This past summer my wife and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary.
What a special thing for me to write. And with the coming and going of that day, I guess it is easy to ask myself 1) what is the significance of that first year and 2) did I learn anything?
Well the easy answer is 1) tons and 2) you’re darn right I did. I felt it would be beneficial for me to think and write about it, so here are some of my thoughts.
First, perhaps I have started to develop an understanding of one of the points of my friend’s homily during our ceremony. This point was that he believed we were ready to enter marriage because we had reached a point in our respective lives of love for ourselves, an understanding of who we are as individuals – our own hopes and dreams and faults and failures altogether. Though at the time, I admit I didn’t really understand this, I do now. Without that love and understanding of self, this past year would have been much more difficult.
For example, as I sit and think about the times we have disagreed as a couple; it has usually been the times when I have felt out of sync with myself. A continued understanding of this will help us grow together. It is interesting then for me as I take that reflection one step further. I feel most in sync with myself when I feel in sync with God - when I am devoting time to prayer and service. I find this synchrony directly translates to excitement about my foreseeable path in life, and makes me even more excited because that foreseeable path involves spending it with my wife. Awesome.
And then I have considered the meaning of the often said phrase “marriage involves sacrifice.” …which ‘defining’ things of my first 29 years did I give up in order to make this marriage work? I guess it may seem odd, but honestly I feel basically like not much. Sure, I have not done a few things here and there which I may have done otherwise, but it seems that the result of that decision each time to do something or spend time with her has always resulted in more harmony and understanding of who we are as a couple. Since I voluntarily made a commitment to her to make her needs and our growth as a couple a priority (and I am a man of my word J), I don’t find it overly difficult to do such things. Really, it seems that sacrificing things of self enable me to better understand my love for her, and this feels great.
And then there is also the old adage that “marriage is hard work.” Yeah, I guess that is true. However, of the more recent years of my life which I can remember very clearly, I don’t think any year has been as easy or as fun as this past one. Challenges are easy with her to depend on. Fun things are more fun with her involved in them.
During our ceremony I recall that we were given a blessing that we were to live our life as one spirit. When I realize that I have accepted that blessing fully, I find something proven of what I already felt to be true – that God’s love is life giving. If I take the example of JC – the humble servant himself, I find that doing things for her energizes me again and again to get up and do it again the next day. This then has many implications of how I can interact with the world as a whole – I can use the love and energy I get from her as a springboard to spread that same love to others… Man, this marriage thing is getting better and better the more I think about it.
My dad once spoke to me many years ago about marriage – he said that marriage is not a union of , a temporary set up, or even a way to beat loneliness… to succeed in marriage we have to commit to our love and to each other each day. At that time I must have thought, “wow, that sounds terrible and really hard.” However, after a year of it I feel like as long as we continue to love ourselves, keep our spiritual connection a priority, and continue to understand the concept of self-sacrifice, this whole marriage thing is not nearly as difficult as it sounds.
Thanks for reading and special thank you to my super awesome wife for being well, super awesome I guess.