On our wedding day, we fail to give in to the idea that marriage can be anything but happy. 14 years in and I can say that marriage is not what I expected on our big day. Trying to write our love story is hard. There are moments that can’t be expressed through words.
As I look back on today and all the feelings that I felt, I can’t help but smile. Not 1 ounce of me was nervous as we stood in front of a judge to read our vows. Only knowing you for a year and still, everything felt right, perfect, and meant to be.
In March of 2005, without even meeting me in person, you knew exactly what to say. You still do to this day. You were the first to love my broken shell. You were the first that truly gave a damn about me. And all from thousands of miles away.
Our love story is unlike many others. We played a version of Love is Blind before it was a TV show on Netflix. You swept me off my feet through conversation. Long-distance love will do that. It was painful in the moment because all I wanted was to be with you every day. Struggling mentally as you reminded me daily that life would get better. To think that our relationship started with a message, “I don’t know where you live but here is my phone number. Call me.”
I remember your voice on that first phone call. After hours of talking to each other, pouring out my deepest and darkest secret, you didn’t flinch. You made me feel worthy of life, of love, and of you. I told you before we hung up that first time that I was gonna marry you. I instantly knew.
There have been fights. There have been tears. There have been moments that should have tore us apart. This is marriage. Marriage is getting irritated with each other on opposite days. Trying to fall asleep while the other one is snoring. Picking up dirty laundry from the floor. Having children but different views on how to raise them. But more importantly, there have been moments you stood by me.
Rubbing my back as I threw up in the toilet for 100+ weeks as I carried our 3 babies.
Looking me in the eyes, holding my hand, and telling me that I could deliver our children. That I was strong enough to continue on. Watching you with tears in your eyes when you saw those 3 babies for the first time. Kissing me on the forehead telling me that I did it. Barely getting the words, “it’s a boy” and “it’s a girl”, out without breaking down.
Watching as you couldn’t contain the excitement when our kids began to crawl then walk and reach every other milestone. Continuing to do so to this day. Celebrating the great report cards, the new words that they learn, and listening to the fighting as we sit on the couch and grin at each other as we each say, “they are just like you.”
Seeing you cheer on our kids in the stands of their sporting events. Seeing you get out the first aid kit anytime someone has a boo boo (including me). This part has seemed to amp up with Iliza. She has your level of clumsiness.
These past years have had tears of happiness, tears of sadness, and tears of anger. These past years have shown us how resilient we are and how strong our love is. It hasn’t always been pretty. Marriage takes work and dedication. 14 years in and I am still learning how to do all of this. We say that every year a new challenge comes with our children. It is the same for our marriage. We are learning and growing every day. Some days are harder than others. Some days it would be easier to walk away but then knowing you wouldn’t be sleeping beside me changes all of that.
You taught me how to accept love. You taught me that I was worthy of love. You made me feel as if I was the most beautiful woman in the world. Our kids will know that marriage isn’t all about feeling good, complying with each other, or easy. Our kids will know that marriage is about finding a middle ground. Knowing that we aren’t always going to agree on what is best but finding out what works for everyone. That marriage is about giving up the ideals of life and living in the raw and emotional moments. That love doesn’t always come easy but in the end, it is ALWAYS worth it.
Happy 14th anniversary. Not a day goes by that I take you for granted. You have shaped my world in ways that I can’t express. We are in this together and we are stuck with each other forever.