Today is my wedding anniversary. Fourteen years ago today, in a beautiful Catholic church in northern Iowa, we got married. Was the wedding perfect? Not by a long shot. It was damp and cold, the flowers were wrong, and the store forgot to finish my dress! I called my mom in a panic to bring a needle and thread to the church. Did any of that matter. Nope. Everybody that I loved was there. I was happy and knew I was embarking on an adventure with somebody I greatly loved and who was my best friend. I am still lucky to feel that way.
I look back at that day and wonder how my twenty-two year old self so easily took the plunge. When I was a teenager, I wasn't sure I would ever get married and if I did, surely it wouldn't be until I was 30! Instead, I meet Husband and, after eight months we are engaged. Eight months later, we are married. Fourteen years later, we are still married. It is crazy.
I look at the phenomenon of starter marriages. How it has become so common, that there really isn't any sort of stigma attached. I find this really sad. I am not talking about first marriages who end due to abuse, violence, and addiction. I am talking about the ones that just didn't work for no real reason. I am not advocating that anyone should spend their life in a relationship that is making them miserable, but am advocating for slowing down and really thinking it through before you even get married.
I have mentioned before that Husband and I had to take the Catholic marriage classes before we got married. Even though we were grumpy about having to take them, I really feel that they are a great preparation (at least ours was) for life after the excitement of the wedding. We had to look at topics such as finances, goals, values, and children. It was a way to initiate these discussions in a friendly atmosphere. I noticed many couples hadn't thought to talk about whether they would have separate or joint bank accounts or really even talked about how many (if any) children they wanted. These practical ideas get lost in the whirlwind of new love. I firmly believe in setting a strong foundation in which to build a house.
Were these classes the reason we have made it fourteen years? Who knows, but being able to communicate the good, bad, and ugly is important. It hasn't always been easy. Compromises have been made, dreams not followed, accepting each others different ideas have been swallowed. But, has it been worth it? Definitely.