I can’t believe it, but my one year wedding anniversary is today. I’m shocked by how quickly the time has gone by!
It’s been an exciting and eventful year for Andrew and I: new beginnings and adventures, ups and downs, happy times and tough moments. One thing that remained front and center in our marriage for the last 365 days was the opportunity to grow as a team and as individuals. Now I am aware we’ve experienced only the tip of the marriage iceberg with just a year under our belt, but it’s amazing how much you can realize in a short amount of time.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
Marriage is a partnership like no other. I’ve heard many people describe their spouses in all sorts of ways: best friend, soulmate, caregiver, protector, supporter—the list goes on. I don’t think there’s one word to encompass all that a spouse is and does, but the connection I share with Andrew is remarkable. Us getting married was a sacred, special and lifelong union that we chose. You can’t pick your parents or your siblings or even your children, and even though you do have a choice over who your friends are, the companionship you develop with your spouse as you go through the joys and pains of life together is more profound and unlike any other relationship.
Marriage is far from perfect. It took some time getting used to this one, but the truth is you can’t expect your spouse to be everything for you. I am not perfect. Andrew is not perfect. We are far from perfect because people are imperfect. No one can do everything right and give their partner everything he/she wants or needs in a marriage, but guess what? That’s okay! No human was meant to fulfill this role. The silver lining in this situation is even though I know I can’t meet every one of Andrew’s expectations and vice versa, both of us want to and try to. As a result, we strive to be better versions of ourselves to serve each other.
But the biggest lesson I’ve learned in the last year is:
Marriage is all about GRACE. The first year of marriage is enlightening because it’s a transitional phase that clearly reveals it isn’t about you anymore. I had to train my mind to put Andrew’s needs before my own selfish ones. (I’m still working on this and have a feeling I will be for my entire marriage!) It is said that marriage is a compromise; it’s about sacrificing what you want for the happiness of the other person. There is certainly truth to that statement, but I think a more accurate description of marriage is each person’s commitment to giving grace to their partner. We all fall short. We make mistakes. We don’t live up to each other’s expectations. But the beauty of grace is not getting what you deserve when you mess up. An endless supply of grace by both people is necessary not only for the marriage to survive, but for it to thrive.
I’m not sure if you noticed, but I haven’t mention the word “love” yet (insert gasp). It’s not because love isn’t important in a marriage—love and marriage are two sides of the same coin in my book—but from what I’ve seen and experienced, it is grace developed out of love for your partner that sustains a marriage over a lifetime.
Happy One Year, Andrew!
Sunday, September 17, 2017