Like most young girls growing up, I’ve always dreamt about my wedding day. I never cared too much about what my wedding would look like, but I knew I wanted to be married one day. I didn’t think my marriage would be anything less than perfect because I grew up seeing nothing short of forever, and I wanted to keep that legacy going.
I believed that I had some realistic expectations about marriage. I knew it would be a huge commitment thanks to watching the generations before me. There may be some tough times, but it’ll be nothing that love wouldn’t help make the best of because that’s what marriage is all about it, right?
Boy, was I wrong. Marriage is not for the faint of heart.
Every day, thousands of posts are shared depicting happy marriages from buying houses, taking lavish trips, extravagant weddings, and birth announcements. But no one shares what to do when those hard moments happen.
My husband and I have been married for almost five years, and this summer, we experienced an extremely hard moment. I honestly didn’t think we would make it out on the other side still married. But, I’m happy to say we did.
Part of being with someone for the rest of your life is learning to accept reality. There will be many ups, but there will be some downs as well. Just as many times that we see eye to eye, we’ll also have some disagreements. There are times when we’ll get sick of each other and need a bit of personal space.
Now, that we’ve had our first big fight, it’s interesting that I ever thought that we’d have total and complete synchronicity at all times. I expected my spouse to anticipate my thoughts and needs without saying a word and be the go-to person for any and everything that might arise. Looking back, I set a lot of unrealistic expectations — including that every day I’d wake up thinking, “My life is perfect. I am complete and filled with total bliss.”
But, marriage is not like that at all. At least not after the honeymoon phase has passed.
Marriage is indeed beautiful, but it is hard work. It takes a lot of unlearning and relearning. Marriages are amazing most of the time, but you have to work hard at it for the rest.
Now I like to think of my marriage like a plant. It requires a lot of attention and nurturing in order to thrive. If I forget to water it for a few days, it’ll start to wilt. At that point, it will be easy to just give up on it, but if I devote a little extra time to it, it’ll come back to life. It may even start to sprout some new blooms.
During the heat of the moment, it’s easy to just give up and throw in the towel. Just look at how many people are getting divorced these days and just moving into new relationships. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. That new person may “glitter” in the beginning, but all that glitters isn’t gold. Everyone has flaws.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned going into my fifth year of marriage is that people grow and change. Marriage is about growing in the same direction, but even if one of us gets off the path, with a little patience (and a lot of hard work), we’ll be back walking on the same path together as we were in the beginning.
I’ve learned that marriage is about facing reality. It’s a beautiful union between two individuals, but it won’t always be sunshine and rainbows. During those moments of ups and downs, our union is something worth fighting for, and my first option shouldn’t be to just give up.
Sending love and virtual hugs to anyone currently struggling in their marriage. When those tough times arise, try your best to communicate, and don’t assume your spouse knows and understands your needs. Always be kind, understanding, and patient with your spouse. Finally, remember you can only control yourself. If you do your part and it fails, at least you gave your marriage all that you had to give. It’s possible for things to turn around for the better.