With that piece of paper comes a lot of responsibility to each other. It is not that we didn't feel we had that responsibility to each other before, but that little piece of paper does mean something. We made a commitment in front of all of our family and friends, and in front of God. This marriage is not something I entered into lightly. My hubby knows that (as I often tell him) "he's stuck with me!" As I sit here typing, I find it hard to come up with the words that accurately describe this shift in our relationship after the wedding. Despite that, it is clear in my mind that there was one. It's a sense of seriousness, or a maturity I guess. We are bound together now: legally bound, and bound in our love for each other. I feel a responsibility to be the best "me" not only for myself anymore, but for him as well.
A marriage takes constant work, no matter how much you love each other. You have to work to keep that *spark* alive. Not just because you're worried it will fade away, but because your spouse deserves to have the best of you and vice versa. It is too easy to fall into routines and become complacent.
You have to work at communicating too. We are all different and communicate in different ways. My hubby and I are complete opposites in just about every way. I love to talk about everything and he'd just assume let things blow over and forget about it. So, it takes effort from both of us. Sometimes I have to accept that he doesn't want to talk and talking would just make the situation worse for him, and sometimes he has to talk when he'd rather not because that's what I need. It's all a balancing act.
Finances are also a common problem couples face. Again, my hubby and I are complete opposites. I'm a saver. I like to save as many pennies as possible because you never know when you might need it. When I buy things, I feel guilty. Yes, I know I shouldn't feel guilty buying things for myself once in awhile, but it is just how I am. The things I want are BIG, like a house and a retirement fund and security, so saving helps me get closer to those things. I also pay all the bills and handle all the finances, so I see the numbers every day. My hubby on the other is a spender. Don't get me wrong, he works VERY hard and deserves to buy things for himself. But he does not see the numbers every day and he doesn't think about the big things like I do. The things he wants, he wants them now! I would say that finances are the source of the majority of our arguments. This won't ever change because this is how we are, but we have learned to compromise. He has learned at times to back off the spending to allow me to save towards the things I want, and I have tried to accept that it is ok if he buys things for himself. We deserve to be happy now too, not just in the future.
I could go on and on about our differences and the work it takes every single day. This sounds like such a drag, doesn't it?! Definitely doesn't sound like the fairy tale every little girl dreams of. But it's not a drag at all! So it takes some work, so what?? Every second is worth it. It is my fairy tale. This man loves me with every ounce of his being. I see it in his eyes when he smiles at me. I feel it when he holds me tight and dances with me in the kitchen. I don't love him in spite of our differences, I love him because he is so different than me. I love that he balances my extremes and vice versa. I love that he loves me exactly the way I am. Other people may think I'm crazy. I'm very particular, some may even say anal, some say I nag. He loves me. Every marriage is sacred. No one knows how you interact and how the dynamic works between the two of you but you two. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. Our love goes beyond all these things. So it takes a little work. It's not easy, but it's more than worth it. Marriage isn't just about the wedding. Too many people think that. They think it should be that stereotypical fairy tale, the big fancy wedding and happily ever after. It's not. Nothing worthwhile comes easy. It takes work. When you figure that out and throw the fairy tale out the window, it isn't a chore to do that work. It is what marriage is. Plain and simple. You do what you have to to make that person you love so much happy. And you build your own, real life, happily ever after...