I was listening to a new Indigo Girls song the other day feeling like for sure it would fit my husband and I. After all, they do sing the song that in engraved on his wedding band.
As I listened to the lyrics of a couple in struggle trying to remember they were in love, I realized that no, it didn’t fit us…right now.
I usually start these types of posts claiming I am no expert. But, you know what? We’ve been married almost thirteen years and among our generation that might push us toward expert status.
So, being an expert, you know what I think the problem is with marriage? I’ll tell you. It seems that even if we don’t believe in the fairytale of marriage, we might still believe that the work comes on the front end and if done right it leads to the fairytale happily ever after down the road.
That’s the problem. We are dead wrong. Marriage, hell, relationships of any kind are not projects that can be tackled head on at the outset so that you can ride out your success later.
No, relationships, good ones are a series of hills and valleys that no matter how long you’re in them require continuous bursts of work and growth interrupted by some peace and enjoyment.
The Husband and I are in a good place now. Our life isn’t easy, he works his butt off to keep advancing his career and I am treading water trying to keep my head up as I find my way in the world. Lately though, I have stopped blaming him for my lack of swimming skills and he has (mostly) stopped forgetting that he can’t take out his work frustration on his home coworkers. Now, I don’t look to him to make my life better and he works harder on getting promotions for the boss at home too.
Mostly though, the secret lately is we are kind to each other. Even if we are overworked and tired, we are kind to each other. Even if we are stressed and worried, we are kind to each other.
We are kind to each other because we remember we are on the same team. We are kind because we know that through the cloud of crap that life may have piled on top, if we work to dig through it we will find the souls we fell in love with, the persons with whom we chose to build this life.
This wasn’t always the case. We are in a valley now, a place where we can be peaceful and enjoy our relationship exactly in its current state. We climbed quite a few long hills to get here and some of them threatened to stand in between us as a team.
We have been together seventeen years. You do a lot of growing in seventeen years. A person can reinvent themselves a million times over in seventeen years. A person may change so much that at first glance they are almost unrecognizable to someone who has been around with them that long.
Thirteen years ago The Husband and I vowed that no matter how much we grew or changed, we would always work to find the person we fell in love with all those reinventions ago.
And then, we would be kind to them.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.