Some days, it seems like it's been a fraction of that time since Jake and I were married. Sometimes, it feels exponentially longer.
I contemplated writing an emotionally driven, sappy recollection of my wedding day, but I think I probably did that a year or two ago. Maybe that will be my ten-year flashback celebration.
"Walk blindly to the light and reach out for his hand. Don't ask any questions and don't try to understand. Open up your mind and then open up your heart; you will see that you and me aren't very far apart. I believe that love is the answer. I believe love will find a way." - Blessid Union of Souls
Let's be honest. We've all been told that weddings and marriage are AMAZING and at the same time, we've been told that they are HARD WORK. We hear it, but we don't always see it, especially from a spectator type view. Couples work hard to put on a perfect portrait showing they are the couple who has it together. No one wants to look like they're falling apart or in the middle of a mess.
We hear about the "seven year itch." We see it on tv, in movies, in magazines, and in real life. Divorce has become pretty commonplace.
Jake and I just are just saying farewell to the seventh year of marriage. Ironically, it was an "itch" year on some levels. We travelled more rocky roads than usual. There were more stressors than we have had in the past. His work schedule had him working longer. I took on a job and wasn't raising our kids all the time like we had planned. We saw each other much less. We became used to communicating less frequently, less clearly, less level-headedly, less openly, less compassionately. We had more heated discussions. We were more irritable. We were less tolerant. Things threw us for a loop.
It was awful...
Not always, but occasionally- more than in years past. Any time something feels awful, it feels like it's always awful and never going to get better. When the awful moments pass, though, they seemed fleetingly quick.
I wouldn't characterize the last year as awful. I wouldn't say our marriage was wretched or anything. Because it wasn't. It was rocky and hard and more moments were awful feeling than usual.
But realistically, this past year was beautiful. It was joyous. It was break-your-soul-down-and-build-it-up fantastic. I'm incredibly blessed to have struggled more.
He wasn't a horrible husband. Please don't think that. He would tell you I wasn't a horrible wife, either.
Sometimes, things are just harder. Life throws boulders at you and you get hit or you dodge. You make it work and you gain wisdom and strength.
I would venture so far as to say it is pretty commonplace. I would also venture to say that under the right circumstances, you can make it through.
The quote above is the opening stanza and choirs to one of the most beautiful, melodic songs I know. It's "I Believe" by Blessid Union of Souls. Eight years ago, my father escorted me down the aisle to the piano playing that melody, and I became Jacob's wife, for better or worse, until death separates us on earth.
Those are serious vows. That were serious eight years ago. They're just as serious today, maybe more so.
I am blessed beyond measure to have been given a life-long companion and love.
Happy Anniversary, Jacob. Here's to the rest of our lives.