Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated five years of marriage. I still can’t believe we’ve been married for that long. Time has just flown by. It seems like just yesterday I was on my way to the hall, dressed up in my wedding gown with my tiara and my veil, my stomach aflutter with nervous butterflies of anticipation.
I’ve grown a lot since then, we both have. We didn’t realize exactly what marriage entailed, we figured it wouldn’t be any different than being boyfriend/girlfriend and co-parenting. Boy, were we wrong. It is different. With that piece of paper, you can easily become lax with one another. It somehow becomes startlingly easier to place your spouse on the back burner, because you’re married and that is a lifetime commitment.
Only, it’s not. In our five years of marriage, we’ve learned how difficult it really, truly is. We’ve watched other marriages fall apart, we’ve seen other people been burned by the same mistakes a lot of us make.
We’ve realized that a lifetime commitment doesn’t actually mean a lifetime commitment, and that can be a bloody terrifying thing. But it’s also a freeing realization, because once you come to terms with that, you start to appreciate your spouse more for who they are and what they bring to the table. You stop taking them for granted, because there is no guarantee. You work on yourself too, because you realize that your faults will not be excused simply because of that piece of paper.
A lot of people think we have it together, they think that we have a perfect marriage because we love each other very much. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. While we do love each other very much, and while we do have a chemistry that is – in my humble opinion – quite intense and burning, we are not perfect and neither is our marriage. You cannot compare yourself and your marriage to other people and their marriages, anyway. That’s incredibly crippling and damaging. It’s self-sabotage at its ugliest.
Love is garden, and you need to tend to it frequently to keep the weeds out and the plants healthy and growing.
Anyway, notes of reflection completed…
For our anniversary, I had our neighbor, a very talented wood worker, craft Matt a beautiful pair of wooden spacers (which, for the record, are not a sex toy; they are plugs for your EARS, thank you very much). Matt brought me home a gift too:
I’ve been saying for quite some time that I really wanted a bike. I wanted to go for bike rides in the evening. I haven’t really been on a bike since I was sixteen years old, not including the one time my neighbor let me take her new bike for a quick spin in the driveway (which is subsequently when I decided I needed a bike of my own).
I didn’t need anything fancy as I’m not intending on going on mountain trails or doing any bike marathons, and I fell in love with this blue and white bike when we were shopping at Canadian Tire one day. It’s retro, and it’s comfortable. He remembered, and he brought it home for me, and I squealed with excitement because I have a bike! I have a bike! I love my bike!
I still haven’t had the opportunity to take it out for a spin, but that’s my intention tonight.
P.S. For those of you interested, you can read all about our wedding by clicking on these posts: