I always knew I wanted an intimate wedding. Nothing big, flashy, or dramatic. I only wanted our closest family and friends there to celebrate with us. Before the actual day came around, I had visions of love and laughter. The theme song for our wedding was Adventure of a Lifetime. I had curated an impeccable song list for our DJ to accentuate each juncture of the night- from the exchange of the traditional vows to the departure down the aisle as a newly married couple. It would all reflect our union and our momentous day: August 13, 2016.
Just like most girls who dream of their big day down to the very last detail, I also had a dream of what my marriage would be like. I wanted the romance, the constant loving husband who was never allowed to have a bad day, the gestures of love in all forms- I wanted it all. I expected perfection and what I got was the opposite. Our wedding day went off without a hitch but the marriage that followed was one that I did not envision living.
I’ve often heard that the hardest part of any marriage is that first monumental year. My husband and I didn’t know it at the time, but we were on a crash course that would test our young vows. It was a perfect storm of individual unresolved issues colliding with past resentment culminating in an ideal recipe for disaster. The hardest part of all this was not being able to communicate our struggles with family and friends. We felt like it was something we needed to solve and cope with on our own. Eventually, we found ourselves at a dangerous bridge; that bridge represented moving forward with each other or forging ahead on separate paths.
I knew deep down I was ashamed to find ourselves at such a difficult roadblock so early on in our marriage. I think part of this reason is also because of how marriage can sometimes be portrayed by society around us. Our culture is overly saturated with a disproportionate and unrealistic image of marriage. Girls are often raised believing that marriage is the journey’s ultimate destination; marriage equals supreme happiness. That perfect wedding day held so much weight for me, a weight that ultimately suffocated me with my own shame.
In some ways, my husband and I always knew we’d come upon that bridge, but we didn’t anticipate it being the biggest decision we’d come to make as a newly married couple. Just like the chorus and verses of any song, the bridge is just as vital in connecting the past with the future. We chose to work on our marriage- to create a new path and start fresh. With much thought, time, consideration, communication, and therapy, my husband and I finally got back in sync. It wasn’t a perfect journey back, but perfection was no longer the goal. We wanted to recommit to each other, so we contacted the reverend who married us on that former perfect day and broke new ground with our own vows.
That was almost 4 years ago. I’m very careful about how I portray my marriage now. While it’s still no one else’s business, I don’t want people from the outside looking in to think I have the ideal marriage, nor do I want to understate the wonderful aspects of my marriage either. I don’t have any profound marriage advice, after all we’re still babies compared to other marriages but what has helped us through the rough times is laughter. Always seek laughter. And when you find it, do it until you can hardly breathe; fall on your knees, let the tears run down your cheeks and laugh your freakin’ ass off. Happy 5th.
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