On Being Married – Half a Year

by justine

I mailed out our wedding thank-yous today, which is perfect because it’s our 6 month anniversary. People ask us over and over again, “So, how’s it being married?”

At first, it was a relief. Look at all of this time we have, the freedom of our energy and finances. It seemed our life was finally going to become so “normal” and we’d go on, literally, happily ever after.

For the first 4 months, I didn’t even understand I had expectations. Our relationship has always had ups and downs, just like anyone’s. Some weeks we’re kissing and hugging, others we’re touchy, ready to snap, most weeks have a casual and loving shine to them. Safety. Love. Comfort.

I didn’t understand that I expected something to change, for better or worse (pun intended) post-vows.
But of course, expectations are there to be challenged, shattered even.

Life went on post-wedding. I went back to work. H spent the rest of his summer break and then returned to work too. He made a spur-of-the-moment decision to start grad school. I was beyond supportive, thinking it was a perfect opportunity for him, and in turn, for us. I was sucked up into the vortex of work events and traveling. He was hardly home, working 12 or 15 hour days. All of a sudden, we were on parallel schedules and had different priorities.

  • I didn’t realize how much I expected our relationship to deepen because we’d gotten married.
  • I didn’t realize how much I wanted our relationship to become immediately awesome and even possibly, problem free because we were now husband and wife.
  • I didn’t realize how much I wanted him to act as if everything was more serious / important / special because we made our vows

To my credit, I never thought “We made a mistake. We never should’ve gotten married”. It’s not that, I know, though the idea of having made a life-long commitment still freaks me out. Sometimes I think we’re nuts for having taken the plunge, like what were we thinking in the sense of messing with a good thing.

But what I’ve realized after 6 months of being married is…

Our relationship has needs. We have needs. And if we’re not making those needs and “us” a priority, the rest of life rushes in to take its place. It’s up to us to create us.

We’re awesome, whether we’re married or not, in the same apartment or not, on the same page or not. So much of me wants things to be balanced and non-confrontational, but that’s not what life is. We’re two whole human beings, trying to live our lives together. There are bound to be differences, long conversations, miscommunications. But we always try to support each other, and we’re damn good together.

– It’s up to me to define and ask for what I need. And it’s up to me to be my own best friend, loving and listening, and doing all I can to fulfill my own needs. The more I depend on him for my happiness, the more miserable I can be. Yes, he makes me happy, but I am the one responsible for my happiness. I get to choose how I experience all of this.

I’m not the only one. At Christmas dinner we all shared challenges and successes of 2012. And he said, “Being a husband. Having a wife” which made me love him even more. He felt the stress, the shifts too. He understands that I want more or that he needs to focus his energy. Being married is not easy, but I’m not in this alone.

– I am proud of us. We’ve been together 10 years, through 3 colleges, 5 states, long-distance, 3 apartments just in LA and the crazy year of our wedding and honeymoon. We’re still in love, we’re still happy together, and we have built and are building an awesome life.

– I am blessed. Whether or not he can read my mind, he always tries to give me what I want. Whether or not I am easy-going enough for him, I always try to go along with his fun plans. And at the end of the day, I love him – for how he treats me, how he lives his life and for how funny and smart he is.

I picked a good one. And I can only trust he feels the same.

“Where you invest your love, you invest your life”
Mumford and Sons