My marriage has taught me more about love than just about anything.
As many of you know, Randy and I started dating when we were still in high school. Watching someone go from being just my friend, to my crush, to my high school sweetheart, to my missionary, to my fiance, it all was so crazy and full of transitions.
But the biggest transition was going from all of that, to full-time husband and wife.
You see the thing is, Randy and I already knew SO much about each other. We were well past the “honeymoon stage” so to speak, when we got married. There were already habits about each other that we found annoying, and we already weren’t afraid to fight. I’m not saying we weren’t crazy newlyweds, because we were and still are, but over the years we had seen things about each other and knew each other. But that didn’t mean marriage was easy. It was going from a comfortable cadence that we already had, to shifting everything. It was about every, single decision that we made being about the other person instead of about ourselves. It was about forgetting our past to an extent, and plowing forward.
A lot of people say the first year of marriage is the hardest, and for us it 100% was.
But that first year of marriage taught me more about myself, and about love, than I could have ever imagined.
I learned about what vulnerability really looks like. I really understood for the first time the power we give to the people we love. I know with a word, Randy could utterly destroy me, and I could do that to him. Love is about giving someone your very heart and soul, fully knowing that sometimes they’re going to mess up and hurt you. It’s giving them that power anyway, and taking that from them and working so hard to build and love.
I learned about forgiveness. Randy forgave me time and time again for a million little mistakes, and I learned how to not pick and hold a grudge about every little thing.
I learned about choosing words carefully, about saying things with love, about honesty and communication.
I learned that relationships take work because people aren’t perfect. But you can still be 100% perfect for each other without being perfect individuals.
I learned about being strong for each other, leaning on each other, and never forgetting what is most important to me.
I learned that being an individual is important, but that’s not as important as being one with my husband. It’s a hard line to walk, the balance between not losing your identity and being in a marriage. But I 100% know that I need Randy. And I had to learn to be OK with needing someone, relying on someone, being dependent on him. It’s not a bad thing, it’s the best thing for our marriage. We need each other, we depend on each other, we make decisions for each other and our family.
Now, some of you are probably thinking that Randy and I fought all the time and that we don’t really love each other, which couldn’t be further from the truth! Every relationship has hard times, as well as great times, and we have had so many wonderful and amazing times together. We’re not perfect, our relationship isn’t perfect, but I wouldn’t change one single thing about it, past or present.
Being married to my best friend opened my eyes to so many things, and Valentine’s Day gave me every opportunity to express and relish in that love. I just love love, this month full of love and hope, and the chance we all have to strengthen relationships and learn even more about loving.