When you are committing to a relationship or to marriage with someone, the most important thing to remember is that your partner is their own person, with their own likes, dislikes, stresses, convictions, and passions. This can be the best and worst thing about a relationship.
I had never lived with a guy before so getting married came with many new firsts for me. Many of those firsts were amazing and fun and exciting. But I struggled with what commitment means the first time we had a real disagreement and we got upset with each other.
This incident happened more than three years ago so I cannot remember what the disagreement was about, but I do remember it was so silly and not worth getting so worked up over. In the moment, though, it felt so much more dramatic and stressful.
My first instinct is always to avoid confrontation, so I remember wanting to run away. When we were dating, I would just go back my home and calm down. But the commitment of marriage changes everything because you are sharing your life together. When I married my husband I committed to be there in sickness and health, for richer or poorer. No matter what we faced I promised to stick by his side. Then, at the first sight of a disagreement I wanted to run?
It wasn’t until our first fight that I fully understood what it would take to fulfill our wedding vows. Even though every part of me wanted to run and avoid any argument, I knew we had committed to work through our issues—no matter how big or small.
What has that look like over the past three years?
It means when we fight, we work to make up. It means not running away when my husband falls ill and medical bills start rolling in. It means not blaming each other when bad financial decisions are made, and instead, working together to figure out how to fix it. It means growing together when our first born was born five weeks early and we had to finger feed him because his mouth was too small for a bottle. It means loving each other even when it’s 2 a.m. and my husband is still doing homework, I am up feeding a newborn, and we haven’t had a full night of sleep in months.
It’s not easy, but the priceless moments we’ve shared make it worth it. After supporting my husband as he spent the first 3 years of our marriage in school full time, there was the moment we celebrated his graduation from college. Or the countless moments we’ve blasting music and belting out all the lyrics on roadtrips. We’ve explored New York City together hand-in-hand. He held me while I have given birth to two beautiful babies—soon to be three. Now, when my husband walks in the door, immediately our son says, “DADA DADA DADA DADA!!!!!” and runs right for him.
Just as a mother is fully committed to her children, a husband and wife are committed to each other. I can’t and wouldn’t want to abandon him. My husband is truly my best friend and I guarantee we would not be nearly as close if we had not fully committed ourselves to each other. Because we have endured the hard times and embraced the amazing times we have grown into the best of friends. I truly love living life with him.
Love takes work, relationships take work, commitment takes work. If I had run away during that first argument, I would not have the life I have now. I wouldn’t have the love of my life standing by me.
I have learned when you fully commit to someone it opens your heart to grow in love and trust. I know I can give him my whole heart and completely open myself up to him without fear that he will leave me. That’s a freedom that only came after I fully committed to our marriage. Yes, facing my fears was scary at first. But it is so worth it.