As much as I talk up my husband and as much as I love our marriage, it is no fairy tale.
We’ve known each other for a long time, but we were not high school sweethearts. And even though we’ve always been friends, it hasn’t always been easy.
Marriage is more than loving someone. It isn’t about a big white dress. It isn’t about a fancy ring. It is about compromise and teamwork. It is about the little things that make up the big picture and once you get past the “honeymoon” stage it can be easy to forget that.
For me, it is important to hit the reset button and get back to that honeymoon stage. I am lucky to have someone that makes it easy to do so. Jacob makes me crazy, but he also gives me butterflies. For me, marriage is when you want to strangle someone to death, but you would never do it because you would miss them far too much. To steal a quote from Grey’s Anatomy (that I’ve been binge watching for the past two months), it is about “loving each other even when you hate each other.” It’s about never giving up.
We’ve only been married a couple of years, but there have already been a few events that rewound our relationship and landed us closer to that “fairy tale” feeling. That feeling of hitting pause on life and remembering what is most important. Taking a moment to realize what you have in each other. This is what we did…
We took a trip – After the excitement from our wedding and honeymoon had died down, the topic of kids came up. I was extremely panicked by the idea and I vowed that I would not have children until I visited Ireland (my dream trip). Jacob, to my surprise, said “Okay then, let’s go” and we saved our money for a couple of plane tickets. It was everything that I could have hoped for. It was sheep, green grass, dark beer, and ferry rides. It was spontaneity. It was ADVENTURE. It was the perfect recipe to set the clock back and break that routine of work and keeping house. Jacob is a good police officer for a reason and getting him to step out of his comfort zone can be challenging. This trip was so good for us as a couple, but also for each of us individually. We had so much fun on that trip and as cliche as it sounds it was better because I was with my best friend. It was so nice to let loose, reconnect, and fly by the seat of our pants. We still talk about that trip on a weekly basis.
We committed to each other on a new level – After Ireland we decided that we wanted a baby. There is nothing that brings two people closer together (or so I thought). When I showed him our positive pregnancy test with weepy eyes and a smile, the reset button was hit once again. Back to the basics. We had accomplished something. Something that we both wanted so badly. It was time for us to dive head first into preparing for the greatest event of our lives. This wasn’t going to work unless we were both in 110% and he showed me during my pregnancy that I was never alone. He stepped up. He did the laundry, made dinner, vacuumed the floors. He pushed me to eat right and reminded me to go to the gym. He bought me special pillows to get me through the most uncomfortable of nights. He showed me how lucky I am and in return, it made me want to be the BEST wife I could be.
We leaned on each other – The next reset button was hit around 14 weeks later, when we got the abnormal results of our Trisomy 21 screening test (which you can read about here). Talk about hitting pause. The shock made it feel like time was standing still. There were two choices here, to run away or stand firmly beside one another. I felt a renewed love and respect when he put his arm around my shoulders that day and promised me that everything was going to be okay. Jacob and I work because we pick up what the other is missing. I cried all the way home that day. I went straight to bed and I cried some more. I was devastated. Jacob was my foundation. He spoke about a bright future and told me how we were going to get through it. He made me smile and eventually, I was able to push past the tears. We WERE going be okay. Well the next time that Jacob was feeling down about the diagnosis, I was able to remind him of these things. I couldn’t ask for a better partner while raising our daughter. I knew this all along, of course, but it was so clear as we worked through such a rainbow of emotions.
We became ONE– It’s one thing to be a team. Teamwork is so important in a relationship. You carry some, they carry some. You work together towards a common goal. Having a baby is a whole different level of teamwork. You become one. This August, our reset button was hit once more. Everything between us became fluid and seamless. Hand-offs in the night. Car rides. Bath time. I pump while he bottle feeds. I put her to sleep while he runs to the grocery store. I start to ask for something and he’s already heading my way. He’s not just my partner anymore, he’s a part of me. We are a unit. I am proud that our girl will grow up seeing what its like to have a strong man in her life. Jacob definitely sets the bar high. She will also see what it takes to make a relationship successful.
I hear all the time about how people only post or share the best parts of their life on social media. I don’t see anything wrong with that. I won’t pretend like we don’t fight or have our struggles on a daily basis, and I won’t say that either of us is perfect because we’re far from it. He will probably be annoyed at me for writing this post, but I’m going to finish it anyway. As I write this, I watch as he changes into his uniform and puts on his duty belt equipped with everything necessary to protect himself and those around him. I watch him as he kisses Kara on the forehead and walks out the door. Our relationship may not be a fairy tale, but I’m going to recognize the GOOD as often as I can because it’s as real as the bad and it’s far more important.