Wednesday, June 5, 2013

12 Years

A little over a week ago we celebrated our 12 year anniversary.  I would be an ingrate if I didn't acknowledge one of the greatest blessings and joys in my life.  

"Marriage is hard."  I hear it all the time on TV and among friends, and grew up thinking marriage would be nothing but endless cumbersome years.  I remember as a kid thinking of marriage something like a long vacation: fun and exciting at first, but tiresome and more of an inconvenience at the end.   

I remember when I met Dennis thinking that while I wasn't immediately attracted to him in the romantic sense, that he would someday be married to one of the luckiest women in the world.  I had no idea that woman would be me.

After 12 years, I can not agree with the phrase, "marriage is hard." At least not in my case.  Sure, we've had our moments of frustration, impatience, and even anger with each other, but overall, marriage to this man has been one of the greatest delights of my life.

I love that we disagree, and actually quite often we do, but rarely do we quarrel.  The longer we're married, the more differences I see between us as far political and social views go.  But the longer we're married, the closer we become in the things that bind us together.

I think of the advice that is often given to new brides- to become one with their husband.  I think perhaps that advice is taken too literally at times.  As a new bride, I remember thinking that if I were to be a good wife I needed to brand cows and shoot guns with my husband, and become a unified front in all of our views. In an attempt to please him, I started listening to country music and even I even chose blue as my wedding color when my favorite color was red.

What a wonderful surprise it has been in my adult years to find my own identity, so very different from his, and to discover that if anything, our differences have drawn us closer.  I rarely listen to country music anymore, I don't hide the fact from him that I don't like guns, and haven't branded cows with him since we were dating.  Politically we have discovered even more significant differences, but we have agreed to disagree, and leave it be.

But we share our faith, the love of our country, the love of learning, the love of our children, and in quiet moments, we share our insecurities and confidences with each other.

If I could give some advice to my children in choosing their spouse, ultimately I would say don't choose based on commanlities, choose on compatibilities.

I love this man more with every passing day.
One of our treasured traditions.  Early on in our marriage we started leaving notes for each other on our bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker.  Sometimes the notes are loving, and at times they are apologies for angry words said the night before.   Either way, I love them.   Dennis left this note for me a few days ago and I haven't been able to erase it.


Liz Johnson said...

I love this! Happy Anniversary. Amen to everything you said - becoming one doesn't mean becoming the same person, it means becoming a team with different strengths/weaknesses. Loved it.

Cynthia said...

Happy Anniversary to an awesome couple!

Cher said...

happy anniversary! i agree too, differences make marriage interesting and help us grow and stretch.