Happy Anniversary to the Mister and me! What I wrote on our wedding day basically sums up our relationship, and though it has grown and changed over the past year, I feel like that post is "us" and always will be. There's not much I can say about him or us that I haven't said already.
What I can say, is what a journey this year has been. I had come to see marriage as merely a "legal technicality" in a way. We had lived together 16 months before we wed. I didn't think that our commitment was changing or that marriage was going to be any different from what we already had.
I was wrong.
I can honestly say that "piece of paper" makes a huge difference in a relationship. It provides security, yes. And it also takes away independence. There were times that this year I truly understood the whole "the first year is the worst" statement, even though I thought our first year living together should've counted (and it was far from difficult!).
But that first year of marriage IS different. Suddenly there's no 'escape clause.' You don't have the freedom of thinking that you can draw a line and walk away if it gets difficult. Suddenly you have to weigh every disagreement and disappointment against the consequences of leaving, which is now a legal step.
Suddenly you feel a little more secure knowing your partner also has to weigh those consequences.
You fight a little less fair. You test each other a little more. You push the boundaries a little harder.
This year wasn't always easy. It certainly wasn't perfect. It was equally rewarding and difficult.
But at the end of our first year together, I can honestly say we are closer. We love each other more, and in new ways. We've learned about each other the things we may have never known had we not been married. We've grown and changed individually and as a couple. As a family. More than anything, we walked through the good times and the bad and we are happy.
I look SO forward to many more years together, full of love and hope. The best thing is knowing we can get through the tough times. Knowing no matter how rough things get, we are in this together, we love each other, and we value our relationship and our family enough to MAKE it work even when the world seems to be against us. Having that one person by your side who knows you, loves you, irritates you, pushes you, holds you, helps you, and lives FOR you.
I'm blessed. I'm happy. And for the first time in my life I truly understand marriage. It is a LOT of work, but the rewards far outweigh the effort put into it.
Happy Anniversary Mister. I love you.