Today is our third anniversary. Our first anniversary we spent on a Caribbean cruise, our second anniversary separated by the Atlantic Ocean, and this year we are celebrating together in our last few weeks in Killeen. These past three years have been quite an adventure: celebrating the little things, learning to love our marriage, and growing together.
Celebrating the Little Things
In marriage, I’ve been known to get my eyes fixated on one thing and forget to look up and see all the good things happening. It is a bad habit of mine to be constantly pushing myself in every area of life to accomplish more, work through different problems, and strive for excellence. I can easily be dissatisfied with anything short of perfection. My husband is more easy-going than me, and is quick to rest or enjoy little moments more than I am.
Being married to someone in the military provides many opportunities to have a perspective that is defined by either frustration or gratitude. For example, on last year’s anniversary, we could have chosen to be frustrated that we weren’t together or we could be grateful that G has a job he loves. This past year we have had many things to celebrate in our marriage and many things we’ve had to overcome. Learning to celebrate the little things has helped us shift our focus and enjoy the life we have together.
Learning to Love Our Marriage
By no means is the defining factor of marriage, “hard.” Life is hard. Walking with Jesus is hard. Marriage is hard, kind of like that. It’s uncomfortable. It is a place where you are faced with the opportunity to grow.
My former roommates spent this past weekend with us and we had this conversation. In this social media heavy, easy-to-present-a-perfect-life world we live in, it is difficult to not see your life as a failure compared to others. We see other marriages or parenting styles or dating life from a distance. We tend to compare and find ourselves wanting. In this false sense of connectivity, we see others lives and are driven further into isolation.
We attend weddings when our marriages are in a tough place and it causes us to question. We scroll through the internet wondering when we will be able to post engagement photos. We dread baby showers for all the questions that will come our way. The scenarios are innumerable.
I wrote a post a long time ago about Mr. Perfect when I was single. It is difficult to acknowledge this, but there have been so many times when I’ve expected my husband to be Mr. Perfect. I’ve held him to a standard in my mind that is pieced together from Instagram posts and random blogs and stories on Facebook. Too often I’ve been dissatisfied, not because of my husband, but because he doesn’t measure up to my [ridiculous, insane] expectations of him.
Learning to love my marriage has been a big part of this marriage adventure. God is big enough and so much more in control of things than I can imagine and He knew who I needed as a husband and put him in my life at the right time. That is something to celebrate.
This post is about celebrating in marriage. But it’s also about celebrating what is. Celebrating what is right in front of you.The people who love us. The common graces of life. The small things.
In the military they call this resilience. Learning to adapt. Being flexible enough to handle whatever comes your way. There has been a lot of that in our three years of marriage. Hopefully we are building a foundation of growth and resilience for the years to come.
G and I are a team. We have to learn to face each and every challenge together – as a team. We are a pretty great team if I do say so myself. And it is so different than I could have ever made up, but it pretty much rocks. We have an interesting balance, and that balance is dynamic and we have to adapt to each other with time and new scenarios.
It can be difficult at times to remember to grow together. There are times when there have been outside circumstances that have caused me to think G is against me. That we are standing face to face, against one another, rather than standing side-by-side as a team. Changing our perspectives and thinking how we can face difficult things together, side-by-side, as a team, has helped reframe so many scenarios to help us grow together.
It’s been an adventure. This marriage business. And it’s an adventure that I want to celebrate day after day.