Today, I have been married for fifteen years. FIFTEEN! Wow, that's a lot of years. I know it sounds cliche' but it has flown by so quickly.
I am able to remember bits and pieces of the day we got married. It was a hot July day. We were going to the courthouse to get married. The only people there with us were our parents. We were trying to keep it nice and simple so we didn't have any siblings with us because once you invite one, you risk the chance at upsetting someone.
I remember driving there and Chuck being very quiet. The radio was on, he was looking straight ahead with no real expression on his face. I kept asking him if he was okay. He kept saying he was. We were in the building waiting for our turn and we were all joking, laughing and calm. When we went in the room, the judge was very nice and explained a few things and then got on with the "ceremony." He talked so fast that at times, I was so busy trying to concentrate on what he was saying. Then, it was over. We took some pictures outside and that was that. We were done.
We then went to lunch with our parents. We went to a local hall to start setting up for our reception which was the following day. We threw the biggest party ever. So many people came, I'm pretty sure we exceeded the limit for the fire code occupancy! People came and went and had such a blast. It was a true celebration to kick off our marriage. Family members still talk about that day as if it were yesterday and about what a good time they had.
For me, that day was a never-ending day. I was five months pregnant and I got up probably around 6am. We didn't get home until 24 hours later!! We were busy all day, had the reception, cleaned up, went to a friend's house and then out to eat for breakfast. We partied hard....well, everyone else partied hard. I watched. It was a memory I'll never forget.
I posted on Facebook, the realities of marriage. I think there is a huge misconception that as you are married longer, things get easier. So not the case. At least not for us. Yes, some things have gotten easier, you know what sets the other person off, you know their likes and dislikes, you know their personality. However, people change. You can't turn 35 and be the same exact person you were at 20 years old. It is natural for people to evolve and grow as they get older. The test of marriage is whether your can change, evolve and grow together or not. Will those changes break your relationship.
I've noticed over the past two years how much Chuck and I have changed. There have been a lot of changes. Some days, we really butt heads and I wonder if there is still a common ground. Other days, we are so in sync that I wonder why I ever doubted us. It's the ebb and flow of life, really.
I believe that this is what life is all about when you are married. You are still finding out, fifteen years later, who your partner is. You find that there are new reasons that you love them, respect them and want to be with them. Your heart swells from things that you didn't know about them all those years ago, because they have evolved into who they are today.
Is our life all that different from how it was fifteen years ago? We are now a family of five, we have three dogs, a cat, different jobs and a happy home. Yes, it is different, but I'd take this version of our lives over our lives then, any day.