seeds need so much time, hard work, understanding, and everything to grow. You can’t just find love, you make it happen.
Being married is one of the hardest thing that I have ever done. It’s this incredible high that you get when you are standing on a cliff looking over the 50 ft drop off. You know it could all fall out from under your feet if you take the wrong steps, but you know that standing there, holding your partner’s hand, you can do this. It’s an insane balancing act, part of you must push, while the other has to pull. Sometimes you need to be the one getting pelted in the back by the hail because your partner needs to take a step back.
You begin to notice that you have cycles, about who is the focus at that moment. Depending on life, and pretty much every other possible factor can push the tide in the other direction making it the other persons turn. Sometimes you will be weak, and your partner will be the one who takes the beating. Life is after all a great balancing act. Marriage is too. It’s got to be 50/50 most of the time but some days you’re going to be pulling the 80/20 load and you will understand what I mean when I say that you MAKE love.
You will fight, there will always be fights. Big or small. Bob and I tend to ‘bicker’ more often then have big blow out fights. I can count 2 huge fights that we have had in the 7 years we have been together, and I think those odds are pretty good for us, but often if one of us says something that the other disagrees with or finds kind of shitty, we call the other out on it. We’ve never been disrespectful to one another there are times and places for these things. There have been so many occasions when one of us has gotten home and just given the other the look. Many many looks ya’ll, so many looks.
Love has room for a lot. It has room for forgiveness, understanding, it can have room for arguments, or disagreements, and it even has room to grow if you work hard enough at it. Love is never going to be easy, especially in the years when you have young children who see to be demanding every last molecule of vigor you have for the day. Children are probably one of the biggest challenges that we face even to this day. While, we hammered out many of the big ‘hot topics’ before we had kids.
We each got one or two ‘not negotiables’, and honestly I encourage everyone to consider this. It’s saved us MANY fights, we also laid them out before we had kids together (My oldest has a different biological father for those of you who have not read my post about Step-Parent Adoption). My two were pretty easy, my daughter’s name was going to contain my nanny’s name (grandma) in some way, I wanted it to be her first, but as a compromise it’s now her middle. My husband said it was too old and southern for him, AKA he’s a Yankee. (I use this as an endearment, I even call my mom and 2 kids Yankees, Boudreaux and I were both born in California) The second was car seats, I’m a Child Passenger Safety Technician. I teach people how to PROPERLY use car seats. Luckily, my very science minded husband agreed with the physics and our 4-year-old and 3-year-old kids are still happily rear facing in the car. His first one was vaccines, ok, I didn’t love it but ok.
He hasn’t picked a second one yet, some days I feel like he’s going to spring it on me like some kind of twisted joke. But, for now, most topics we can talk through. Now, before anyone goes off thinking ‘Oh cool I have this new BAM card to throw out on the table’. Our not negotiable topics were discussed before they were agreed upon and neither of us has changed them or considered making new ones in the 7 years that we have been together. Trust me, if you try to lay your dick on the table there’s going to be a big fight and nobody wants that to happen.
I’m learning that relationships also change drastically over time. I cannot say that I am still married to the exact same man who I married 5 years ago. He’s changed with age, with life, and with everything else. Very much like a fine whiskey, they just get better with age. But with those changes come the ups and downs of a marriage or any relationship. You won’t always be at that soaring ‘newly wed’ feeling There will be nights that you probably go to bed angry (though that’s a rule of ours we don’t go to bed angry, you never know what will happen tomorrow), and there will be dinners where you talk to only the kids and not your spouse because something is stewing deep down inside.
Your lives will change in so many ways, you will be married to different personalities of the same person all through out the relationship. You will also change and have ups and downs on a personal level. You have to be willing to accept that. You cannot expect them to be the exact same person that they were when you met, when you married, after the loss of a parent or anything else.
All you can do is work at your relationship, love them for who they are in the moment, accept their changes, and keep trying.