Don’t expect it to be easy, melding two lives and trying to raise others, and doing it forever. I mean that’s a recipe made for disaster, so there are highs and lows. But if in the end you can look him in the eye and say, “I like you.” ~ Michelle Obama
Leading up to our wedding day, I thought about what life would be like once we were actually married. I imagined all the great things to come and all the things we planned to do and how we would smash our targets/goals and really accomplish amazing things together, now that everything was about to become official. I imagined all of God’s blessings just pouring down on our family and things just working out and our first year being that beautiful, amazing year that I had seen others talk about.
Not long after we got married, things just started to get crazy. My husband lost a family member a couple weeks after our wedding, simple things in our life were just going wrong and it just felt like nothing was in our control. And of course, we had the twins keeping us on our toes as usual. It was just not what I was expecting at all. All I kept thinking about were the first year anniversary captions I had seen and how the start to our first year was nothing like what these other people described. I can’t lie, I did start thinking, did we do the wrong thing? Were we not supposed to get married yet?
The difficulties that we were experiencing didn’t really have much to do with the way we felt about one another, or our loyalty to each other, it was all just life issues but at times it brought about this really heavy weight upon us. At some point I decided to speak to my sister and get some advice (side note: shes been married for 14 years and actually wants the best for my marriage, be careful who you speak to). She told me that’s what marriage is, full of a lot of ups and downs. She shared some of her experiences with me, the good and bad and just explained that it’s just life.
Life doesn’t always go the way we plan it to, we experience some really devastating things and we get disappointed. Whether we are married or not, life still happens. I started to realise that things sometimes seem so heightened when you’re married and you both have things going on, because you’re both taking on each others struggles and witnessing each other’s disappointments and pain. Having to have those difficult conversations, being truly open about your fears and failures, dreams and expectations with another person, it exposes you to a whole different level of vulnerability. You’re both witnessing the fullness of each other and how you deal with life in such a raw state. Especially in the difficult times. What’s so beautiful about it though is that you share each others defeats and you share each others triumphs, you’re both a witness to each other’s lives. It’s nice to have someone who is dedicated to being by your side through it all, even if they don’t have anything to say to make it better and even if they can’t help. Just being there is good enough. The problem wasn’t our marriage, it was just life and simply being married doesn’t solve all of life’s issues.
Although a lot was going on, we still had a lot to be grateful for, there were beautiful things that happened in between all the chaos. Our kids were healthy and happy, we had a nice home to live in and we had food to eat. I also learnt that it’s in the hard times that you really understand what’s important and what isn’t. Sometime late last year, things started to turn around and all we could see was blessings upon blessings that could have only come from God.
Marriage and relationships is something I’m always hesitant to speak on because people don’t always wish you well and others just like to draw their own conclusions on what’s really going on in your home/relationship. This is something that I really wanted to share because the more I speak to other married women/couples, the more I hear about how hard the first year was for them too. Some even say the first 5 years! That doesn’t mean that you don’t enjoy one another, or there’s no romance, it’s literally just the struggles that come with this life. Not being able to have a baby, suddenly being unemployed, struggling financially, illnesses, family troubles. Imagine going through these things and thinking something is wrong with your marriage and it’s just you. I’m not saying everyone has a trying first year, some truly have a great first year. I’m just saying that I did, and if you did too, you’re not the only one, so don’t immediately think there’s something wrong. Even through the struggles, life can still be beautiful, and through it all, it drew us closer together. We’re so much stronger now than we were before and I feel I understand my husband more now than ever.
So here’s to strong, resilient and happy marriages that are able to withstand the storms of life.