Today marks 14 years of
wedded bliss marriage for Dave and I. In all honesty, there were many times in our relationship I didn’t think we’d make it. But I am grateful that here we are, together. When I think about the “how,” I am drawn to the insights of expectation, communication, adventure, and independence.
- Expectation. If “comparison is the thief of joy,” then expectation is the nuclear bomb decimating a marital landscape. Early on in our marriage, we spent the majority of our time together trying to fit into some preconceived mold of a godly marriage. Me: domestic goddess, children maker, quiet and humble, meek and submissive, the puppy dog following the master. Dave: manly man, leader extraordinaire and money maker, choice taker and future determiner, calculating and decisive. (I may be exaggerating, but sadly not by much.) It doesn’t work…because it was not who we were. It is not who we are. And living an inauthentic life alone is difficult enough, much less with another person also faking it. We have learned that the minute “should” enters into the conversation (“we should be doing x; we should have y; we should look like z”), trouble breweth.
- Adventure. We left the midwest for a lifestyle that drew us…a life of adventure. From naps during afternoon thunderstorms to reading lazily in porch swings to traveling near and far to climbing mountains to yoga to petting wolves to brewery tours to nights in a tent to feet in a stream to identifying wildflowers and birds to shared goals of running in all 50 states. We adventure big. We adventure small. We adventure together.
- Independence. We also adventure independently. I have traveled to Puebla and London. Dave backpacks alone in a wilderness. Dave plays his guitar. I write. Despite the plethora of shared interests between my best friend and I, what keeps us interesting is our individual commitments to our private selves.
- Communication. Dave and I make a lot of mistakes and have some issues with which we perpetually contend. However, what I am most grateful for is that we talk about them. All of them. All of the time. Nothing is off the conversation table. We openly and freely and deeply talk about politics, sex, finances, fears, regrets, work, what-ifs, frustrations, pet peeves, attractions, dirty jokes and divine mysteries. And above all else, this has saved us. It is the key to identifying and working through expectations. It is the key to fighting fairly. It is the key to moving forward. It is the key to feeling safe and connected. It is the key to adventures together and apart. Communication. Is. Everything.
To Dave, the one I get to live this glorious life with, happy anniversary. I love you.