I hear lots of unsolicited downer ”facts” about the future. Don’t you?
“You’ll never sleep again,” said to every expectant parent.
“You may be the homeowner, but the house will own you,” said to every first-time homebuyer.
“The butterflies go away after a few years,” said to every giddy engaged couple.
Why do people insist on destroying other people’s impending happiness? Ugh. Oh, who am I kidding? As much as I try not to dispense dreary predictions of someone’s future, I’m sure I’ve been guilty of the crime myself. *New resolution for self: Don’t do that anymore. Ever.*
I guess these comments do me good, though, because every time I hear them I vow to make them completely and utterly false. I’m here to report that, while the home does actually own us, we do sleep — and often.
And the best prediction that hasn’t come true? The butterflies are still fluttering. After nine years. (Today! Happy anniversary to us!)
When I got married, my mom told me that when she sees my dad walk into a room, her heart still flutters. In high school, my friends used to comment on how cute my parents were in public because they walked around holding hands. (I didn’t think it was cute then.) So with all the downer “advice” we were getting as an engaged couple, I was so happy to hear from someone (who had been married for decades) who proved it all wrong.
Marriage is awesome.
My favorite song of late is Paramore’s “Still Into You.”
I especially like these lyrics:
I should be over all the butterflies
But I’m into you
And baby even on our worst nights
I’m into you
Let ‘em wonder how we got this far
‘Cause I don’t really need to wonder at all
Yeah, after all this time I’m still into you
When it comes on the radio, I turn it up and sing off-key at my husband. We’ve never had “our” song. I guess this is it because it explains us. We’re “still into each other” after nine years.
And even on our worst nights, we’re “still into each other.”
We’ve both commented how, even in our worst fights, we knew there was going to be a resolution somewhere. So we stayed in the fights until the fight in us gave out, and then we fixed it.
We attended a meeting last month where a marriage therapist talked about relationships. He asked the audience what they thought the most necessary component of a successful marriage is. According to him, it isn’t love and it isn’t respect. It’s commitment.
After nine years, I’m beginning to see the truth of that.
My husband and I agreed in the very beginning that there’s no way out. And because of our actions during the good times, we both still want that. So when the bad times come, we know we’re buckling in and working through them — even if we’d rather jab forks into our thighs repeatedly.
It hasn’t always been easy. 2008 kind of stunk.
But then, it also didn’t. Those are genuine smiles of happiness.
2012 was a bit of a beast.
But then, it also wasn’t.
Sticking through the rough times has made the good times so much… gooder.
We’re figuring things out every year, every day. We’re regressing, progressing, drifting away, coming back together, tolerating each other and absolutely needing and desiring each other.
And that commitment to each other – that component that the marriage therapist said was the most important component — that commitment is not boring. That commitment gets stronger, and it makes the love deeper.
Every day is not pretty. But most are. The world’s grumpy people tell me I should be over all the butterflies, but after all this time — I’m still into him.