It’s Monday again. I’m sitting here looking out the window at the rain waiting for the 3 inches of snow we are supposed to get to start falling from the sky. Thank goodness we went ahead and put the blankets on at the barn and put the horses up in their stalls. Snow + old horses with arthritis=bad news. I’m so tired of yucky weather. I’m ready for a sunny warm Spring to start! Waiting for Spring has got me thinking about how we wanted to have our wedding during this time of year. We settled for late winter/ early spring because we simply did not want to wait any longer and with the wedding venue mix up most locations were already booked. I loved that fact that our wedding was wintery but occasionally I wish that it were a little bit warmer when we said our “I Do’s”. All of this wedding thinking made me realize how much has changed since I went from fiancé to Bride to Wife.It’s so silly to think that a few simple words can make such a difference in your relationship. But that is exactly what happens. One moment you are engaged, planning your wedding and the next moment you are staring wistfully into your partners eyes saying your vows in front of friends and family. We didn’t say the standard “I do” but instead recited several verses in our hand fasting ceremony that stated “I will”. The premise however is the same. One moment I was still single and the next a wife. Granted this wasn’t my first marriage. My first marriage was many, many years ago to my son’s father. We met in high school and long story short, we got married way too young. Neither us had done enough actual living to prepare us for the commitment of marriage. So after our son was born, things just fell apart because we didn’t have a firm foundation to start with. We ended up divorced after only a few years of marriage. Now here I am married again many years later. And it’s definitely an adjustment. I’ve been single for nearly 16 years. That’s a long time to get comfortable in your own routine. So now I am sharing the bed, the bathroom, and my coffee mugs. While it’s not a bad adjustment by any means because I adore my husband, it’s still a change from what I am used to. And I think to some extent that as Brides we forget about the day after the wedding. We work so hard for months and even years to plan the perfect event. We obsess over flowers, colors, cake flavors, the invitations, our dress. Rarely do we take a second to think after the wedding aftermath, which is the marriage part of the relationship. The wedding is fun and exciting but after you put that ring on your finger you are now not just representing yourself, but your husband as well. You are not just married to him, but also his whole family. Everything about your life has now been combined in just a matter of minutes….your households, families, finances. Just everything. And while this is fun and exciting, it’s a whole hell of a lot of work. To be honest, the 6 months leading up to our wedding was the most difficult time in my life. One thing after another started falling apart and things just snowballed from there. We decided to custom build our first home together and got screwed over in the process. Thankfully we were able to pull the contract with little financial damage and the person who took advantage of us ultimately got fired. After that things just got worse. My husband’s financial advisor did a lot of really bad things to a lot of his clients, us included. My husband worked for years and years to build up his portfolio and in one fell swoop this jackass almost completely destroyed it. Thank goodness we have an amazing lawyer who has been able to get answers but it is still 8 months later and the funds have not been located. Money is one of the number one reasons why marriages fail and I can honestly tell you that this is true. And please don’t be like me and ever think that if your financial situation would change that all of the sudden your worries and woes go away. They don’t. The old worries just get traded for new ones. It’s a whole different kind of stress. We have been walking on eggshells and living so stressed out these past few months that I am honestly surprised that neither one of us has had a stroke or heart attack. All of our plans and goals have either been entirely backseated or thrown out all together. As a couple we are constantly finding ways to reinvent ourselves. While I never, ever want to go through this kind of stress again, I am hoping that once we come out on the other side of this mess that our marriage will pretty much be unbreakable. No one could have prepared us for this stress. If you had asked me a year ago if I thought that we would ever go through something trying like this of course I would say no. A year ago we were in total relationship bliss…..eating at the newest trendy restaurants in downtown Raleigh, drinking adult beverages at Tasty beverage, grabbing dessert at the Cupcake Shoppe, going antique shopping and spending the weekends at the beach house whenever we could. We couldn’t imagine our lives not being like they were right then. Fast forward to now however. We’re buying a farm, we’re custom building a home finally, we’re both in the transition phase of our careers, and we are building our marriage one brick at a time. I’ll be honest, there are some days where things aren’t easy and they just don’t work. There have been tears and arguments and lots of breakthroughs. Our marriage is a work in progress. I consider it a blank canvas to begin with and we just keep adding beautiful colors to it until one day this beautiful painting emerges. We are both learning a lot about not only each other, but ourselves. And thankfully I am blessed to have a husband who is willing to do the hard work and have the difficult conversations. He’s my husband, but also my very best friend. I couldn’t imagine spending my days with anyone else. How will our marriage change when we are both spending everyday together running the farm? No clue but I’m sure that it will evolve even then. I never thought as a fiancé who was engaged with this big shiny ring that we would be here in this place now. I hadn’t thought about how becoming a wife would transition my whole life. But if I’m honest, I love it. I am spending more time at home taking care of my husband and son. I am around more for my family if they need me now that my mom is getting older. The freedom of my schedule allows me to attend meetings with builders, the architect, the realtor, and anything school related for my son. It’s a big change for sure since I am usually Miss Independent but it’s a change I am loving. I’ll choose wife over bride any day! I am looking forward to selling our two houses, decorating our new home, buying Christmas decorations for our first Christmas in our new house, priming the land for our first crop of strawberries. There are so many “firsts” I just can’t wait for! And I am blessed and thankful to have my amazing husband by my side to experience all of this with me. Is everyday easy? Nope. Not even close. But is everyday an opportunity to learn something new? Definitely.
My advice to you all my Brides is do the work. Don’t just focus on that amazing Maggie Sottero dress you’ll be wearing for your wedding day. Remember your groom as well. And more importantly than that, remember your marriage! When the wedding is all said and done your adventure as a couple is just beginning. Appreciate the quiet moments now because later they may be few and far between.
Cheers to love and all the good things in life!