Living

What Six Years of Marriage Has Taught Me

Six years ago, I had one of the most fun days of my life. I got to marry my husband. After five years of dating and six years married, we’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.

I’m not sure what marriage should look like after six years. They always say “marry your best friend.” I look at some marriages and that does seem to be true for some people. Couples that do everything together and enjoying doing it. Couples that always want to spend time together and make each other laugh. Looking at my own marriage, I realize we still have growing and learning to do.

I think about that phrase, “marry your best friend.” I feel like I’ve never truly had a best friend. Maybe, once for a few years, 5th-7th grade. Other than that, I feel like I’ve been aching for that. I’ve had close friends over the years, people that I consider best friends. I wouldn’t say they always considered me their sole best friend, but maybe one of them.

There’s something special though, about having that one person who wants to do everything with you. Who calls you up after a bad day, who goes shopping with you, takes you to a movie. These are always things I feel like as a woman, I need another female to do with me, they just get it.

My husband and I have been together for eleven years, and it wasn’t until the other night that we actually sat and watched a true chick flick together (maybe we have previously, but I can’t recall as it’s not the norm). When we normally watch movies, we watch one we can both agree on, usually an action type film (he says comedy). There are certain things I won’t watch and things he doesn’t want to watch either. I feel like compromise is a beautiful thing, but there are some things you can’t bend on. Chick flicks isn’t one of them… but there are certain movies that go against values that I wouldn’t subject myself too. Likewise, I generally don’t want him to be miserable throughout a movie, so I don’t subject him to having to watch chick flicks. However it was nice to be there with him. I won’t subject him to Hallmark movies however, his commentary is enough to send me over the edge. I’ll watch my cheesy romance movies by myself, commentary free!

There are other things we don’t do together, that most couples, especially spouses normally do… attend concerts. Now, most of you don’t know my husband, however not a single person could picture him at some of the concerts I go to. That’s not to say he hasn’t been to any with me, but, just like movies there are certain ones I would rather go and enjoy by myself.

That leads to all kinds of questions for myself. It’s so easy to compare relationships and marriages to other couples who absolutely love doing all the same things. In fact, that could be what brought the couples together in the first place, shared mutual interests. That has never been what brought my husband and I together, we couldn’t be more opposite.

I questioned myself, why I was drawn to him, but drawn to him I was. We both had a disdain for the opposite sex. I grew up not thinking too fondly of men as they often disappointed me in life. Then I would hear about all the murders and other bad things in the news…. that didn’t help my perception any. So, I never dated, as I knew I was not ready to be in a relationship. Then he came along and for whatever reason, I was drawn to him.

He came out of some pretty crazy, manipulative relationships and pretty much thought women were evil. We gave each other a chance and here we are eleven years later. It’s not perfect, but its ours. The good news is, we can always make it better and I’m determined to, despite our differences and inclinations. He’s working on ways to make me feel special and loved on special occasions, despite that not being his normal nature. I’m trying to work on keeping the house cleaner and giving him my focused attention, as that matters to him. It takes work, all the time.

The biggest thing though, comes back to being friends. To having each other’s back and being there for one another when no one else is. Quite often I feel inadequate. Most of my friendships are long distance so I don’t have anyone I call to grab coffee with or go shopping with. Thankfully, I have a wonderful little girl who I can do things with and I truly hope as she grows, we get to be the best of friends.

Not having a female friend to do things with, does make me sad at times. I have been told, on more than one occasion that I am too different to be really close to people. I honestly don’t know what that means. What makes me so different? My overwhelming love for people? The constant hugs that maybe people aren’t use to?

I know someone who wants that love, those hugs… my husband. Even though he doesn’t always understand me, and yes sometimes he thinks I’m a little strange… every day, he chooses me. He chooses to stay by my side, to love me, to want to go on vacation with me, to not even want to take our daughter to the beach without me.

In a way, maybe it’s good we have things we do apart. We still have our identities and interests that aren’t in one another, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to spend time together. I’ll admit in my desire for having a female friend, I’ve neglected the person I need to devote my time to. Although, I feel like no man could ever understand me the same way a woman can, and those female friendships are also important, none is more important or more valuable than with the person who chose to do life with me… good or bad… richer or poorer… in sickness and in health.

Maybe not having a friend close by has been for a reason. Maybe it’s lead me to the fact that I do need to invest more time in the people that love me the most and when I do that, who knows… maybe he’ll even end up watching more chick flicks with me, just because it makes me happy.

I thank him for his patience. For encouraging me to go back to school and further my degree, and for being understanding that the house will rarely ever be clean. He has a lot of patience. We don’t always see eye to eye, but we accept each other, even when we make each other mad.

I’m excited for the future and I’ve given up on the desire to be close with anyone else and focus on being close to the one who would choose me any day of the week to go grab a burger with. I know that the years ahead aren’t going to be downhill for our marriage, but up. I think that’s a beautiful thing.

Marriage can be hard and they say that first year is tough. Once you get out of that “honey moon” stage, some marriages don’t make it. In a way, I feel like maybe we never really had much of a honey moon stage and if anything, we are only going to fall more in love as the years go by. That is something I look forward to. Growing and learning with someone who makes me feel valued and loved. Who doesn’t make me question if I’m good enough or makes me wonder why they don’t want to hang out with me.

I’m going to do what I can to nurture and cherish my most important relationship, the one with my husband. Six years down and we are just getting started. Here’s to the memories ahead and doing life with the person who loves me for who I am and fell in love with me because of it.

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