This weekend is my wedding anniversary. I keep forgetting which one (it's 12, by the way), and everyone thinks it's pretty funny that I can't remember. In my defense I know the date! I know what year we got married! I can do math if you give me a minute! But here's the thing: the wedding is just the beginning. (Well, a new beginning, anyway, because in our culture, we actually get to meet and fall in love and decide to be together before we get married.) My wedding was a lovely day and one I will always cherish because it was the day we made everything official, but it is only one day in a long line of days that are special in my relationship with my husband.
Like the day we met. I never forget that day or how long its been (partly because it was 2000 and that math is really, really easy!)
Or the song that was playing when he told me he loved me (I Can't Help Falling in Love--the UB40 edition)
Or the day I realized that men who wear baseball caps backwards with a little scruff and a cocky grin are quite possibly the sexiest men ever. (For those of you who can't read between the lines, that's my husband, too!)
Or the day I gave birth to both boys (They are stories in and of themselves. I have fast labor.)
Or the day I was so, so sick I didn't think it was possible to be sicker and he laid in bed next to me reading Catching Fire until I finally fell asleep.
The one thing I thought I knew (but didn't fully understand until years later) was that marriage isn't about falling in love and sticking together through thick and thin. That's the superficial catchall we all hear. Marriage is much more (and so much harder) than that.
It's really about finding a partner in life who you can stand beside for the rest of your lives, fighting together, pulling each other along, holding each other up, and holding each other accountable. Its about hating each other, but still loving each other because that's what you vowed to do.
And in the end, these are all still just words. It's really freaking hard to describe what it is to be with someone even when you hate them. To keep putting one foot in front of the other when you feel so low you didn't think it was possible to get any lower, but you do it because the other person is counting on you. It's fighting for each other even when it means fighting. It's hard and it's messy and there is no one perfect way to be married, just like there is no one way to love someone.
If you've found the right partner your love will grow and change many times over the years, just like you will.
So I usually forget how long we've been married because the length of time doesn't matter. What matters is that we promised to be partners for the rest of our lives and that we've loved each other through everything, that we have happy memories to outshine the bad ones, and that I know we'll only get stronger with each passing day.
It also helps that he's super sexy and I did, in fact, fall in love at first sight. Passion and attraction are super important, too. (As you can tell by my books!)