Wednesday, June 30, 2010

three years

[warning: lengthy meditations on marriage to follow!]

And so it seems that another year of marriage has flown by. Three years. Three times we've celebrated the anniversary of our wedding.

Weddings have been on my mind a lot lately. With two of Matt's siblings being engaged, there is plenty of wedding-talk going on during family get-togethers. Naturally it causes me to reflect on my own wedding and the months of preparation that preceded it.

The other night, as I was talking with Matt's mom and sister (who will be married in August), we joked that it seems like the amount of effort and money spent planning a wedding is inversely related to the length and quality of the marriage. That is, the fancier/more expensive/more over-the-top/more planned the wedding...the less successful the marriage. And I'm sure that's a gross generalization and that there are many exceptions, but I still think the idea holds some water. I'm not sure if some people are out there getting married just for the party part...or what...but it seems like a lot of people aren't putting nearly the time and effort into planning their marriage as they're putting into planning their party.

Don't get me wrong--I loved my wedding. But even as I was planning it, it bothered me how much I was expected to care about everything. I'm a fairly detail-oriented person, but the questions that vendors and relatives and magazines and The Knot expected me to not only know the answers to, but to CARE about?? I mean, does it REALLY matter what kind of metal composes the pedestals that will hold the fruit platters? Wrought iron? Brushed nickle? Shiny silver? Does that matter? Should I be caring about this? What relevance will this make to my marriage?

And when I would respond to my vendors "I don't care, you decide" about these kinds of things, they would look at me as though I couldn't possibly be serious. Was I the only bride that really didn't care about that? I just always thought there would be more to marriage than whether the tablecloths were linen or silk. YOU're the one I hired to plan my wedding. I'm slightly more concerned with the quality of my marriage. That's what I thought. And I think I wasn't incorrect.

My wedding was beautiful-- in retrospect, there are very few things I would have changed (my major regret? No videographer. REALLY wish I'd thought through that one a little longer. Oh well). But more importantly, my marriage is beautiful. At least to me it is. We're certainly not perfect. And we have a lot to learn. But the time we invested in preparing for marriage (reading books, receiving counseling, talking about things that weren't easy, being discipled) has truly paid off. My wedding? Has no real relevance on my day-to-day life now, other than providing the pictures that grace the walls and tables of our home. But my marriage--my husband-- is my life, my shelter, and my rock.

Our third year of marriage had its fair share of ups and downs. As you know, we've been dealing with infertility for the past 19 months. I can completely see how that could wreck a marriage. I am so thankful that it seems only to have brought us closer-- and it isn't by accident. We continue to intentionally invest in our relationship. We seek the counsel of people who know more about marriage and life than we do. We pray that God would teach us to love one another, and we fight to be one of the (few, it seems) couples who truly keep their wedding vows forever.

Don't get me wrong-- marriage isn't all hard work. Honestly, most of the time it's quite easy and fun...thank goodness! But I try to remember that the "easy" and the "fun" isn't what it's all about. We've made a covenant to our God that we are determined to fulfill, even if the hard times far surpass the good times. That's heavy stuff. That's the kind of thing I think more engaged couples should be talking about. And maybe spend a little less time analyzing whatever it is their wedding planner is currently obsessing about.

In three years we have still never spent a night apart-- is there any chance we're going to get a world record here? Do they award medals for this sort of accomplishment? Someone look into that for me, thanks. We've settled very nicely into our new house and our new "life" away from the center of Athens. We joined a gym and have embraced a much more active lifestyle. We eat veggies straight out of our garden. We have so much to be thankful for.

I can't wait to see what Year Four will bring us. I probably don't need to (re)mention the thing we're hoping for most. And I hope I don't give you whiplash with the speed with which I'm about to change topics, but you know what? If Year Four doesn't bring us some "positive" news in a timely fashion, I'm thinkin' we're going to have to start an adventure of another sort. Amazing Race 18, anyone?? I think we would be awesome. Also, we could use a million dollars. But mainly, we would just have fun.

So Happy Anniversary, Mattie...not that you'll ever read this. (Poll for the ladies: does your husband/boyfriend read your blog?) Thanks for being the best husband ever. I love you.

[For other (slightly more lighthearted) memoirs on marriage, check out my first and second anniversary posts.]


  1. I always like your reflective posts. I was so stressed out the day before our wedding, but on the day of I had no worries. I didn't even care when I dripped cantaloupe juice on my DRESS! It didn't matter.
    Marshall always reads my blog- but he never comments. Neither does my mom nor her friends.

  2. I think Jordan reads my blog on the days where he his super bored and has absolutely nothing else to do. :)

    Happy 3 years!!!

  3. I completely agree. We eloped. It wasn't about the wedding for us- it was about the marriage. And we also fight tooth and nail to protect our marriage.. we want to beat the statistics.

    Brandon reads my blog.. but I think he does it from his phone when he is um.. in the "Library" at work.

  4. insert smart @** comment about how my husband doesn't read my blog...

  5. oh Alyssa and that quick wit of hers...

    LOVE this post. I happen to think your wedding was beautiful...mostly because it was a beautiful start to a forever journey.

    That should be on a Hallmark card or something.

    Love ya'll....and Happy Anniversary!!

  6. I liked this a lot.

    Jonathon reads my blog regularly. And yours.


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