My IRL friend Mindee is so real (and hilarious) on her blog, Our Front Door. And I knew I could count on her to share the realities of marriage during our Wedding Week to celebrate my sister’s upcoming wedding this weekend!
She shared this post not too long ago to celebrate their anniversary and it is a great view into what marriage really looks like. Thanks Mindee!
This month we celebrated our anniversary – 19 years.
19 years is the longest I’ve ever lived with anyone.
19 years is nearly half my life.
Some days, 19 years seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye. Other days, I feel every day of every year.
Rich is my best friend. I love his mind, I love his heart, I love him. He’s a good guy, a good husband and a good father.
I am blessed.
But . . . well, I guess really I’ve never heard a better metaphor for marriage than, "it’s like a roller coaster."
Year one of our marriage was an arduous climb. Year seven was a terrifying drop. The year we moved here was like a trip through a dark tunnel.
But all the good times . . . the births of our children, the things we’ve achieved, the vacations, the late night talks about nothing, the nights out with friends, the pockets of time where we thrill at the sight of each other . . . those times have made the ride worth it.
If marriage is a roller coaster, I would classify the last year as the portion of the ride where you just kind of crawl along to get to the next part. It hasn’t been bad, it hasn’t been good, it’s just been moving along.
We are busy, busy, busy. Our kids need to be driven places all day long – literally. We have jobs. We have volunteer obligations. We have a house to run complete with laundry and grocery shopping and toilet scrubbing. In this stage of parenting, we feel like the kids are ever present. By the time we get them all to go to bed at night (and "in bed" and "asleep" are very different things) it’s all we can do to collapse on the sofa for an hour or so before I head to sleep myself.
We are short of all the necessary ingredients for romance: time, energy, motivation and money. So while we aren’t at each other’s throats or even arguing really, we are also not at our peak.
But that’s a roller coaster for you. You don’t get to hang out on the peak. To get to the fun part, you have to endure the arduous climb. The biggest adrenalin rushes are the result of making it alive through a death-defying drop. To get to the next big thing, there are sections where you have to do a bit of plodding.
Now is a time when we have to dig deep. We have to hold on to the knowledge that we do love each other – even if it doesn’t feel like it. We fall back on the promises we’ve made – and kept – for 19 years. Those promises are the safety bars that hold us in on this ride. Once we made our vows, those bars were lowered and locked. Whether we view them as restrictive or supportive depends on the day but, for better or worse, we are locked in until this ride ends.
We had a "State Of The Marriage" conversation yesterday and both agreed that lately we haven’t been bringing our A game into this relationship. Kids, activities, chores, self – all are coming first.
Here’s the thing though: in a few very short years the kids will be gone, and the the activities and chores will be drastically reduced. We’re going to be staring at each other across the kitchen table in a quiet house with whole evenings looming before us and (hopefully) actual money to spend.
Is that going to be a happy, exciting day? Or are we going to be looking at each other in a panic wondering what to do next? That’s up to us.
Unlike a roller coaster, we’re not just along for the ride here. For the most part, choices we make affect the route that we go. I’m hoping that we’re headed into a thrilling turn and not a scary part. I suppose it will depend, in part, on the decisions we make and the attitudes we take.
Whatever lies ahead, no matter how hard or scary or . . . meh, I’m glad I picked the guy I did to ride this ride with.
Rich? I do love you Babe. I hope we hold on to each other, whatever lies ahead.