"Oh my gosh, Amanda posted another cheesy status about how much she loves Nathan. #annoying!!" How many of you have thought that EXACT same thing (sans the hashtag. I am probably the only person on earth who speaks/thinks in hashtags). Its okay to be honest, I know that it is probably quite a few of you. It can be nauseating at times.
Here is the deal. My husband and I are complete opposites. I think a lot of people say that about themselves and their spouses, but when I say it I truly mean it. The only thing that we have in common is that we love our dogs and we love alone time. That's it.
A little over 5 years ago, we met, we fell madly in love, we got engaged....and then life set in. We quickly realized how very different we were and if we wanted to stay as madly in love as we were at that present moment, it was going to take work. In that moment, I thought back to what my Grandpa told me once "the hardest job I've ever had was being a good husband". I NEVER understood why my Grandpa told me that. To me, to all of us, he was the greatest husband there was. He put up with my Grandma! :) But in that moment, looking back, it all made sense to me. They were complete opposites, yet they found a way to make their marriage work for 50+ years. They did it by working hard every day at their marriage.
A few years ago, probably 4-5, Nathan had a long layover in an airport and picked up the book "What I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married". He read the whole thing and made notes all throughout the book. I then read it and then we compared notes. This book taught us about the Five Languages of Love (people talk about this all the time, but they dont understand how great it truly is. If you are married or in a serious relationship and you havent read it, read it). It teaches you to love your spouse in the way that they want to be loved, not in the way that you want to love them. WHOA. Hold the press. You mean, me, Amanda Jones needs to do something someone else's way?? Nope, not going to happen. I'm just not wired that way. I am, in case you forgot, Amanda Jones. I do what I want, when I want, and how I want, If someone tells me to do something differently, I use all my energy to prove why my way was better. Its just who I am. Its an ugly trait. I would say I am working on it, but we all know that's a lie! :)
Anyways, we read the book. We talked it over. I thought it was garbage and we went on with our day. Then slowly I started to see things. My husband making my lunch for me in the morning, or picking out my clothes the night before so that I wasn't so rushed in the morning. Then there was a sweet Facebook post here, or a shout out on instagram there. My heart was full. My husband was loving me the way that I wanted to be loved. I thought maybe I should give this a try. So the next time my husband tried to hold my hand in public (puke), I let him. The smile that I got that day, the one that makes me weak in the knees, it was totally worth it. (Then he tried to pinch my butt and I socked him right in the arm. Baby steps people...baby steps). Next I tried not confessing my love to him on Facebook, but instead thanking him for being so great. I feel like I could physically see his heart do a little flutter. I was loving him the way he wanted to be loved.
To do this day in and day out, it's hard. We are wired one way, and we are being asked to go against that. But I am telling you, the key to my very dysfunctional, overly happy, filled with love, marriage is loving each other the way the other wants to be loved.
I've learned over the last few years that a marriage has ups and down. Big ups and big downs. I never knew this growing up, because my Grandparents were very private people. You know...your dirty laundry should hang in the basement, not outside for everyone to see (or on Facebook for the world to make judgments). There are things that we have gone through, that had me questioning everything, because I simply didn't know that marriage was anything but happy, love filled. My husband lived away from me for the 8 months prior to our wedding, which almost did me in. We have battled infertility since the day we got married (if you wanna talk about some fights, try telling a woman on clomid you drank the last Mt Dew). I have lost the two most important people in my life, and Nathan was forced to pick up the pieces (I honestly don't remember most of those days to tell you how ugly they really were). Nathan walked away from his dream job and the greatest team he has ever been apart of to help me fulfill a dream (Ever have someone place unnecessary blame on you? Yeah..not fun). We work together side by side (well, Nathan is a step higher than me, and he wont let you forget it!) in a pretty stressful, at times, job (lets not even get started on that!). We moved half way across the country together...by ourselves (Mr. Popular did just fine with that move!). But through it all, especially through the hard times (its why there is so much cheesy stuff on Facebook right now), we remember to love each other...the way they want to be loved.
I love my husband more than I could ever explain in words. I wake up each day knowing how very blessed I am to be married to someone who will work just as hard at our marriage as I will. We never go to sleep mad at each other (even if it means staying up all night...we've done it before and I am sure we will do it again), and there has never been a day we have let pass without telling each other just how much we love one another (even if we didn't necessarily like each other at the moment). So, I am sorry to tell you, but our annoying Facebook posts won't go away. Its our own personal recipe to our very successful marriage (by our own definition).