Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Married: 9 years


Back in May we were amazed to realize we were standing right on the date when we celebrated our wedding NINE years before. NINE years is a long time - and that makes us feel pretty old - or we were just super young when we got married - or both, I guess.

But that was a month after we'd suddenly become a family of six and with a brief: "wow, can you believe it's been NINE years?!? I love you", we felt satisfied in our "celebrating".

Because you tend to hang out with people who have kids similarly aged to yours instead of similarly aged to yourself and because people tend to have kids a few years after they get married our friends tend to be married around the same length of time as us.

It hit me on reflecting on this that many have divorced (more proof that we're old, quite frankly) and many have had marriage challenges.

But we haven't. There's never been a time in our marriage that I couldn't stand my husband. There's never been a time where I wanted to have a break from him.

Here's the difference in our relationship and our comparable friends relationships: we've always created a life where we maximize our time with each other. Things have come secondary to time together. In most relationships couples are separated for 40+ hours a week by the necessities of a job. We always say: we didn't get married to spend so much time apart! We want to be doing life together.

There have been short times in our marriage where we worked separately but it's always been relatively short term for this reason or that.

Everything has its pros and cons, right? And this is one of those things. But a big pro of working together is that we spend a lot of time together, we have common goals, we have a pretty clear understanding of what the other person is experiencing.

Lately Ren Man has been working 40 hours with a 45 minute commute. I've been farming. I've been doing most of the photography. I've been parenting. How do people do this long term? It helps that Ren Man knows exactly what the intensity of my workload feels like. And I get what it's like to feel the pull of work and the pull of home (he says he doesn't actually have this problem because both are so demanding he doesn't have time to think of the other while at the opposite - did you follow that?). I do not imagine him standing around shooting the breeze with colleagues while sipping cocktails as clients pat him on the back and thank him for his wonderful work. He does not imagine me sitting in bed, getting pedicures, and blogging while the children watch movies and eat chocolate.

And this summer has been probably the hardest on our marriage - even knowing what we know about the others life right now - just because we don't often see each other! This is way harder on our marriage than the heartache over Vermont because in Vermont we were mostly on the same page. Now we sometimes don't even know what book the other person is in because we're not in the same library any more - am I taking this analogy too far? ;) But here's the thing: even if we're not as in sync with each other, we're still pretty knowledgable about the other, we both miss each other like crazy, we're both trusting that the other is doing their 100% in all this crazy life, and we both know this isn't our forever. There's a TON we're doing right now to build the farm - and the farm is the primary stressor, I think, just because the demands are so great and the profit is impossible right now as we build the infrastructure for the farm. But it's coming and it's exciting and we're committed - to the farm and each other.

So the secret to our marriage that has included disagreements but has been smooth sailing? Time. We just spend a lot of time together. If someone asked what we had in common when we first got married I wouldn't have been able to answer. We just really like being together. Now I would say we have similar values. It was true back then, but I didn't know how to say it.

I really love this guy - the one I never would have picked - and I'm so proud of our relationship. We often say to each other: "I really love us". What we mean is: this is exactly the relationship I want.


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