My how my perspective has changed.
Dan and I giggle at the things we used to fight over back then. We'd get into a fight, and I'd pack my suitcase, wait for him to dump it out and yell at him for doing so when secretly I was so relieved he wasn't letting me give up. I always wanted to throw in the towel. Somehow, I had it in my head that if we weren't meant to be, it was better to figure it out right away. But Dan loves a challenge. Maybe it wasn't so fun in that particular form, but he showed me that he was sticking it out for the long haul, and for that I am forever grateful.
Love isn't always wrapped up in a neat bow. I think that when you get married, you assume that every day is like your wedding day or your honeymoon. There's a reason they call it the "honeymoon phase". It's not supposed to be like that all the time. REAL love is hard work. It is like being in the trenches most of the time. Much of our marriage is spent challenging one another and learning how to deal with the changes that come with growing up even as adults. Adapting to changes like children and job changes and growing older are hard, and real love is that commitment to one another to keep loving each other even when they aren't the "same person" you married.
If you looked at our marriage right now, I'm sure you'd have an opinion. Everybody does. Some would think we have it all together, and we are perfectly happy. Some would think we are all sorts of dysfunction, and they don't know how we are still together. But I hope what you'd see is a couple who knows they don't have it all together, but at the end of the day, they are in it for the long haul: the amazing, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
So thankful to be where I am, nine years later. I'm not so focused on where we've been, but I'm so excited to see where we are headed.
Love you honey!