Eight years. Eight loooong years. I know why most marriages end in divorce- because it is so darn hard. And what's worse is that this is the exact opposite of what you were expecting.
Instead of life getting better it got much worse.
First year anniversary we had an 8 month old, had lost his job, started a business, and had no money.
Second year anniversary I was fat and pregnant with number two, still low on funds, driving my Grandmother's old car without air conditioning.
Third year I was newly pregnant again. Natural Family Planning- we just weren't very good at it.
Fourth year I managed to prevent any pregnancies, probably because I didn't like him very much.
Fifth year I realized I had to like him because I can't raise 3 kids on my own.
Sixth year I went back to work full time and things were better...maybe because we never saw each other?
Seventh year. Still hard, but love 'em to death. Or till death.
Eighth year. Sigh. Wouldn't change anything. If I have to go through this, he is the one I want to be with. He can calm me down by putting things into perspective, and he has learned to take my concerns very seriously. He listens and does not criticize. He is not perfect, and I like that. I have thought before if only.......but really no scenario is satisfying to me. I've found it best to quit wishing for something different and open my eyes to all the blessings I have.
It is not anything like I dreamed of. I suspect it won't be. But wait- the last eight years I have learned what true unconditional love means, I have grown my patience, I have gotten over how great I am (because this marriage has brought out the worst in me at times), I have seen my husband grow into a man that puts his family before himself, we have been tried, refined, and came out alive.
I am so very fortunate to have a spouse that is willing to work through the tough times and does not easily give up. He is strong enough that when I don't have the faith to keep going, he will carry me through. He also shares my faith and strengthens it. We are now a team. I love you, Sook. But there is no happily ever after. Only more trials, victories, sweat, tears, joys, celebrations...well, life until death.