Today is Caleb and I's 2nd Anniversary. Sometimes it feels much longer. We've already endured so much together. It's hard to imagine a time without him.
However, it has taken both of us some time to come to a place of unity-of living happily.
For many people, right after they marry they usually fall into this "honeymoon period." A time when each significant other can do no wrong.
Caleb and I....were not those people.
Our premarital counselor told us that we were "REALLY realistic."
While we went into our marriage with eyes wide open, that didn't mean we fully accepted each other, or that we didn't sometimes hold each other in contempt.
In fact, it is DURING our honeymoon that both of us became extremely angry with one another. We both thought that we had made a HUGE mistake, but felt trapped because we had just promised God in front of a whole lot of witnesses that we would work it out...that we would somehow live happily every after.
I had many long talks with God during my first year of marriage. During some of those talks I would be reminded of some things that were mentioned in some of the marriage books I read.
Ready to Wed by Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley was a particularly helpful Christian marriage book.
It pointed out that just because on your wedding day that you may have said "the two have now become one"- did NOT make it so. The book said that it would take time to become one-to become a team, thinking together.
The book had also mentioned creating a list of at least 12 things that you loved about your spouse. It said that when you were particularly angry and dangerously growing bitter...to pull that list out.
The list was to serve as an ebenezer, a reminder of all the reasons you chose to marry your spouse- a way to break the bitterness.
I was thankful for both of those two pieces of advice. It helped me to persevere. Knowing that it would take time for us to work together, gave me hope that some day we would.
And I think I've only had to pull the list out once or twice.
Along with prayer and some serious- HONEST conversations with one another, Caleb and I are much more in love today that we were just two years ago. We definitely function as more of a team.
I can count on just one hand the times that I have been gravely angry with Caleb. Once while we were dating, once during our honeymoon, and once during our first year.
But other that those very few times, I have been extremely content and grateful for Caleb. Most evenings and weekends, I would think of Caleb and say a prayer of thanks to God for our union.
In many ways, Caleb feels specially crafted just for me.
Caleb and I wanted to share this because unlike romance-comedy movies, country songs, and romance novels...it's not always "happily ever after" once a person gets married.
Some people enter directly into a honeymoon phase...and then the phase ends. Others are like Caleb and I.
The point is, it takes work to make any relationship work-especially a marriage. It's not fair for a couple to think that just getting married will solve all their problems. In fact, getting married usually accentuates the problems that were already there.
The fairy-tale expectation can lead to bitterness and sometimes broken commitments.
But with God, all things are [truly] possible. Matthew 19: 26
Reconciliation is possible. Unity is possible.
Happiness is possible.
We may not have become "one" on our wedding day or honeymoon....or even halfway through our first year....but now...after two years, Caleb and I have built a strong foundation.
A foundation that I firmly believe will allow us to live happily ever after.
Photography Credit: Annie Barnett