Two years ago, today, we got married.
At this point, we have been married longer than we were dating. I think it’s finally starting to sink in that this is for real, and its so much better than I could have dreamt; even my wild imagination could not have created something like what we have. As I’ve said, this isn’t a fairy tale; real life is so much better. And with you, it really, truly is. The only problem is that it’s going by too fast.
A recap of the last year. We didn’t move anywhere, we only started one new job between the two of us, and God provided work for you long before you even needed it. We drove to North Carolina, Ohio, and Maine, each time getting to witness another wedding. You finished your guitar and we have starting taking tangible steps towards your future in lutherie. The biggest change of this year was my graduation from law school, and we saw that coming years in advance. It was a more settled year, for sure, but that is exactly what we needed.
I won’t say the first year was harder than the second, or more fun, or scarier, or more stressful – it was just different. The first year is all the firsts – first home, first Christmas, first time doing this or that; but by the second year, you no longer have to create ways of doing things, you get to repeat or modify. People no longer stare at you as “newlyweds,” nor do they ask (well, mostly) invasive, sometimes embarrassing questions about “married life.” We started to find our grove, we know each other better, and aren’t as afraid that we’ll make stupid mistakes because we’ve already made plenty and realized they are not the end of the world.
While the groove has been found, the spark has by no means been lost. I can’t say what life will be like in five, ten, or forty years, but I can tell you that I still have no idea what people mean by the “honeymoon” phase. For a while, I imagined that at some point into our marriage – one month, six months, one year? – I would wake up and suddenly realize how hard this was, suddenly no longer find marriage cute or exciting or fun, but find it a burden and a challenge that might not be worth fighting for. That, I thought, must be when I know the honeymoon phase ends.
Two years later and I still haven’t woken up to think any of those things. (To more seasoned wedded readers, my use of the word “still” will sound laughable, but bear with me because it is the longest I’ve ever been married.) In fact, due to outside challenges that have resulted in us leaning on each other for support, wisdom, and comfort, we are certainly closer than ever. I still love him. He still makes me happy. I still find marriage to be the best, most gloriously mysterious relationship I’ve ever been a part of. I’m still 100% in this, and Massimo seems pretty into it, too. Call it a honeymoon phase, call it newlywed bliss, call it whatever you want – I’m calling it my life.
The importance of our marriage has become even more stark since being surprised this year by the end or apparent end of some other marriages. In my life, I’ve never been up close and personal with divorce or separation, apart from my job, that is. But in legal work, the lawyer usually doesn’t see the death of the marriage, we see the people that once knew it coming by to claim its belongings. It’s a gruesome business and I don’t much care for it. This year, I was caught off guard by several marriages in my personal circle going on life support, and it was scary.
Will that ever be us? Could that happen to us? We had this conversation many times this year, and the conclusion has always been the same: no, it won’t. I don’t want to sound naive, but here’s all I know: for us, getting married was like building a house, a big house that needed to stand against serious storms and hold for many, many years. Our house needed good blueprints and to be made of really good materials. I know that we have good plans in our marriage, because we put the work in, consulted the experts, and worked out the details with the maker of marriage. As far as the materials, I know that for all his sinfulness, Massimo is made from the best stuff on earth, and he says that I’m the good stuff, too. We’re far from perfect, but I think our house has at least a fighting chance. Two years in, and I know that now better than ever.
Every so often I listen to the song we used for our first dance, and it’s words get more and more applicable the more I get to know you and get to know our marriage.
Happy anniversary, my signore. I can’t wait for all the rest. Thank you for picking me to be your partner and love; I know God put us together because only the Perfect Creator could have designed something like this.