The wedding has passed. You are home from your honeymoon. You have hit the one year ...then somehow, the eight year anniversary.
Years of marriage will surely unavoidably change you, as a person and as a couple. I remember saying to my high school self, "I will never NOT have mascara on in front of my future husband." I can hear my husband laughing now. Hilariously naive, right? High school sweet hearts and what feels like a century later, we are in bed by 8:00pm, no make up on this face, and kids begging for five more minutes. Five or six years ago, I couldn't tell you what we did in our pre-children days. I suppose we stayed up late. Maybe we went out ...or stayed in watching our shows and not Curious George reruns or Frozen (for the 100th time).
On the contrary though, I recently told someone, in the midst of I'm sure a yawn, that I still feel like I'm in the honeymoon phase. It's certainly ...different. It's definitely not room service for a Mexican platter of snacks and mojitos. It's more like left over mac and cheese and recorded Nick Jr. shows. In many ways though, it's the same. I am loved in so many of the same ways, plus loads more.
Everyone has their things, right? The little things you do for each other. My parents, I know if my marriage yields half the return theirs has, I'll consider mine a success. Every morning, my dad brings my mom coffee. I don't know that I've ever seen my mom fix herself coffee, in the morning anyway. They drink coffee ALL day. They'll make a fresh pot at 5:00pm before dinner. These things though, every couple has their own set of idiosyncrasies and mannerisms. I think these sentiments are what almost subconsciously keep the honeymoon phase present.
Michael, bless his heart, doesn't get enough credit for how wonderful he is. I recently started to take note of our own mannerisms and things that haven't changed in our near eight years. ...and I hope they never do.
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10 things that haven't changed since we've said "I do."
1) It's a rare car ride if my husband doesn't hold my hand.
2) As much as I hate it (but secretly love it), I am still serenaded with music in the morning ...but with replaced, goofy, sometimes inappropriate, made up lyrics.
3) I go by my middle name. Jessica is actually my first name, but no one calls me Jessica. ...except for Michael, who refers to me as Jess sometimes. I like it.
4) When I'm home and the hubby is out of town, I can't sleep. Neither can he. We always end up texting "are you awake?" in the wee hours of the night, then start up a conversation.
5) In a crowded room, if we make eye contact, I get a wink.
6) I know if my husband happens to read this post, he will probably feel like I'm displaying his man-card for grabs for being too mushy. He's a pretty sentimental guy, but no one would know it.
7) When I'm fixing dinner, I make sure he gets the plate the looks the best.
8) He still dances with me ...even when I'm being stubborn and "too busy," he will force me until I put down the laundry and stop. It's really annoying and endearing.
9) There is a pure trust we have in each other. I trust him when he's driving, he trusts me with child raising. We trust our plans and our faith. ...and I can always trust that he knows how to fix/assemble the random furniture or projects I bring home.
10) I still have this inner giggle, the butterflies I guess, when I hear him introduce me as his wife. I remember the first time I was introduced with such a title. I know my face turned red. Still to this day, there's a flutter inside when I hear his country voice say the word wife.
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I don't think there's ONE secret key in a marriage. I don't think it's at all possible to avoid the change that will materialize over the years. Marriage is a tide of easy waves, then hard waves. It's a constant ebb and flow of happiness, hardships, challenges, adventure, excitement, and every emotion in the book. There are no promises it will be easy, but nothing worth it in life is, right?
Now that I'm a big mess of tears as I write this, I'll go take this mascara off, because ...well I mean we've been married for a while. Mascara is for leaving the house.
Make a list of ten things in your relationship that haven't changed. Safeguard that list and bring it to life. You may be surprised at how much hasn't changed (in a good way). I'd love to hear the silly little things you and your spouse do for each other!
PS: Thank you ThePicturePeopleLA for capturing these sweet moments.