Today is my ninth wedding anniversary. Nine years. Where has the time gone?
It doesn't feel possible that nine years have passed since Husband and I said "I do." I can remember *exactly* how I felt about him nine years ago. How much I loved him. How I wanted to be with him more than any other person in the world. Forever.
Nine years, three kids, two jobs and one house later, we're celebrating our anniversary over 700 miles apart. I'm traveling for work and Husband is home with the kids. Husband will spend more time with the babysitter today than he will with me. Not exactly the type of anniversary celebration a girl dreams about.
But it is apropos for how we've been treating our marriage lately. It would not be an overstatement to say that our marriage could use some work. Between work and school and the kids activities, Husband and I are stretched pretty thin. Right after Snuggle Bug was born Husband took a new position with his company that came with a teeny tiny bit more pay but tons of extra overnight and weekend work. And my job has required a lot of unadvertised travel. Throw in three kids, a bunch of activities, school and regular day-to-day obligations and we are pretty much at capacity. Husband and I barely have a chance to talk about the basics, let alone discuss anything that might nurture our relationship. And you can forget about going out. Husband has always been a homebody and difficult to get out of the house. Add in complications of needing a babysitter and being on a time table, and it's a sure bet it isn't going to happen, even if all he has to do is show up. And that gets you where we are now: needing some maintenance.
I've been telling Husband we need a tune-up for quite some time now. For a long time I've felt like my only value to Husband has been as a workhorse: I'm expected to have a job and provide the main income for our family so that we can have a house and car and food. I'm also expected to do all of the tasks that go along with taking care of our children, maintaining a home, and coordinating the kids activities. It doesn't sound like much in that list, but if you think about all of the steps in just one task in one of those categories, you can understand how at times I feel overwhelmed. And why I want to feel like something more. But, if the morning's lackluster exchange of cards says anything at all, it says that Husband isn't likely to look at me any differently any time soon.
A marriage isn't a one-way street, however, and I've got work to do too. I'll openly admit that I don't know how to make Husband feel valued and special. It's hard to convince Husband that I'd rather spend time with him than anyone else in the world when I fall asleep on the couch every night 27 seconds after I finish packing all of the lunches, snacks, and school supplies for the next day. I want it to be different, and it is up to me to make it so. Now I've just got to figure out how (and stay awake to do so).
It's been an amazing nine years with Husband. The past nine years have been filled with some challenges but many wonderful blessings. Our children, our family and our home are so much more than I ever thought they could be. I am truly blessed beyond words. And I still feel about Husband the exact same way I felt nine years ago -- there's no one else in the world I'd rather be with. And I'm even more in love. To borrow the lyrics from one of the songs in our wedding, "it's a long, slow, beautiful dance" and while we may be a bit out of sync right now, I'm so glad we're dancing together.