the first year.

so i’ve been married a year now. which seems incredible. i’m not shocked to have been married for a year, like it is some crazy accomplishment because i plan on being married to this woman for the next 75 years or so, give or take. it’s just shocking how fast this year has gone.

it’s shocking how much you really begin to rely on a person, how much you realize you need someone besides yourself to get by. i waited a long time to get married, i was 32 when i said i do.  i recommend not getting married before you are 30, especially men. it is not a myth that we mature at a much, let’s say, less rapid pace than women. in my 20’s i was fully committed to living for myself, doing what i wanted and when i wanted to do what i wanted. it was all about me. and i don’t regret that. i’m only pretty sure that if i had been married during those years, it would have been pretty difficult for whoever would have had the pleasure of dealing with me. it’s not that i’m a finished product by any stretch, just ask my wife about that, but i am in a much better place to be relied on, leaned on and trusted with someone else’s life and dreams and desires than before. at least i hope so.

marriage brings out the best and worst in each other. my favorite things about being with my wife are the simple things, i always having a dance partner at weddings and a travel partner for vacations. i don’t have to sleep alone and when i want to try out a new restaurant i have a beautiful woman excited to go with me. i get to dream big and better yet, i have someone who has even bigger dreams right next to me. sometimes we fight about stupid stuff, but never the big things and i like it that way. fighting about important things is scary and it’s a fear i never have to face because she and i are usually on the same page about those things. of course, fighting about little things can lead to big things but usually we can just laugh and say, remember when we fought about [insert silly fighting topic here] and then we are over it.

i don’t mean to glorify our marriage. it’s not perfect and we don’t try to be. we are both flawed, me more so than her, and in marriage those flaws are illuminated. my wife and i are also incredibly opposite in many ways. she despises being home alone with no one to keep her company, i look forward to uninterrupted nights watching a big sporting event at home. her idea of the perfect night always involves playing euchre or some sort of card game, i’d rather have teeth pulled. well not really, i’ve had teeth pulled. i’m a spender, she’s a saver. she’s a country girl at heart, i relax when i hear noise. all of these differences make us better at being together. we draw from each other and though sometimes for both of us it is like getting teeth pulled, we are better for it.

this first year of marriage has been an wild ride. we’ve been to more funerals and visitations in the past year than we have probably in our entire lives. we’ve seen tragedy strike our friends and family that you usually only see on television and movies. we’ve witnessed close friends getting married and friends announce they are having babies. we’ve traveled from one coast to the other and places in between. i’ve heard it said many times that the first year of marriage is the most difficult. if that’s the case, if this was the hardest, then the next 74 years will be truly amazing. marriage isn’t just an obligation to someone else. it’s a gift. really. i don’t write sappy stories very often, but when it comes to my wife, i sometimes cannot help myself. it’s not a “have to”, it’s a “get to”. we get to do this together. we get to be happy together, we get to mourn together, we get to travel together, we get to dream together. it’s actually pretty awesome and i’m pretty happy she chose me.

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