On Marriage, 8 Months in

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Marriage has been the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced. I knew it was going to be hard, and was hoping that I would be pleasantly surprised and it would be easier than I expected. No, definitely not.

Before getting married, I would have said I knew Carlos well. In 3 years you learn a lot about a person, but I learned just as much in the first 3 weeks of living together as in those 3 years combined. How Carlos organizes his things (and sometimes mine, too). How he needs his space for a few minutes when he gets back from work. How particular he is about scrambled eggs.  Inevitably, when you learn a lot of new things about a person (and especially about a person you thought you knew really well) in a short period of time, there are going to be things you don’t like. There are going to be moments when you think, “Who is this person I married?”

And the “Who is this person I married?” thought doesn’t even come close to the worst thought you’ve had. When he tells you how to do something and you think, “I liked living by myself better.” When he does something you don’t agree with and you worry, “Maybe I ignored the red flags while we were dating.” Or when you’re arguing for what seems like the hundredth time that month, and you have the worst thought of all: “I married the wrong person,” and you even have a mental list of reasons to prove it.

Maybe I did marry the wrong person. Maybe a lot of us do-because we’re humans and we make mistakes and we’re in love and we really do ignore the red flags instead of thinking things through logically. However, the important part isn’t figuring out if I married the wrong person. The important things is loving the person I’m with, my husband, for better or for worse. Dwelling on all the good things-his hugs when I’m sad, how he tries to annoy me on purpose and it always make me laugh, his nicknames for me in Spanish, his kindness. Remembering that, for all of the times I’ve thought I married the wrong person, he’s thought it just as many. And despite that, he’s still choosing to love me, every day. Ironically, knowing that the other person is also struggling in your marriage has been comforting. It makes you realize you’re on the same team. That neither of you is doing better or worse, or has the upper hand. It makes you realize that you are two people fighting for the same thing, and apart from needing loads and loads of God’s grace and mercy and guidance, you desperately need each other. (This is a little off-topic, but I also plan on writing a whole post about how marriage makes you understand God’s love in a whole different, amazing way.)

I really can’t think of or find a better quote to sum up how I feel than this one from Nicholas Sparks in The Notebook:

“So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday.”

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