19 June 2012

Anniversary the second

Last year, I marked our first wedding anniversary with a whole week of posts:

The events before the big day
The where, when, and who of our wedding
All (well, most) of the things we DIY’d
Everything we didn’t DIY
The incredible feeling that comes from almost everyone you love being in one room
And of course, marriage. And all the beauty that comes with it.

Those posts are still some of my favorite posts on this blog, for the totally obvious reason that they document some of my favorite experiences of my life. If you missed them the first time around, you just might enjoy them today.

Because now Mr. P and I are here, at the end of Year Two of marriage, and the start of Year Three. This year though, rather than looking back to our wedding, I’m looking back even further. To before marriage.

To 2006, when Mr. P and I dressed up in coordinating costumes for Halloween. And to New Year’s 2007, and Christmas 2008, in the photos below. To when Mr. P and I were just dating, before we made those vows to be true to each other in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, and to love and honor each other all the days of our lives.

The other night on an evening walk, I was telling Mr. P about how, for me, marriage makes everything uncomplicated. That’s right, un-complicated. Because when you are dating (and of course by “you”, I clearly mean “me”), there’s a part of you that’s holding back. You think you are loving someone completely, and you can’t imagine that you could possibly love them any more than you do.

But you can. Because when you’re dating – even when you’re engaged – you are still looking out for yourself, on some level. You make decisions with a smidge of selfishness, because hey, what if he left tomorrow? Then when would you be? It’s just imprudent to not look after yourself, not to consider what’s best for you.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I happen to think that’s the way it should be, for the happiest and healthiest of couples. But gosh, it’s so conflicted. On one hand, you adore this person and wouldn’t want to do anything to jeopardize their happiness – or the relationship. But on the other... you really want to take this job. Or you really want to buy this house. And just how much should you consider them? Are you a better person if you include them in the decision-making? If you compromise? If you choose them over yourself?

Dating is hard and complicated and... awful, in retrospect. Because when you get married, all those complications go away.

I know that sounds opposite and wrong. And I do understand why some people would say marriage is harder than dating. You’re juggling what two people want, not just what you want, and sometimes what you want is very different from what the spouse wants, AND YOU ARE STUCK WITH EACH OTHER. But marriage provides a clear answer: it’s no longer whether you should choose what’s best for yourself, or what’s best for your partner. The gut reaction is to do what’s best for the both of you. For the health of the marriage. Always. No second-guessing.

It’s what you promised.

And by “you”, I still mean “me”. ME. I hated being a girlfriend, compared to being a wife.

Now that Mr. P and I are past the BIG! IMPORTANT! FIRST ANNIVERSARY! and are at our second anniversary, it’s clear that June 19 has become “just” another holiday on our calendar, like the ones above. That’s okay with me, to just be comfortable with the day. It’s a special day, of course, and it’s one worth celebrating (because our wedding day was ah-maz-ing). But remembering the wedding isn’t as important as remembering the marriage, with the effort that we put into this marriage every day of the year, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health.

All the days of our lives.

Soo... good thing it’s easier than dating.

I love you, Mr. P. Happy second anniversary.


Christal said...

Happy HAPPY anniversary, Ps!

Mom P. said...

Happy Anniversary, David and Sarah.

Rachel C said...

Happy Anniversary!!

And thanks for a beautiful post about marriage. Marriage is wonderful.

Tina said...

Remembering that special night two years ago still makes me so happy - just pay no attention to the tears... Happy Anniversary to you both! I love you!

Laura S said...

You know, I haven't even been around you guys all that much, but you're still one of my favorite couples. Many more happy anniversaries to you both. :)