Monday, July 4, 2011
A few weeks ago, when my girlfriends and I got together, it was such an eclectic mix of people in different stages of their lives and relationships. We had me, the newlywed; my friend Abriel, happily married with a 9-month-old; my friend Mel, divorced from an abusive a-hole with a 6-year-old; my friend Amy, happily married with a 2-year-old and now pregnant with their 2nd; my friend Nicole, widowed with a 5-year-old; and my friend Tina, going through an ugly and painful divorce with a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old [wow, really??]. Seriously - we represented almost every single life stage for a 30-something woman. The only one not represented was the unmarried, childless woman. And now that I think about it, I don't actually think that exists anywhere in my circle of friends! Wow, we are getting old!
Nicole's husband died 2 years into their marriage, when their son was 6 months old. She obviously still mourns him, but is moving on and looking for new love. Mel is in a relationship with a guy who seems to treat her well. Her ex-husband seems to have finally grown up a bit. But Tina is (understandably) miserable and unhappy. And she's not exactly a huge believer in marriage at the moment. So when everyone was asking me about how married life was, I felt a little bit guilty being all "Oh it's just so wonderful and I'm so happy and I love my husband and he's the best thing in the entire world." So I just said "It's great!" and moved on. But later, when it was just me and Abriel and her mom (who is, hands down, one of my favorite people in the world), I admitted my true feelings: I've never been happier. When we first got married, and people asked if I felt different or if anything had changed, it seemed so silly. We'd lived together for 4 years already. Why would anything feel different? But now I realize that it does. It has changed. I can't quite put my finger on how or why, but it has. My heart just bursts when I think about how being married to Matt makes me feel. We talk about our future in such real and concrete ways. We support each other. We encourage each other. We reassure each other. And we love each other.
Sometimes, I look at my husband and I'm just overwhelmed. I've heard from so many people that the first year of marriage is the hardest. Granted, we've only been through 9 months so far. But if it's true that the first year is the hardest, then we are gonna sail along beautifully for the rest of our lives. And I can't wait. For whatever comes.