This is one of the few and rare pictures of my husband and me at the wedding of one of our beloved friends. As you can see, we still smile and pretend like we’re in love when we take pictures together. (That was a joke, Mom!)
Ninja and I have been married for 8.5 years now. Some days, it feels like it was forever ago that we all got gussied up and walked down an aisle together. The little kids who were our flower girl and ring boy are all grown up now!
Weddings have changed a bit since we had our turn. Now they have apps on phones instead of disposable cameras on tables. Polaroids are back in, but you no longer shake them like Andre 3000 from OutKast instructed us to do in song. Couples take mini-moons right after the wedding and go on their actual honeymoons much later.
We’ve been lucky enough to go to a few weddings for family and friends in the past two years. We usually are only invited to baby showers (sometimes) and kids’ birthday parties these days, so I love getting the invite to weddings! I’m also a bit of a hopeless romantic because sitting at the ceremony reminds me of the day that Ninja and I said our vows to each other. We had written our own – how hipster of us, right?
But in the day to day, I can tell you that I fight for those feelings and the marriage EVERY DAY. I try hard to remember those vows and the intentions that were behind them when they were written because there are days where I certainly don’t feel them. Ninja and I are complete opposites. On many days, it’s a good thing, but there are also many days where it makes us really clash. We also had a rough start to our marriage in the beginning and I really thought that we would not make it through our first year.
But we both tried really hard – sometimes at different times. We surrounded ourselves with other couples and decided to be real and honest – especially in the tough times – and let our friends help us. It was humiliating at times, but also extremely helpful and has helped us to get to where we are today. With the addition of Ninjette, we’ve definitely had new difficulties that we are currently working through and it’s been tough to connect as a couple at times. Sometimes we are too tired to try really hard like we did when it was just us. Sometimes we need our time to be alone and recharge on our own – even for me and I am super extroverted. We try to do date nights, but it’s not an easy feat. I am determined to be more diligent about it because recently, so many of my friends are going through separations and divorces. It’s a tough reality to face since Ninja and I are just as easily able to cross that line.
Marriage is hard work and it’s so effin’ hard. It’s complicated, messy, and sometimes downright sh@&!y. I’ve never loved and hated someone so much at the same time. I’ve never felt so lonely either. It’s so easy for your partner to become just a roommate because it takes a lot of work to keep the “magic” alive. We had to work hard from the beginning, so I cannot imagine a time when it was easy (except maybe when we were dating!). Neither set of our parents are model marriages either, so I always feel like we’re making it up as we go along for the most of it. (Just like parenting!) My one big takeaway from both sets of parents is their commitment. They stay married (maybe our of stubbornness?) regardless of their feelings because they made a promise when they got married – to be together til death did them part. I admire that because when it gets too unbearable, I just want to walk out the door.
I definitely want to model a good and healthy relationship for Ninjette. I want her to know that Ninja is my partner for life and that love is not just a feeling, but it’s a commitment and a serious one. I also want her to know that all relationships take work and effort. Even when it’s difficult, you push on through and give it your best. You don’t just give up immediately. There is something good and worthwhile in that because there will be lots of things in life that will be hard. So that’s my truth – marriage is effin’ hard and we work on it every day to keep it going. I hope that the both of us will always want to keep working on it because it really does take the both of us. If one gives up, it’s hard to keep going.
Before I sign off, though, a word to those who are divorced or separated, going through a divorce or separation, or walking that line towards it. I, personally, am not against divorce or separation. Sometimes, it’s just not meant to be between two people. However, I am big on giving it your all and your 110% to try to make it work. I really hope that you won’t read this post as any kind of a judgement, but just as a commentary on where I am at. I’ve been in those terrible moments. I send you a hug and my support in whatever way that I can – just ask.
At the end of the day, I look at Ninja and Ninjette and I can’t imagine my life without them. I think about my vows and I know that my heart really means them and still believes them today. I’m going to keep on trying so that I don’t forget that. Speaking of which, anyone want to babysit Ninjette so Ninja and I can have some more date nights? 😉