The seasons of marriage

Things are getting real here today on the blog. I saw something the other day that hit a nerve, so a quick vent session turned into a whole blog post. I saw someone on social media complaining about how things can’t be “that tough” after just a few short months of marriage. Now, this girl was talking about someone she doesn’t know very well, and so I’m going to go ahead and assume she doesn’t know very much about their relationship. Here’s what I have to say about that.

You don’t have to be married to know what it’s like to be in a relationship, and to know the hardships that come along with it. Shaun and I have only been married for 4 months but we’ve been together for almost five years. We’ve bought two homes together, moved out of state (twice) together, traveled from one coast to the other and a bunch of spots in between, and we’ve seen the worst of each other. The worst. Not just in these past four months, but the past five years. Because life with your partner doesn’t start when you get married. It starts when you join your lives together.

And let me tell you, it isn’t always pretty. I know, I know…how dare I?! I’ve only been married for four months…how could I possibly know what it’s like to be in a relationship, right? Well, let me tell you what I do know.

I know that the first year being together seemed like heaven. Like nothing could ever make me upset with Shaun. We celebrated every month we spent together and Shaun would send me flowers or chocolate covered berries. He’d write me a note and hide it somewhere for me to find. We couldn’t keep our hands off each other. Even just looking at him gave me butterflies and made me feel like the luckiest girl on Earth. I like to call this Summer.

And then things cooled down a bit. We still snuggled on the couch and watched our favorite TV shows but date nights became less frequent. I didn’t feel the need to hold his hand every second of every day and he didn’t text me all day while we was working, like he did before. We started traveling together more and we moved in together which meant we got to see all sides of one another. The good, the bad, and the I just woke up and haven’t had any coffee yet so don’t talk to me. I call this Fall.

A year and a half into us dating and shortly after we bought our first home together Shaun came home with news that his company offered him a promotion and an opportunity to move to Charlotte, NC. We discussed it, accepted the offer, and packed our home together. Shaun had experience with moving out of state from being in the military. I, on the other hand, handled it very differently. I was very out of place. I distanced myself from Shaun. I was quiet. I was the worst version of myself in a very long time. I barely ate, except for fried chicken here and there because I was so stressed. Shaun and I didn’t know if we’d make it. I became resentful that we moved for Shaun and I was suffering. We discussed moving home for months. We even talked about breaking up. This was our first Winter.

And then Shaun proposed. The most exciting day of my whole life at this point. We couldn’t stop feeling so grateful for one another. We were holding hands at the dinner table. We had tears in our eyes when we thought about our big day. We felt reconnected and revived. The sun was starting to come out again. Spring.

Now it was time for us to get married. We said our vows. We cried in the limo as we looked at the city lights. We explored the West Coast. We slow danced in parking lots to Sonny & Cher. We watched sunsets and kissed. We sold our house and all of our stuff to move to NYC. Shaun quit his corporate job to move on to better opportunities. I redesigned my blog and Shaun bragged to his friends and family about how proud he is of me. Summer was finally back.

Just like the seasons of life, relationships go through changes. We are all human, and you and your partner will never be 100% the same or agree on 100% of everything. So sometimes it’ll drive you crazy that he leaves his chapstick in his pants pocket and you don’t find it until after you do the laundry. And sometimes he’ll hear you chewing your food and get really irritated with you. But you two will also love each other fiercely and if you’re meant for one another, none of those little things will matter.

Yes, things are different now in some ways. We don’t make decisions out of lust, and we don’t confuse love with butterflies. I don’t get flowers or chocolate covered berries all the time. We don’t always have to be touchy feely. But when Shaun grabs my hand as he switches to walk on the traffic side of the sidewalk I know he’s saying that he loves me. And I don’t get a note every month on the 14th to tell me how much he loves me. I get his unconditional support. I get chicken noodle soup and a kiss on the forehead when I’m sick with strep throat. And an, “I love you, beautiful” even though I haven’t worn makeup or done my hair in 4 days. And every once in awhile, I’ll open a drawer or my laptop to find a hidden note. And it’ll bring me back to that first summer.

Relationships change shape and take different forms throughout the years. And sometimes there will be multiple winters, and not as many summers. But through those years you just have to remind yourself of past times and know that it’ll get better. The sun always comes back in the spring.

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