On July 7th, Justin and I celebrated 10 years of marriage. 10 years.
I used to think that by the time we hit 10 years, we would have this whole marriage thing figured out. But believe it or not, that still hasn’t happened! (Maybe when we reach 25. 😉 ) Admittedly, when we got married, we were still just babies—so we have figured out a lot of things along the way in the past ten years.
Justin, for example, has figured out that when I say, “I’m FINE!” I’m not really fine. And he has learned that when he runs out to buy himself a little treat (like a Frosty or something), he will be in really big trouble if he comes back with only ONE (believe me, it’s happened).
I’ve figured out some things too. Like the fact that Justin is not a breakfast person, and no matter how incredible the breakfast is that I’ve prepared, he doesn’t really want to eat it (but may nibble at it to be polite). I’ve also learned that Justin is an over-exaggerator. When we’re driving and he proclaims that he can get us there in like 10 minutes, it will probably be 20. And when he forbids me from spending any more money this week because we’re completely broke, we’re really not. He’s got cash and investments squirreled away in all types of places.
But I’m really glad Justin is a saver, because I am a SPENDER. I would probably be in a lot of financial trouble if I were just relying on my own discretion with spending. We’re really different in a lot of ways, but we balance each other out. I’m a thinker—he’s a doer. I tend to have too much patience with our toddler, whereas Justin enforces the rules because he doesn’t want Jake to walk all over me. I am a homebody and Justin is an adventurer. I’m shy and Justin is social—and he pushes me to be more social with other people. I hate speaking to telemarketers on the phone and Justin…well, no… Justin hates that, too. 😉
It would be pretty glib for me to just brush over the last ten years and pretend that it was easy. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned above all else, it’s that marriage isn’t easy. But pretty much everything in life that is worthwhile takes hard work, and marriage is no exception. We’ve had seasons of sickness—a time early in our marriage when Justin was in and out of the hospital and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. We’ve both had seasons of unemployment. Seasons of being poor—like we’re-not-sure-where-our-next-meal-is-coming-from poor. We even had a season when we had to live apart from each other—not by choice, but because I wasn’t done wrapping up my job in Georgia before Justin had to go start his job in Florida.
Adding children into the mix makes things even harder. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing more beautiful than watching Justin be a father. Just when I’m looking at our children and how sweet they are and my heart feels like it’s about to burst with love, I look over at Justin and he’s doing the exact same thing. It’s so great to be in this parenthood thing with Justin, and we wouldn’t trade those kids for anything. But they do take our focus off of each other. It’s hard to have a mealtime conversation when you’ve got an infant who is screaming and throwing his food on the floor, and a toddler who is negotiating and begging for something different to eat. It’s hard to have quality time to spend together after the evening marathon of washing dishes, bathtime, storytime, and bedtime leaves us feeling exhausted. But we know that this is just another season, and when it’s over, and the kids are older and wanting to go out at night and borrow the car…we’ll be left with just each other again. And if we don’t make time for our marriage now, that time at the end of the road could be pretty awkward and uncomfortable, like two strangers/roomates getting to know each other.
We don’t want that! And it was in that spirit that we decided to go on a cruise for our anniversary, and leave (GULP!) our two children behind.
Stay tuned for a post about how our cruise went, with plenty of pictures of course!