Let me preface this by saying that I am by no means a relationship expert. In fact, I wasn’t even going to write this post because I feel like the last person who should ever be given relationship advice. But I still can’t believe that we are celebrating our five-year wedding anniversary and I think it calls for some reflection. I’m not sure I’m writing this so much to impart any wisdom (I have none) but because I feel I need to reflect as I celebrate this major milestone.
Andrew and I have officially been married five years today (here’s a post about our wedding I did last yer), but we have been together for over a decade. I know the clock is supposed to start over when you get married, but I don’t think marriage is what makes your relationship official or more official, and I think all the time you spend together before that is just as much a part of your love story. In fact, it might be more important.
We’re not a model couple. We fight a lot. We are both stubborn and have bad tempers (though we’re trying really hard to tone them down now that we have a child and need to be better role models). We don’t make an effort to have date night on the reg. We haven’t been away just the two of us since James was born and we rarely spend time together without James or our phones or Netflix. I wear old sweats and zit cream to bed not sexy nighties or even cute PJs, when we do go on dates I don’t always shower and do my hair or put on makeup, and ever since we moved in together (year two of our relationship), I haven’t thought twice about farting in front of or on my husband. Yep, I’m a real gem.
And as I write this, realizing this is not at all where I intended this to go and I should probably never hit ‘Publish’, I realize that is what I love about our relationship. Yes, I worried about losing the baby weight after having James, but not because I was worried my husband would see me naked and run for the hills (though I honestly wouldn’t have blamed him). If I feel too lazy to get dressed or wash my hair, I know he won’t judge (sure, he probably won’t notice if I get my hair and makeup done either but even though I give a hard time about it, I don’t really care). I consider his pizza crust mine without asking. I eat off his plate at restaurants and expect him to always order dessert because I secretly want it. Sure, when I lose my temper or fly off the rails and have a hormonal tantrum or emotional breakdown, I feel embarrassed and disappointed in myself, but I never doubt that he’ll still love me and be there for me (after we’ve both slammed some doors, said some regrettable things and found something to laugh about that makes us realize how stupid the thing we’re fighting about really is).
No, it’s not all sparks and butterflies, especially not now when we’re exhausted from building careers, the NYC grind and raising a crazy toddler and puppy and trying to figure out this whole adulting thing. And sure, sometimes I look at couples who can’t keep their hands off each other after all those years and feel jealous. Or I’ll tell him I wish he was more like my friend’s husband who is more mature or more hands on with the kids or helps out around the house or who take her on romantic vacations around the world.
Yes, sometimes I think we fight too much and wonder if we’re just incompatible and this whole thing was a terrible idea. But at the end of the day, I know deep down, I’ve found my person. He’s seen me at my worst, rooted for me at my best, he understands and knows me better than anyone.
He takes my blog photos (aka serves as my Instagram husband) and doesn’t laugh at me and only complains 70% of the time. (Sure, he could do a better job on the photography front, hint hint honey, but I remind myself, that he does it for me, judgement-free, and that he’s the only person I feel comfortable enough in front of the camera to let take my pics (yes, I still feel mortified that I pose for pics and post them on the internet for the world to see, but that’s how much I love all of you)).
Yes, he annoys me to death, sometimes just by breathing, but I can’t imagine anyone else who I’d be able to spend every day with and still love.
This year hasn’t been easy for us. I wish I could say it’s been the biggest test of our marriage or relationship, but since we’ve been together, we’ve been through more than most couples go through during their entire relationship. We’ve had a lot of really hard times and had to do a lot of soul searching, but we’ve stuck together through it all.
I know that we are still in the beginning of our relationship. I still hope we can become our own version of Chip and Joanna Gaines (my not so secret goal in life) and build something amazing together.
I do believe our relationship is special, or as we said at our wedding, “A once in a lifetime kind of love”. Maybe that’s why we’ve faced so many tests and why we will continue to, because as much as it has tested us and sometimes felt like it’s torn us apart, looking back, it’s a testament to the strength of our bond and commitment.
One of the readings we did at our wedding was a bit unconventional — it was a Steve Jobs quote that really spoke to a vision for life we both share and the bond that we share as a couple.
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Happy anniversary to my soulmate, fellow crazy one, misfit, rebel, troublemaker, round peg in a square hole — I couldn’t imagine being on this journey with anyone but you. I hope we never stop being crazy enough to believe we can change the world (or at least become our own version of Chip and Jo 😉 ).
PS: I totally meant what I said when you told me the fifth year anniversary gift is wood — a wood house would totally work.