Matt and I had our second anniversary last week (and the week before, but thats another story)
We’ve been married for 2 years, together for 3 and a half, and more than ever I feel like we’re just learning what it means to be married. I think when we had that beautiful day 2 years ago, I really thought we knew what we were doing. I still believe we went in with eyes WIDE open, more than many people do, but boy oh boy we really didnt know.
And we still don’t. We struggle, we don’t always quite fit, we frustrate each other and I’m sure we frustrate others at times. Someone asked me at a wedding recently which year had been best, the first or second year of marriage. In all honestly, year 2 has been a whole lot harder! Matt and I have faced things we never could have anticipated and it has been so broken and painful at times.
Having said that, we are still head over heels in love. We giggle together at some point every day. We love sleeping next to each other, sharing precious moments of talking about those most important things right before we fall asleep, and waking up together…starting the day with the person you love most is a treat. We are each others best friends, and even on the toughest days that is still true. I would rather spend time with Matt than anyone else in the world, and our dreams and ideas for the future are still aligned.
So, two years in, what have we learned?
1) You get who you marry
Sounds like it goes without saying, but the person you marry is the person you’ll be married to. They dont change, and you cant change them. Both of us have rough edges that need sanding off if we are going to fit together better, but basically we are the same people we were before, and those differences are both our greatest weaknesses and our greatest strengths. I think when you’re planning a wedding and being giddily in love, it’s easy to overlook things that are frustrating. But those things dont change when you’re married, and learning to live with them is key.
2) Life’s not always easy, but it’s not always hard either
When we got married, lots of people talked about how being married isnt easy and we would totally face tough times etc. Now dont hear me wrong, thats all true. However, lots of the time, being married IS easy. And thats ok too. Like I said, we’re best friends, so living together is so much fun. And we enjoy the same things, so we have such happy days finding cake shops on walks in the New Forest, or watching our favourite TV shows and laughing at them, or hanging out with our favourite people, or most recently running together. I think sometimes it’s easy to focus on how tough it can be, but I feel like we’re loading up the bank with happy days and wonderful memories for when the harder times come.
3) You dont know what ‘for better’ or ‘for worse’ will mean when you say it
You make promises that are pretty darn vague and sweeping when you get married, and thats for good reason. It’s impossible to know what those promises will entail. But you make them anyway. Like I said, we had no idea some of the tough stuff we would face, but we have faced it together because we promised, and because we love each other. Equally, I couldn’t have dreamt in that first few months in a dingy damp flat when Matt was the only one working and bringing in any money of the incredible blessings we would experience in this first two years. We’ve moved to a beautiful home and been to some amazing places, and those are the ‘for betters’ we didnt know would come.
4) There’s no escape from yourself
One of the weirdest things about living with someone else is that it has forced me to live with myself. I can’t kid myself about my flaws, I cant pretend to myself that I’m better than I am. I’ve heard someone say (I cant remember who, and I’ve googled it and dont think it was someone famous) that being married is like having a mirror held up to yourself all the time. You can’t avoid your faults when you are living with someone who is inpacted by them.
5) It’s supposed to be beautiful
“You and your spouse are created in the image and likeness of God. Marriage speaks to the world about the Nature of God. Since Satan cannot hurt God, he will hurt you, His image, or your marriage, His reflection. Satan will interfere with your marriage in any way inhumanly possible. If he can’t end the marriage, he will mar it to make it as imperfect a reflection of God as he can entice the two of you to make it.
Why Sex is Complicated
So there we are. another year, another load of lessons learned. I am so excited for year 3 and all that that will bring