This past weekend Alex and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary.
Our actual anniversary wasn’t until yesterday, Oct. 12, but we figured we’d make a weekend out of it and celebrate a few days early just because. Amid our weekend getaway there was an outdoor adventure. There was wine (an old fashioned for him). There was a couple’s massage. There was a two-foot-tall Lindt chocolate bar. There were plenty of kisses. But there were also lots of tears and tissues.
My man had reserved a room on the top floor of the Ivy Hotel in Minneapolis in celebration of our special day. The room had everything a girl could ever want: complimentary chocolate, plush pillows, cozy slippers, huge bath robes, a spacious master bath and a stunning view of the city. Everything was perfect — until suddenly it wasn’t. Around 10 p.m. on Saturday night I started to feel sick, and I ended up spending the rest of the night tossing and turning from stomach issues.
Needless to say I was not the most pleasant person come sunrise the next morning. But I wasn’t just unpleasant. I was frustrated with the entire situation. After laying in bed for two hours waiting for Alex to get up, I reached for a handful of nuts to soothe my grumbling stomach until we could go get breakfast.
“Why are you eating? We are going to go get breakfast soon,” Alex stirred as I opened the bag of cashews.
I don’t know if it was the lack of sleep or the hunger, but at the sound of his voice something snapped within me.
“Excuse me? I’ve been up for two hours waiting for you so we could go eat breakfast. I’m starving. I didn’t sleep at all last night and I haven’t been sleeping well over the last several days. I also feel nauseous like I’m going to throw up and my stomach is bloated and irritated. Don’t you care about me at all?” I yelled and started to cry. I was upset because I felt like I had ruined our special weekend. I was upset because the past month had been a whirlwind of change and stress for us. And I was also upset because even though my husband had planned this amazing surprise for me, I wasn’t enjoying myself anymore.
My anger turned to deep sadness as I turned to look into my husband’s eyes. The expression on his face was like a knife to my gut, and I instantly felt ashamed and sorry for what I had said.
“How can you say I don’t care about you?” he said, tears welling in his eyes. “This whole weekend … it was all for you. Everything I do … it’s all for you. I love you!”
Have you ever said something you wish you could take back? I sure have. Too many times to count, and unfortunately more times than I’d like to admit to my husband. What I’ve learned from our first year of marriage is that when you mess up, it’s important to take immediate responsibility, apologize and ask for forgiveness.
I ran over to Alex, apologized and asked him to forgive me. By this point we were both crying — huddled together on the floor surrounded by a bunch of wadded up tissues.
“I’m sorry. I guess I just feel like with my fibromyalgia and all of my other health issues, sometimes I’m more of a burden than a joy to be around. I feel like I’m always ruining things,” I explained.
“You don’t ruin things, my love. And you’re worth all this and so much more to me,” he said, pointing to the surrounding room.
Looking back on our weekend celebration, I’m amazed at how closely it resembles our first year of marriage — a beautiful time marked by kisses, tissues and adventures. A time full of learning and growing together.
If there’s one thing I’m sure of after our first year of marriage, it’s that when the Bible says, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV) — the Bible couldn’t be closer to the truth.
Alex and I try to live 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 out on a daily basis, and we’ve started to notice that when love is lived out this way in marriage there is nothing Satan can do to try and tear it down. Alex and I are not newbies to pain and suffering. We’ve probably seen more of it in our first year of marriage than many people see in their first 5-10 years. But these experiences and our commitment to love each other while keeping Christ at the center has made us a stronger, happier and healthier couple.
Marriage isn’t perfect. It’s not always rainbows and butterflies either. It’s kisses on a tear-stained cheek. It’s holding hands while navigating adventures (some wonderful and some treacherous). It’s being an adult even when you don’t want to be. It’s drowning out the noise of the world around you to focus on the needs of another human being. It’s sacrifice.
You will make mistakes. You will say things you wish you could take back. You will want to go back to being teenagers when they only responsibility you had was to be a good student athlete.
But to date, marriage is also the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I thank God for the blessing and love of Alex every single day.
Are you married? What has marriage taught you? Share in the comments below!
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Melanie Redd says
Congratulations on your 1st year of marriage! Yeah!!
We just celebrated 25 years together. And, I agree with what you shared – “when you mess up, it’s important to take immediate responsibility, apologize and ask for forgiveness.”
Keep short accounts. Forgive quickly! These are such wise things!
Came over on RaRa Link Up today, and I’m glad to find your post.
Hope you have a blessed day today~
Congrats on the first year! Best of luck in the future. Found you on Titus 2 Tuesday Link Up.
Brittany Putman says
My husband and I have been married for just 6 months and this sounds so familiar and a lot like our life. It’s amazing how much of a difference having God at the center of our marriage makes. Happy Anniversary!
Lauren Gaskill says
Thanks so much Brittany!! Wishing you and your husband another wonderful six months of your first year!! God bless!
and God has to be at the center of every marriage
Congratulations on your first year and best wishes to many more to come! Marriage is definitely being an adult when you don’t want to be. And sometimes it can make you feel like you’re going to lose all of your Christian morals lol! But you recognize that as long as Christ is in the center and leading you both, then everything will always be alright in the end! It’s a spiritual threesome because He has to be in there for it to work! Great job!
Happy 1 year! Our two year is tomorrow. It’s learning to draw close to each other in the trials instead of pushing each other way! Only way is Jesus at the center.
Becky Keife says
My husband and I celebrated 10 years this summer and after a decade I can definitely attest to the long-term truth of what you’re saying! Learning to be quick to humble myself, take responsibility, and ask for forgiveness is so so huge. And in turn, I’ve learned (am learning) to extend the same grace to my husband as I need for myself when his tongue lashes ugly or he’s just having a crummy day, too.
So glad you and your man chose to use this conflict as an opportunity to grow the true intimacy in your marriage. Sounds like you guys are on the blessed track. Glad to be your neighbor today at Holley’s place.
Lauren Gaskill says
Congrats on 10 years Becky! What an exciting milestone. It’s so great to hear about other women’s marriage experiences. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and blessings to you and your husband!
I agree. I remember my first month of marriage. My husband went into the hospital suddenly. That was something neither of us saw coming. Thank God he was and is in our in our lives.
Congrats, Lauren! My husband and I celebrated our 1st anniversary in June. You’ve hit the nail on the head, only if Christ is in the center of you marriage can it be successful. Thanks for the encouragement!
Lauren Gaskill says
Congrats to you as well Hannah! Cheers to many more years for both of our marriage — with Christ at the center!
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
Oh this is so lovely!
My favourite point is taking responsibility and apologising. Pride and a hardened heart will ruin a marriage and it’s certainly not Christ-like to hold a grudge. I loved your pointers here. Your on your way to decades of a loving marriage.
Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).
Wishing you a lovely weekend.
Sarah Donegan says
Our 12th anniversary is tomorrow and I am thinking of all the things I know now that I didn’t then. I think the first year or two were the hardest for me. The adjustment doesn’t come with the ring and I Do’s. It isn’t happily ever after, but it is sure worth it!
Julie @ Running in a Skirt says
What a beautiful post. I think the hardest thing I’ve learned is to not hold a grudge and move on… say I’m sorry and ask for forgiveness. Just like you said. Marriage is hard… but a good marriage is irreplaceable and is worth figuring out.
Christine Duncan says
Hey dear! We’re neighbours at Kelly’s #RaRaLinkup today! A belated Happy Anniversary, gurlie!
Do you know how much my soul connects with this post? This has happened to me too, due to my disorder obviously, and how many times did I hold in the guilt of thinking I ruined everything all the time… God continues to work on me in this regard, and His grace is soooo good.
Much love, Lauren, so thankful for you! xo
Congratulations on your first wedding anniversary! My husband and I have been married for 8.5 years and I can personally attest to the fact that I’m still quick with my tongue when I feel angry, upset or bitter. Marriage, and motherhood too, is a very sanctifying experience. In some ways it gets easier over time, but in other ways it gets harder too. That’s why it’s worth the fight. God has blessed my husband and I over and over in our “imperfect” marriage. Thanks for sharing your story.