Saturday marked the 6th Anniversary of Mr Smith and I saying “I do” and I suddenly feel like that seems AGES!
We had a wonderful night away planned and day out to Iron Bridge (which we hope to reschedule), but unfortunately seasonal illness has once again taken me victim and played havoc with my Asthma and so it turned into a DVD day, some giant chocolate buttons (hello), lots of lemsip’s and some posh (tacky) pasta from Morrisons!!! Sheeeeeessshhhhh – I was seriously gutted.
I am a planner and one that loves to have things to look forward to. I enjoy traditions and being organised about how we will keep it this year or next, so when that was all planned out, to have it not pan out was a major let down for me. Of course we will reschedule (at some point) but its not the same as celebrating on the actual day is it? But I guess that’s the theme of our relationship at the moment and the season were in, its a lot about being let down in life or things not working out the way we plan, but consoling one another, picking ourselves up and getting passed it together and being happy despite it.
I have always believed in marriage from a young age, and my parents demonstrated a solid relationship to us where I don’t ever remember hearing them fight, always kissing each other goodbye, hand holding and regular dates (Well done mum and dad for not letting us see the tension) so growing up in a home full of love meant I couldn’t wait to find “the one”, but my immaturity of what I imagined marriage to be compared to my experience of what marriage is, is a lot different.
I totally imagined the fairytale…loved up all the time, indestructible and wouldn’t ever dream of hurting the other. I anticipated because they were your forever that it meant that you’d just know what the other wanted and how to meet that need (this is so embarrassing to admit my naivety) I anticipated flowers and love notes and simply thought life would just be wonderful because you had each other, yes as a teenager I always thought it would be just amazing, which it is – being married IS wonderful and amazing, but not every day and not all of the time. Adult me knows it takes work and investment from both partners, and its in the hard things you face together (that you’d never wish for) that you really see the depth of the others character and you see what they are still capable of in the heat, and its there that you love their soul even more for what they can do for you ,and be to you at the worst times.
If I could teach my teenage, ‘head in the clouds’ self what to expect from marriage then I would tell her that I have realised and learn’t that:
1. Despite wishing to not hurt someone, you will with your shortcomings or lack of thinking. They will hurt you, let you down, and make you cry, but it doesn’t mean they do not love you, far from it..rather it means that they, like you are trying and they like you need more love, a bit of slack and appreciation for what they do, not what they don’t!
2. Neither of you can read the others mind or even know at times what the best thing is for them, but because you love them you try, you give them affection, time, a listening ear without interruption, or their favourite treat. You will learn that love isn’t about candle lit dinners, beach walks and staring into one another’s eyes every day, but rather that they are just the moments that enhance it. It is in actual fact about working hard to build a life you hope for TOGETHER, which means sacrificing something you want for what the other wants and is best for everyone. Its picking up the slack when they are focused on other things, sick or struggling with life because they do that for you. Love is shown by encouraging, building each other, and helping one another in their roles. Love is when they don’t point out you got it wrong or when you don’t snap because they did. Love is about learning TOGETHER along the way and communication of all emotions and feelings, because neither of you are mind readers.
3. You will not spend all of your time together, because being married is about maintaining your own individuality, interests and goals and you will find far more joy in seeing the other person enjoying and succeeding in things they love and them supporting you in your endeavours than if you were always together, all of the time doing the same things. Yes its fun to do things together, have adventures and continue going on dates, but so is it a lot of fun to come together at the end of a day and talk about the lovely things you did, see them excited about stuff and know you can help them
4. Life will not be rosy – you make think you have a lifetime of happiness ahead, but that has to be created and you will have to plan lovely things together, trips and holidays, because real life is hard sometimes and you 2 are the ones that have control over what it will look like and how you will react.
Together you will face heart breaking and potentially soul destroying situations. Don’t let this stop you, because you will learn that in these moments you will feel love like never before from each other, you will learn what compassion and forgiveness is and what being a best friend is all about. You will realise your capabilities because even at your lowest points love is shown through encouraging you, routing for you, supporting you and still seeing your beauty and potential.
5. Believe in yourself – if a man loves you enough to marry you forever then never doubt that what he tells you is true. When you have hard days see yourself through his eyes…this is true love and just as you will love him when he isn’t dolled up in his finest, he can love you in the same way. He will become your rock so just believe him, trust him and know he only wants you to be happy and love life, that he wants you to succeed and he wants you to know your value and how he sees you. Believe it, for you are a key player in all of this. Love yourself because you are capable of being loved and believe in what you can offer others.
6. Never give up because great things happen when you pull together. It may feel like you are both hanging on by a thread, but know that those fun adventures and days of laughter, passion and being like loved up newly weds are just around the corner to fill your box right back up to overflowing, so keep fighting on and lean on each other.
I have said before that we work hard to have regular dates and time together, go away together and properly talk. We love to plan and imagine what life is going to look like, because we know it takes work and were both on board for our dreams,
I love the moments we just laugh none stop, sing loudly together in the car with our awesome moves whilst the kids sit in shock and whine “its too loud” (whose the adult here?) and when we say the same things at the same times in situations. We are not mind readers and life is hard and complicated sometimes, but we seek fun and joy despite it. And because we know now that life and marriage is full of ups and downs we put into our marriage box regularly by loving, giving, dating, praising and building each other up so that it keeps it at a level where despite difficulty, we have strength together and a connection that isn’t broken by it, but strengthened and enhanced.
One of our church leaders recently said: “We do not marry perfection, but potential” and I love that, because whilst life and each other are not perfect, we can see beyond it and hope and believe in one another, I love that we are aware of who we can be, and what we can do and can have perfect moments amid our imperfections and shortcomings, and it is that which sees us through and that which makes for a happy life with one another.