Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Today my husband and I celebrate are 3rd anniversary. Our marriage started off rock solid, against adversity. The small community we were involved in was against us, but there was a pull between us so strong we decided we needed to give us a try and left that group. 

Our lives together have never been easy but we were always strong together. We were our support, our comic relief, our partners in every step. Our first 24 months of marriage we made our foundation. Little did we know how much we would need that in the next year.

This last year has been a real test of your relationship. A test we have seemed to pass but not with great grades. Now I feel I must remind you, how I write, I don't sugar coat  things. I write in the raw. I write my real and honest feelings. I don't like to let you believe life is all rainbows and roses. I am a real person with real life issues. But I do try to leave it with a positive, with hope, with solutions. Now with the honesty.

I've heard the 2nd year of marriage is the worst. That many marriages don't make it past that year. There's just something about it, maybe coming out of the honeymoon phase or maybe starting families, but it's a hard one. And for us, I wish it was one we could erase from our memories. In it we've discovered things about each other, ourselves, our relationship, our families and our world that have done a number on Us. Are we stronger after this year? No. Are we as strong as we were coming into in? No. Will we make it past the past? We're trying our hardest. Will we ever be the same? No, but maybe we'll be stronger. Maybe knowing what we've come through, in our relationship, we'll be able to walk with more grace and more patience with each other.

We've experienced extended family divide, lying, honest to goodness the most ugly fighting and name calling, depression, anxiety, isolation, financial chaos, denial, finger pointing, and total loss of communication, just to name a few. I know I've allowed resentments build up between us and try as I might to stop them, they creep in, regularly. My expectations of him, and of myself, are all over the place, too high, too low, never the same two days in a row. I try talking to him and he's shut down. We've made discoveries about how far (or low) we can each go. The issue respect has been tested to its fullest. I have lost some for him and vice versa.

Where it used to be us it has become he and I. This is the biggest loss by far. When we moved here we were Us. Where we are now in our lives we still need to be Us. But we are you and me. His things are his and mine are mine. In some things this is probably best but as a foundation of a marriage its not. And how did we get here? By being our "onlys". Here we have nobody but Us. There was no one else here to vent to, to cry on, to socialize with. We became the only other each had. For us this has been our curse. We need each other, but we need others just as much, friends.

I recognize and see my faults, even though I'm really bad at keeping myself from indulging in them. And he has made some self discoveries also. Coming to grips with what is "bad" about ones self is not easy, and even harder is making changes for the better. It takes a strength many don't have, a clarity, a want, and sometimes a need. There's a place I want to be, to live, in my life. A place where I'm serene, joyful, full of grace, soul-full. And I can't be that person and the one I became with my husband. So I move forward bit by bit, to get there. I can be successful by myself but since this is Our marriage, our life, I'm in, I need my husband to work towards those things too. Once upon a time we were. And then they weren't.

He and I talk about how we're not the same as before we moved here. That this experience has yet to make us stronger, but that we hope someday, we'll move beyond it and be stronger for it. But we do question if the changes we each have gone though and those we have had together, as Us, are ones we can make it through. Can we let go of resentments, of the past, of the hurt we caused and heal us? I think we can (like The Little Engine says), since we both, in our hearts, want it soo much. We are strong in our love for each other. We need to work on regaining respect and letting go of resentments. We need to work on being the true people we are, and letting go of that around us. But this is hard work, much like life and parenting, and will take both of us to do our parts alone and together.

Tree of Life pendant
But we are moving towards healing. The major stressors are gone, and lessons have be learned. We're trying to communicate better. He talking more so I don't feel like I'm just nagging and me trying to hear him better (when he talks). Me trying not to speak of the negatives and him trying to let things out. Some days we just have to take it one day at a time. Others we notice have been good for many.

This year is the first year were we've been able to get each other real gifts. I got him a machete, to substitute for the one he lost when we first got here (can't replace it as it was a wedding gift). And he, and this is big!, thought out and got me a beautiful Tree of Life pendant from Wooly Moss Roots. One I've had my eye on for a bit! 

Moving into our third year of marriage I hope will bring good things. More growth and more opportunities. We are not done in our dreams and continue to hold the same ones, so we move forward in our journey together, together.

We are a tree. He is the roots keeping us grounded, I am the branches pulling us skyward to touch our dreams.

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