On my wedding day, I was nearly six years deep into my relationship.
When I said my vows and dotted the lines of my marriage license, I knew exactly who I was signing up for. Chad, the once-boy in my life, now an educated, goofy, and handsome man, was and is my best friend. I knew him then as I do now—like an extension of myself.
And, I might add, Chad is even more sweet and cute and funny and wonderful and loving now, even if I didn’t think it possible at the time.
What I was signing up for, though, has evolved over the course of the three years since saying “I do.”
I’m in love, I have my person, and we continue to grow and care for each other and our needs. In my case, marriage on its own is not very difficult. Loving Chad, committing to him, imagining and planning for and moving toward forever—easy. It’s a piece of cake, it’s a toothy grin, it’s a dance through the sprinklers on a sunny day.
Life, however, isn’t always as effortless.
Guess what? Life and marriage connect on an intrinsic level. Like the moon and its entranced tide, one moves and the other follows. When life is hard, marriage—regardless of strength and standing—is affected. It just is; how you treat each other, support each other, and grow together is magnified and tested during trying times.
I did not know what I was signing up for, because there’s no way to totally predict the movements of life. Though you can expect normal stressful moments in marriage relating to money, jobs, chores, and communication, it’s pretty hard to expect a global pandemic to come along and tug the rug out from under you. Life has unfathomable moments, and our three years (let alone the last six months) has been a testament to that.
Now, on our third wedding anniversary, I have fresh perspective, in addition to an endless reel of beautiful memories.
Here’s what I have come to know: the who of marriage determines the outcome of the what. And in my case:
My partner makes my lows bearable.
My person makes shared experiences adventurous.
My husband makes the mundane exciting.
And above all, Chad makes my life warm and full of sunshine.
Happy anniversary, Chad. I love you endlessly, and the life we are building together. Cheers to you, me, and three.