Monday, February 14, 2005

A tribute to love, in honor of this infernal holiday

In a tribute to Valentine's day, an infernal holiday, as far as I am concerned, one of my friends sent me this article from the Boston Globe about the first year of marriage. She said that now it is confirmation of what I have been telling anyone who will listen since I got married- the first year of marriage is VERY hard.

I was excited and happy to get married, but certainly not desperate. We had been dating for three and a half years, but I wasn't out of law school yet and we were still young (24 and 25) so there seemed to be no rush. But once he proposed we were both so excited that we decided to get married after my second year of law school. Our engagement was a year and a half and that gave us more than enough time to get sick of all the planning and to be happy that our wedding day had finally arrived.

Our wedding day was the happiest day of my life. Without a doubt. I was not one of these must-have-a-perfect-day brides, but it was perfect beyond my wildest dreams. It didn't matter that I lost my gloves, my mom lost her shoes, the florist made mistakes with the flowers, my sister-in-law's kiddush cup got broken, the band didn't know our song, the vests were the wrong color, I spilled dressing on my dress, and the list goes on and on. I try to remember all of these things so that I can remind all my to-be-bride friends that despite mistakes, your wedding day is great. My honeymoon was also relaxing and fantastic. We had a blast.

When we got back, we moved in together in New Haven. I believe that there were things about our first year of marriage that made it particularly hard, such as the fact that he moved to where I was in school, he had no friends there, he had to get up at 3:30AM to drive an hour to the airport to take a flight to get to work, we got our first dog, we had no money, etc. But man, it was hard. Our first fight was over closet space. I sobbed when he said I had too much stuff and was taking up the whole closet and I threatened to sleep on the couch from the injustice of it all. I was devastated that now I had nowhere to go, no apartment of my own. I was stuck, FOREVER, with this rude mean closet hogger. We fought over how to train the dog and whether I was spoiling him. We fought over money because he is a saver and I am a spender. And we fought over him hating New Haven and me being unsympathetic. But I also adored being married to him, because by G-d, I do adore this man. He is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

I believe that no matter the circumstances, though, the first year of marriage is tremendously hard. You are adjusting your life from being a me to being a we, and even if you live fairly independent lives, there will come points in your new married life where you will have to run things by your spouse, or compromise on things that you don't want to compromise about, or you will disagree about something important to you, or your families will piss each other off. It is inevitable. I mean, have you seen Nick and Jessica? (I actually haven't, but I am hoping their first year is an example of this)

With time, though, I learned that the hubs didn't really respond to the sobs, silent treatment and threats to sleep on the couch. I learned to laugh at some of the things that made me mad. We both learned that we would never insult each other, no matter how mad we got. And in the end, we both want to be happy and harmonious the majority of the time, so we are united in that quest. Our second year was better than our first, and now our third year is far better than our second. Although we are incredibly blessed, it hasn't always been easy. In two and a half years we have graduated from law school, moved four times, hated my job, worked 100 hour weeks, gotten two dogs, done a job hunt, applied to business school, traveled four days a week, bought a car, bought a house, lived in the sublet from hell, wallpapered and painted and done other stressful household work. We have been spared from tragedies, but we have endured the typical family chaos and drama.

My lesson in all of this, is that despite the compromises, fighting and adjustments, it is totally worth it. Of course, you take risks by opening yourself up to another person, but by doing so you allow yourself to feel the kind of love, support and joy that can only be found when your best friend is also your partner in life. My future is intertwined in this other person, and my hopes and dreams are tied up in his existence in a way I never imagined. The first year IS incredibly hard and there are moments when you want to throw the bag of dog food at your husband, but there is also this wonderful feeling of being able to do anything because your best friend will do it with you.


Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL, griffyslave!!! awwww....i am deathly, morbidly, unreasonably afraid of the commitment of marriage, but you make a commitmentphobe want to reconsider.