Calvin and I got married seven years ago today. To say that I love this man is to utter the largest understatement the universe has ever known. I love him for his sense of humor and his ideals. I love how he just does what is right because it is right. I love him for his faith, and I love him for his irreverence. I even love him for his temper, and for the things that we disagree about.
I love him, of course, for all the happy, wonderful memories we’ve shared over the past seven years, and the four years before that. The vacations we’ve taken have created a stockpile of cherished memories. The conversations we’ve had have enlightened and entertained me. The experiences we shared raising the kids, and becoming grandparents together, made me grow in ways I never anticipated. The quiet nights at home on the couch watching movies are equally as sustaining as the glittering nights out on the town. The day to day life we lead is my comfort and my joy.
What you might think is strange, though, is that I love him even more for the not-so-wonderful times. The times we’ve fought, the times we’ve struggled to understand one another, and the times we’ve gone to bed with stony silence between us. This past year or so has been a challenge to our relationship. As with all things alive and healthy, our marriage, and we as individuals, has grown and shifted and changed. That growth and change has not always been comfortable – it hasn’t even always been recognized for what it is. What at first we regarded as negative we are now both realizing is just evidence that we are truly dedicated to one another. We’re growing and flexing and adapting, but are still firmly rooted in the foundations we began with. We understand that compromise is not defeat, growth doesn’t mean growing apart, and we can each give of ourselves and to one another without worry that the effort will not be matched.
That, my friends, is a real marriage.
I am incredibly lucky in love, blessed in life, and fortunate beyond all measure to be married to my best friend.