Posted in family life

marriage and anniversaries and slogging through the hard times

I wasn’t able to write this up and post it on our anniversary this past Saturday (I’m blaming the pregnancy fatigue), but I did want to post it before the days slipped too far away!

Saturday was our fifth anniversary – the first real “milestone” anniversary we’ve reached together – and it made me think about all that has already happened in our marriage, and where we are now. We’ve packed a lot of things into those five years, between my husband’s school, my job, finding and buying our first home, and having two kids (with another one on the way)! There hasn’t been much time to get used to things being a certain way before they change again; even though we’ve had the same basic setup now for over a year (two kids, classes for my husband, and 30 hours/week of work for me), the exact schedule changes every semester, and we’re forced to rethink childcare and daily routines for both ourselves and the boys. I’m usually up early every morning to work (I try to start at 6:30am), and my husband is usually up late every night doing homework (often not coming to bed until midnight) – so lately, at least, our time together has been limited, sporadic, and fleeting. It’s the kind of environment that breeds misunderstandings and resentment, with both spouses feeling tired and overwhelmed, isolated and worn. I described it to a close friend as feeling as though we have no margin, as though we are using every resource and drop of energy we have just to keep things going.

And yet, somehow, we’ve kept our trust and love for each other strong. Both of us have striven to prioritize family time whenever possible, and to pick up the everyday tasks of cleaning and organizing as we have time and energy (although, I have to confess, my husband is probably more sacrificial of his time and energy in those things than I am…). For the most part, we understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and can support each other through those things; especially when we see each other at the end of our rope, we try to pick up the burden to let the other get rest. My husband is especially generous with his time when he sees that I am getting exhausted, which is something I am incredibly grateful for! My personality tends toward suspicion and jealousy, but instead of letting my husband’s late-night study sessions give rise to paranoid fears in my head, I remind myself of the character and heart I know him to possess, that he has proven to me time and time again. In short, his love acted out in the simple tasks of everyday life gives me assurance in the times when we can’t profess and renew that love in deep or romantic ways, and I hope mine does the same for him.

I hope there will be a time when life isn’t pulling us in quite so many different directions, when it will be easier to create consistent routines that build in space for family time and couple time to strengthen those most intimate relationships – but I am sure that the trust and love developed now, if we keep striving towards that end through the difficulties of it, will be a blessing for us no matter what happens.

Happy anniversary, wonderful! There is no one else I’d rather live life with than you.

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