Marriage isn’t easy. It doesn’t often reflect what you see in the movies, or how you think it should be based off romance novels and reality TV. Marriage is actually really fucking hard at times, and it’s okay that it is; because sharing your everyday life with another adult can get frustrating as hell! What I don’t think most people realize, is that the dating, carefree and childless phase of a lifelong relationship, is rather short-lived in the grand scheme of things. In what feels like no time at all, the real world takes center stage and you find yourself knee-deep in bills, working too many hours, all while raising tiny humans and dealing with all that comes along with that. There’s loads laundry to be done (my God, so much laundry), exhaustion ensues, navigating in-laws and a family that you didn’t grow up with can be tough and this is all done while also working to remember why you fell in love in the first place, and why you want to stay in love. All of these day to day stressors are then magnified when you bring a new baby into the family.
As expecting parents, or new parents, we tend to focus solely on the beauty of expanding the family. The squishy, lovie fun and exciting things, which are amazing, are all that most of us plan for and expect. When you only hear and talk about the good, it can leave you feeling sad and defeated when bringing that sweet baby home gets hard and changes the dynamics of your marriage, which it 100% does, 100% of the time. So why don’t we talk about it? Why don’t we talk more about the hard stuff?
G and I did a pretty good job of navigating the world as a family of 4, in the beginning. We started to really suck at it right around the time Will decided to stop sleeping through the night at 8 months, all while growing a few teeth and being super pissed and in pain because of it. G had left her job of 18 years and the stress of canceling our Hawaii trip + financial burdens + Gracie acting out for a few weeks, had us fighting more than I’d like to admit.
We eventually weathered the shit storm and made it through to the other side, but not without a lot of hurtful words said to one another, days and days of not talking at all and some serious thoughts of spending a few days apart. It didn’t come to that, thankfully, but shit got hard. Like, really hard. The great thing about our marriage though, is that we’re both willing to admit when we overreact and when the fighting gets to a boiling point, it breaks our hearts and we always end up reach out to make things better. That happened about a week ago and following the making up, we went to dinner. At dinner Georgia asked me why I love her. I paused when she asked me this because I couldn’t remember the last time she asked me something like that and I couldn’t remember the last time I told her the reasons I love her.
We both decided to make a list of 10 reasons why we love each other, for each other. We decided to write 10 reasons why I choose her and why she chooses me and so that’s what we did. Below is my list, to my wife. I’m sharing this here to be transparent and show anyone out there admiring our happy pictures and reading our happy stories – that we’re a real family, with real problems. We aren’t perfect parents and we make mistakes often. We don’t have a perfect marriage. Far from it, but that’s ok. It’s all ok. It’s ok to feel jealous of other relationships that appear to be perfect. It’s ok to feel like you need a break from your kids when they’re draining you, and it’s ok to argue with your spouse and want to scream at them from time to time. These things are normal, so try not to beat yourself up when they happen.
Instead, trying writing your spouse a letter, or a list of why you chose them all those years ago and why you still choose them today.
To my wife, these are 10 of the many reasons I LOVE you – in no particular order :)
1. You have the softest lips and you’re a great kisser!
2. Our kids are the luckiest kiddos on the plant to have you as their Mommy. I love that you’re such a natural at mom-ing. Every decision you make and everything you do is with Gracie and Will in mind. You live to love and care for them and you make sure to show them in all of your interactions, that they are your entire world.
3. You completely get me. You know how I’m feeling just by looking at my face. You know my noises and what they mean and you know when I need you most.
4. I love that you’re an amazing daughter and take such great care of your parents. You are there for them in every way, whether it’s accompanying them to their weekly doctor appointments, helping them use electronics (oy vey!), lifting all the heavy things in their home or just being their go-to person for everything. They are so blessed to have you!
5. As you know, I love your booty. It my favorite of all your body parts!
6. You’re so dang handy and you aren’t afraid to learn how to do, build, create and install complex things, which I love! I appreciate that you’re never afraid to get on ladders, climb to the roof, or do anything else needed to care for our home and our things. I can’t even imagine all the money we’ve saved having never needed to call a handyman, lol.
7. I appreciate that you’ve taught me to be more patient, to hold onto less and to be more forgiving.
8. Your face. I love that it’s covered in freckles and that you have the longest lashes and full lips and you’re just so dang beautiful!
9. I love that you’re my #1 supporter and my biggest fan. You believe in me, even when I don’t believe in myself and you have no idea how much that helps ease my fears and anxiety.
10. And as cheesy as this last one may sound, I love that we have the same goals for the future and for our kids. The things that are most important to you, are also most important to me and I’m so thankful for that.
And there you have it.
There’s lots of other things I LOVE the most, but it’s probably not appropriate for me to write them here. ;)