Today I celebrate 5 years of marriage with my very best friend, the one who compliments me in the best kind of ways and I’m thankful for every day. I know that sounds cliche and that it’ll all sunshine and roses. The first sentence is the absolute truth but that doesn’t mean we don’t drive each other a bit crazy from time to time or that we see eye to eye all the time because we don’t. You see, we were certain we had everything figured out before we got married because we had been together for over 3.5 years and lived for 3 of those years. We were “practically married” already, or that was what we thought anyways. Little did we know. Marriage changes things – big time. There is some sort of shift that happens. We learned our biggest lessons to date that first year.
I grew up with divorced parents. Their divorce was the best thing for our family, I’ve always felt that way. My dad wanted to fight for it but my mom was done. Life would have been different had they stayed married but I don’t think they would have been better. Seeing my parents get a divorce and the aftermath of custody battles, mind games and the bitterness by brother endured I knew I never wanted a divorce. In fact, I knew Ryan was the one the moment he said to me
I don’t believe in divorce either. I believe a couple should worship and fellowship together.
The truth though? Even though I knew I didn’t want a divorce to happen and I always said it wasn’t an option there was a tiny thought that if things didn’t work out there was always the option for divorce. In fact, as much as I hate to admit it I got very comfortable with throwing that word around the first year of our marriage. We would have an argument and out would fly “fine, why don’t we just get a divorce then!” Then we were 7 months into our marriage, I had a struggling business, we had just lost a house the day before closing and living in my grandparent’s basement because we had 2 days to find somewhere to live. Life wasn’t easy. Our tensions were through the roof and I decided I wanted to run far away from it all. It was a lot of work and was the roughest patch our marriage has ever experienced. Ryan fought for me, he fought like hell for me, and I pushed against him because I’m stubborn (read: I was being a brat) and there was a lot of work that needed to be done. But the fact of the matter of this, no matter how hard things were I knew one thing: I didn’t want to live life without Ryan. I would rather deal with all of the icky, tough stuff with him than go through life without him. Our hardest lesson was in our first year and it was the roughest lesson we could have ever gone through but you know what? I learned the biggest lesson. I learned that I really did want my marriage and that divorce really wasn’t an option. It wasn’t an option I wanted. I wanted Ryan all of my days just like I promised on my wedding day.
Everyone gives you well wishes on your marriage and wish you happily ever after as you dance the night away and ride off into your marriage but the truth is….
They don’t tell you that there will be days that you want to throw your hands up in the air and walk out the front door.
They don’t tell you that people change over the years and it’s up to you to grow together and accept them for everything they are or you will grow apart.
They don’t tell you that sometimes your husband feels like the person you share a house with and its just a season and you’ll get through that too.
They don’t tell you that you both will come in with expectations you might not have realized were there and you have to work through them together.
They don’t tell you that it once you add kids to the mix that the balance you two shared has a shift and the time you spent together all of the time has to find new balance.
They don’t tell you that there will be times you both say things you don’t mean and that you’ll have to serve each other a huge helping of grace and forgiveness.
They don’t tell you that there are days you have to decide to respect your husband even if you don’t feel like he “deserves” your respect because the truth is God calls us to marriage and it’s bigger than the two of you.
But through everything when you stick together and do the work it’s so, so incredibly worth it.
I’m not saying it’s always easy, I’m saying that for us it’s worth it.
I’m not saying that divorce isn’t an option for anyone, I’m saying it isn’t for us.
I love my husband fiercely. There is no one that gets me like he does. There are countless hills and battles we’ve conquered in our first 5 years of marriage and through the next 60+ there will be many more. I know this. But I also know there is no one else that I would rather be going through life with. No one else I would rather be raising babies and growing old with. So, even on the toughest days it’s absolutely worth it. There is no way I would have it any other way or do life with anyone else.
Ryan, Happy Anniversary my love. Thanks for loving me so well and I’m so glad you’re mine until the end of time. 5 years down and many, many, many more to go. I love you more than you know. Love, Kristina.