Happy Cotton Anniversary to us! We've known each other for so long that it seems we've been married for much longer than that, and yet I also can't quite believe that our wedding day was a whole two years ago.
It was indeed one of the best days of my life. We had planned everything just the way we wanted, and it was such a great time to spend with the most important people in our life, and above all it to cement our lifelong commitment to each other before God.
|Our titanium wedding rings resting on my bouquet of roses & sweetpeas|
In two years we've learnt a lot, and yet there is still much more to learn. I've recently read a lot of material, mostly by other Christians, that I can't quite agree with, particularly focusing on the role of the woman as the perfect housewife, maintaining a good appearance, and generally being fabulous and always obedient to her husband. I hate all the 'tips' that people give for 'how to be a good wife.' I'm not saying I'm figuring it out alone, but I do believe that there is so much more to a marriage than following a magazine-esque list of bullet points lacking in true substance. Below is a brief description of what our marriage looks like right now - it's a partnership, and we're in this together:
I truly believe that the five years of friendship prior to our becoming a couple has given our relationship strength, and an understanding of each other that we would have lacked had we only just met. We'd also been through a lot together emotionally already, as the love side of things was initially one-sided. It took me a long time to reciprocate my husband's feelings, and both of us grew up a lot and learnt a lot about ourselves during those difficult times. Despite all that we were very close friends, and although the unrequited love was frequently the elephant in the room, we have many great memories from our earlier friendship.
Once we became a couple, and on into marriage, our friendship has continued to grow. We go on lots of adventures together, we take time to enjoy and learn more about the things each other likes, and we've found new hobbies together. We're also content in each other's company at home, without needing to say much. Other times we can't stop talking.
We cook together or for each other. We like to surprise each other with little 'acts of service.' We each have our own chores that we do better than the other, but both of us are notorious for our inability to stay on top of housework in general. I've been learning not to bear too much guilt as the wife, as I frequently feel that I'm the one that should be managing it all (reference back to those perfect housewife bloggers - grrr). We both have our roles to play in the house. Indeed, there are certain chores where we both work much better together than alone.
We have healthy debates about issues we're passionate about - Christianity, science, politics, and social justice. But we argue too, often about minor issues but sometimes bigger ones. Marriage does not mean freedom from conflict, but our disagreements do give us the opportunity to understand each other more and to grow closer. It has taught us to compromise, and to respect each other. We have both benefitted from taking a step back and reassessing our opinions on certain things. We've also both grown in humility as a result.
We still make time for romance too. We have a 'date night' once a week, but in reality what that means is an 'evening together'. Most of the time we stay in, devoting the time to each other. We will go out 'on a date' perhaps every couple of months or so, in part due to finances and time constraints, but those evenings are always special. We are also able to be spontaneous, and so can have a romantic day or evening out at random. Those moments are treasured by us now, as such occasions won't always be possible in the future.
So, our marriage is probably much like anybody else's. It's not extraordinary. It's not easy. It's not perfect. But it is beautiful, it is an adventure, and choosing to marry each other was the best decision we ever made.
Here's to two rollercoaster years of weathering storms, dealing with stresses, adventures, brewing, chilling, discovering, planning, talking, loving, and to being the very best of friends!
Photo by our wedding photographer, Jess Foreman.