So, this time 13 years ago, the soon to be LSH and I were getting ready to walk down the aisle, and say “I do”. We had, actually done the official thing two weeks previously, and had a small celebration with that (don’t ask, a combination of bringing the date forward, family politics, and not being able to do the “official” thing at the church we were using, means we actually have two wedding anniversaries, although we don’t make that much fuss about one, although I have tried to hint that we should! )
We were pretty young, when we got married, but we had known each other for almost 6 years, and been good friends almost from when we met, and we were pretty broke, I was a full time student, he was working full time, whilst also being a part time student. Our first couple of years were very challenging, although lots of fun. We did some travelling, and enjoyed married life in a very small flat, with the addition of Layla, and some fish. We figured if we could keep a cat and some fish alive, we might be in with a chance of managing a baby. We have been very lucky, yes, but it has also taken a lot of work, to survive and grow.
13 years seems like such a long time, yet also a really short time. I look older (he doesn’t, I have no idea how he does that!) and we have both changed, grown up a lot, and learned how to live with each other. We have had lots of laughs, and quite a few serious bumps and ups and downs. I don’t think you can really prepare yourself to live with someone, and be with that person, for “life”, and commit to that person. There are good books, courses you can do, and also people to lean on for support and guidance. We have been very fortunate to have had a lot of support from the church we go to, and also good friends who have had their own ups and downs. We have several friends who have been married for much longer than us, who have helped us to pick up the pieces or walk through stuff when we have needed a bit of input and support.
I think we have learned to communicate with each other, understand each other, tolerate and compromise. I don’t think you can be with another person, unless you are willing to do these things. We have had some stonking rows, both of us are stubborn, determined and fairly feisty, and also we have both had to deal with the scars from our past, relationships and things that have happened to us, in order to be better people to each other. I have learned that marriage is not about trying to change the other person that you are married to, but trying to be the best person you can be, give, love, and let go of some things. I think I am slowly becoming a better person, to be married to, or at least I hope so. I used to be very OCD about being in control, wanting things done MY way, because that was what worked, but I have learned that things can be done someone else’s way, and that it may not be exactly how I would do it, but the results are the same, and even if they aren’t quite how I want them, it doesn’t matter. I have also learned that as long as we have each other, and can laugh, more than we cry, that things will be ok.
Adding children to a relationship makes it more amazing, but also more hard work. Suddenly you have to work out a new dynamic, you have to share yourself with more than one person, you are tired, your priorities change. I am very thankful that LSH is an excellent, very active, hands on father, is very gracious with me when I am tired, and when I have struggled with mental health and other issues, he has been my rock.
It isn’t always glamorous, in fact, sometimes it is down right blooming hard work, and feels like it won’t get easier but it is worth it, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We have each other, we have our little family, and I hope we can be a good example to our children of how to be, and when our children do leave home, we will have each other.
Didn’t we look young, I looked thin, and much less tired….?