Thursday, 17 July 2014

6 Lessons for 6 years

Saturday is our 6th Wedding Anniversary. And despite it all, I still can't figure out where all that time has gone. It feels like it was just yesterday that I put on a white dress, walked through a rainy vineyard, and said "I Do". And today, as everyday, I find myself wondering how I got this lucky.
In that moment I instantly found myself among the lucky ones. I had found it. I found that genuine, unwavering, amazing kind of love. I had found my safe place to fall. I created a place where I could love and be loved whole-heartedly and unconditionally. But the last few years have certainly pushed us to our limit and put our marriage to the test. We struggled, we cried, we grew, and we learned some lessons along the way.

6 lessons for 6 years

1. Loving someone through their worst is hard
It is easy to be in love with love, especially when everything is going well. But it is extremely hard to love someone through their worst.

I will the first person to admit, that it takes a strong man to love me. Because when he said "in sickness and in health", he had to mean it. And and we said "in good times and bad", I don't think we really understood the depth of the bad we were agreeing to. The battle we endured over past few years wasn't something either of us saw coming. And I know how hard it must have been to stand by and support someone you love so deeply, but never let them see the way you are hurting too. His strength has carried me through the darkest days of my life, and that was no small task.

It takes work. It requires love, and that love has to be unconditional.

2. It is okay to not be your BEST, as long as you TRY to be.
There have been many moments over the past few years where I can confidently say I have not been at my best. Life has been dark, and it has been hard to not be completely consumed by that. The pressure, the stress, and the grief that we both experienced can make it difficult to face even the most mundane of daily tasks. And it certainly makes it difficult to face each day with patience, understanding, and compassion.

That doesn't mean you are bad person. That doesn't even mean you are a bad spouse. That just means you are human. You won't always be your best, but you can always TRY to be. All that you can ask of each other is do the best you can each day. Some days you have more to give, and others are just going to be hard. But if you know that you are both giving all that you can, than you can't expect anything else.

3. Be on the Same Team
It is easy to get wrapped up in your own life, your own plans, and your own feelings. But marriage is a team sport. So even if you are right, the team loses. The truth about marriage, is that it is no longer all about you. You have to work together, compromise, and communicate.

4. Respect Your Limits
That old adage "don't sweat the small stuff" is never more true than in your marriage You are going to face challenges together, and in those moments it is okay if everything is not executed perfectly. It is okay to take a step back, take some time, and give yourself a break. You do not have to do all and be all things all the time. Respect your limits and take care of yourself.

5. Romance is still important
Not everyday is glamorous. And life isn't always romantic. But you can chose to create romance where and when you can. A kiss stolen in the kitchen while you make dinner. A text message in the middle of of day to say you are thinking of them. A quiet meal over a bottle wine. Little things can be big things, because they mean you are thinking of each other and making your marriage a priority.

6. Accept that you don't know it all
We have been married for 6 years, so if you have done the math, than you know we were young when we tied the knot. Despite being young, I remember thinking that I knew what it meant to truly love someone. I can admit now, that I had absolutely no idea. We have had to navigate challenges. We muddled our way through the past couple of years. But working together, we eventually figured things out.

Marriage has been humbling. The devotion, the strength, the compassion, and the patience that are required to make a marriage work is staggering. And it is okay to admit that you don't know what you are doing.

Our marriage started 6 years ago with “I do’s”, kisses, hugs, laughter, and an amazing evening together. Each day since then has brought us to this point in our lives and marriage. It has taken sacrifice, determination, and love each step of the way. But the love I feel for my husband and the respect I have for our vows has deepened exponentially. Each challenge will test you. New experiences will change you. Your relationship will grow. You will transform and evolve. But the most important thing, is that you do it all together.

Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,