You might start reading this blog post with a lingering 'ICK' in the back of your mind. But this isn't one of those entries where I'm going to go on and on about how wonderful marriage is or how blessed my life has become, now that we're husband and wife. I'm not one to fabricate - so this all all about keeping it real and remaining true to myself.
If any married couple wants to argue their relationship doesn't have it's ups and downs, all the while claiming they're 100% always happy with one another, then they're telling you a BIG FAT LIE. Don't get me wrong. I madly love my husband; with every fiber of my being. This doesn't mean I don't want to ring his neck simultaneously! Love is pain. And pain is love. Marriage isn't always easy. Think about it. You're making the ultimate commitment to another person. You're flawed. They're flawed. At some point, you're bound to come across some bumps in the road, even a cul-de-sac (or so it feels like at the time) every now and then, which can be downright frightening. Just because you love someone doesn't mean they can't disappoint you or let you down, or disagree with you or call you out on your bullshit. Some days feel like it'll never be right. But at the end of each day, if you both love each other, no matter what circumstances or obstacles life wants to throw our way, we're in this together. Just because you're on a sinking ship doesn't mean you need to bail. (Hello, Jack and Rose from Titanic!) Because for better or for worse, we are in it for the long haul. If that's not dedication toward another living soul, I don't know what is.
A week ago was our 2 year anniversary. I would've done a post earlier or on the actual day if my life wasn't so crazy at the moment. We still haven't even had a chance to celebrate because life has really gotten in the way lately. And with the past week, especially with so much chaos going on in the world, I still feel the need to fight against hate with acts of love. Whether they are in real life or down on paper, or in a blog post, I still and always have felt the urge to share some of the life lessons I've learned from my journey thus far. So here's a few lessons I've learned in 2 years of marriage.
Lessons Learned in 2 Years of Marriage
Always stay true to you. Sure, it's not about you anymore. And if you mix in children (furry or non-furry), it becomes less and less about you. This doesn't mean you should lose yourself in the process now that you are married. Be your own individual. Have your separate group of friends, your own thing, whether it's a career, or a hobby, or time-spent volunteering or getting in your workout fix. Just do it because you love to. Don't take it for granted or push it aside because (e.g; there's only 24 hours in a day, or whatever excuse you want to conjure ), life is too short to completely base your life on someone else. It is truly good to have your own time by yourself and in the process, remain true to yourself and to have your own identity.
Compromising is KEY. This can be challenging for my husband and I at times because we are both extremely opinionated, passionate and stubborn people. And when one partner is angry or upset by the other, it can be difficult to come to some sort of agreement. We always eventually do, but the longer I've been married, the more I'm starting to see that the sooner a compromise can be reached, the sooner you can move on from it. You have to keep the ebb and flow of life constantly moving. And it saves a lot of time and grief arguing over something that's usually not very important and actually quite silly.
Constant and open communication. This kind of goes with compromising because without talking to one another, neither of you are going to get very far! And if talking means shouting, yelling, screaming, or anything non-positive, this will also get you nowhere. You have to be able to sit down like two adults and talk things through, no matter how much you don't want to. The lines of communication (along with the compromise) have to be a two-way street, where you meet somewhere in the middle and work it out.
Focus on the good, not the bad. While it's easy to get caught up in what you find annoying, frustrating or irritating in your partner's flaws, try to remind yourself in the good qualities they carry instead. Don't just say, 'ugh, he sips everything through his teeth and I find it to be the most unnerving habit!' but rather, "yeah he sips through his teeth, but I adore him for making me coffee every morning." I find it that the more you're worrying about what is bothersome in your partner, you'll only become more in tune to whatever it is that's bugging you and you will start to mirror the bad habit! Everyday is a choice of how to look at your partner. And it should only be with loving, adoring thoughts - no matter how hard it may seem. Even on those absolutely terrible days.
Make time for just the two of you. Living in one of the most competitive cities in the world, it's challenging enough to work and thrive let alone maintain a social life. This should never be an excuse not to be able to sit down and plan for some quality time. Just you and him. (Or you and her ha ha!) It doesn't have to be extravagant, luxurious or even extraordinary. It's the two of you embracing one another, conversing with one another, sharing a moment together in time, because you're not alone. It can be just staying in and watching really bad prime time television, all the while joking together about it, snacking down on some tasty treats and spending whatever time is left together. Because you never will know when you're time is up.
Take a road trip together if you haven't already. To me, this is a milestone in your relationship, like when you two first moved in together. If you can survive through the experience and actually enjoy your time together with something like that, then you can pretty much get through anything. It's not a day trip kind of thing, but something that's going to take you at least a week to do. We did take a road trip before we got married and were only engaged. We drove from New York to Michigan for one of my close girlfriend's wedding and to see some relatives. It's one of those journeys together as a couple where you really see the person for who they are. And we both loved every single minute of it. We still laugh from those memories until tears are rolling down our cheek.
Always love. This seems easy right? Did you forget we're human? We may want to love 100% of the time, but we all have insecurities and pockets of anger, moments of sadness, pure despair. Even in those tickles of annoyances, you're probably not filled with only loving thoughts. Always try to remember, no matter what your partner is going through, if they're not intentionally hurting anyone or themselves, then love them with everything you have. It is the most courageous and powerful act of all. And I know for some you will find this way too cheesy, but I do too believe that love conquers all.
Until next time, be well my friends. Take care of each other. And take care of yourself.
Gilles, my sweet darling- I love you. To infinity and beyond.
Love & xx's,
maQ + suz
P.S. - Many many thanks to our dear friends & photographers, Gary Calderwood & Agnes Fohn for our wedding photos! We love you! xoxo