photo from our honeymoon, June 2012
This month marks six months of marriage with my guy. It seems like it came all too fast. The first few months were harder than we anticipated, and we completely expected it to be difficult. Transition hit us smack in the face and we spent a lot of time adjusting to new everything. New expectations were met with new compromises and we had to work together to create new habits.
Standing here now, at the six month mark, I am happy for it. I’m thankful for the moments that threatened our strength individually, because they made us stronger as a couple.
I’ve learned a lot, in this new wifely role. More than I thought I was going to when we started out on this adventure.. and, as the boy always says, “We’re only just beginning.”
In a conversation we had the other week.. I said to him, “You know, we may not always make each other happy, but we make each other better.”
And last night, when I was asking him what I should write about this month, and what has HE learned in the past six months.. he said, “No matter what we’re going through, it always get’s better.”
Better. Better people, better partners. Our relationship gets better through good times and bad. I realize that may not be the case for everyone, but it’s been really important for us to know that we’re part of a bigger picture than whatever issue we may be facing at the moment. And to see, even through our own experiences, how we always come back stronger after we disagree, or go through something difficult together.
With that said, the biggest thing I’ve learned in the past six months is not to fear conflict. It is inevitable no matter who you are. Instead, we try to use those moments as catalysts to grow, and as opportunities to remind each other that, “Hey, I’m here. I want to understand. I support you and I believe in us.”
The best way I’ve found to do this in practice, is to “seek to understand, before seeking to be understood.” To choose our relationship over winning an argument or being right. Easier said than done.. I know.
When we were dating, my cousin (who is a marriage and family counselor) was helping me through a particularly anxious moment and he explained to me that my relationship with James at that time felt like we were navigating a tight rope. There was healthy fear all around us, urging us to watch our step and keep our balance.. but that over time, as our relationship grew, the rope would feel more like a two-by-four, and eventually, as strong and steadfast as the Golden Gate Bridge. And it’s true, thank goodness. Our foundation is expanding and settling more every day. When problems arise, when we face challenges, I don’t worry that is ever too much for us to handle or a threat to our relationship the way I have in times past. I choose not to fear it anymore. Neither one of us is going anywhere.
And as cliché as it may be, it really is true; every day is better than the day before. It isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it.