Written by Aaron & April Jacob
I didn’t know marriage wouldn’t be a perfectly concocted “happily ever after.” You know what I'm talking about - the kind of life where prince charming waits on you hand and foot, constantly telling you how incredible and beautiful you are. Okay, so maybe I really wasn't expecting that kind of happily ever after. I mean, I had glimpsed "reality," in the marriages of those around me, and my expectations (in my eyes), were realistic, but I'm pretty sure I wasn't expecting marriage to be as hard as it is.
It’s true. When I got married, I didn’t realize that my wedding day bliss was going to turn into the hardest, most challenging experience of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I have a beautiful marriage. A deeply fulfilling, and satisfyingly-wonderful "fairy tale," marriage. But my fairy tale hasn’t been free from struggle, worry, discouragement and frustration. Simply put, it's been hard. And you know what? I think "hard," is exactly how fairy tale love was meant to be.
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Yes, marriage is hard. In a heart-wrenching, soul-stretching, good kind of way.
I didn’t realize when I got married, that I would be asked to give so much... of myself. And that I would be asked, or rather forced, to give away so much of my selfish, proud, know-it-all self. I didn't know marriage would be this hard.
I didn’t know that the personal price to be paid for a lasting marriage was so high. That it would require me to be vulnerable, humble, and at times... embarrassed at who I am. At things I've said that I didn’t mean. Of the harsh person that I can be when I put up my defenses. I didn't know that it would make me look inside myself, really look, and recognize my weaknesses for what they are. I didn’t know marriage would be this hard.
I didn’t know marriage would require me to apologize so often – and for the same things sometimes week after week. I didn’t know marriage would squeeze my heart until it hurts, all while giving me the chance to forgive again and again and again. I didn't know marriage would be this hard.
Don’t get me wrong, marriage is my happily ever after. It’s my reality. I chose it, and I love it. Even though it's the hardest thing I've ever done, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. You know why? Because it’s changing me.
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Slowly, but surely, marriage is changing me for the better. It’s showing me a higher, better way. It’s creating a more fulfilling, meaningful life for me. It’s helping me progress, improve, and become a better person than I could have ever been on my own. Marriage has given me a chance to have my heart re-shaped, re-molded, and re-adjusted to make room for a deeper, more sacred, more selfless kind of love.
And you know what? I’m happier than I’ve ever been. And though I didn't know marriage would be this hard, I'm glad it is, because I'm quickly learning that this kind of "hard," is a key ingredient to happily ever after.
Photo Credit: Ashley Swenson Photo
"You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly."
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