Yesterday marked our 7th wedding anniversary, but seven years ago wasn’t where our story began. We actually randomly met in college at a party, but as fate would have it we re-met in Chicago years later. We started talking because we both recognized each other from college and the rest is history.
Coming up on our anniversary marriage is actually a topic I’ve been excited to talk about. Maybe because it’s a topic that sometimes seems taboo. As a society we tend to paint marriage as this easy thing. You have a beautiful wedding and ride off into the sunset. We tend to put alot of emphasis on wedding planning (which once you are married you realize doesn’t matter). People are often embarrassed or uncomfortable revealing they might have arguments or conflicts in marriage. In reality, it’s how you communicate and work together to overcome the obstacles that matters. When we were engaged to be married my friend Kristin gave me the poem the “Art of Marriage.” I loved it and have always kept a copy close by. Through the years as life has happened its words ring more true than ever. Here’s what is says:
To me this poem is such a great synopsis of marriage. A month after we were engaged Jim’s Mom was diagnosed with cancer. In December of 2012 we lost Jim’s Mom and the next day faced another loss of our own. Through all our ups and downs Jim has been that one constant by my my side through it all. He’s seen me at my very best and at my worse and he still loves me. I felt that unconditional love engulf me after we had the Twins for the first two months he took care of me, nursing me back to health and taking care of our babies. I could have not done it without him.
When I was sick and hosptilized again last year I was reminded of that love. It’s in the tender moments we share like him helping me out of my hospital gown. Or the way he sneaks in every night to give Finn and Reese one last kiss goodnight. I see it daily in his unbelievable hardwork and dedication to provide for our family. Marriage is not easy but like anything in life that matters, we work hard at it.
Being sick in an odd way has been a blessing for me. It’s forced me to slow down, to reasses. I’ve become more self-aware about my needs but also the needs of those around me. I’ve taken more responsibilty and ownership and it’s shifted my perspective. Before I didn’t take things for granted but now I really don’t. My favorite excerpt from the poem is the quote below:
In life it’s sooo much easier to blame the other person. If you don’t like someone or get along with them it’s their fault. If you are in an argument with your mate or spouse it’s them not you. Everyone else is the problem, not you, right?! This is not going to be popular to say but what if we put that responsiblity back on ourselves? Try to be the person you want to be married to. As I look back at where we’ve come over the last 7 years I can’t help but reflect on the life we’ve created together. In a way, I see parallels between between marriage and having children. You unconditionally love your babies when they are born but there’s a certain process in getting to know them and as they grow you fall even more deeply in love with them. The same can be said for our marriage.
My cup runeth over with the life we’ve created together and I can’t help but think the best is yet to come. To download the Art of Marriage poem in it’s entirety to print and download at home just click here