Three Thousand Days of {Mostly} Wedded Bliss

Today is the day! Three thousand days of marriage! All the kisses and hugs and chocolate hearts go out to my darling husband today. If only we could see each other in person, I would spend the afternoon sitting next to him on the couch, looking out at the grayness of the fog hanging over the lake (his favorite sort of weather), reflecting back together on these last three thousand days. But, unfortunately, he’s not here. He’s off teaching some pretty amazing things to the medical community in the middle of the state. So instead of sitting together, we’ll smile at one another over Skype and hold off our hugs until tomorrow. Because tomorrow will be three thousands days + one. And that will be even better.

3K Days

 

How long exactly is three thousand days? It’s a little more than eight years. I know most people don’t typically celebrate reaching such a milestone, but we like to recognize as many of the little moments as possible. And why not? It’s another reason to celebrate! So when we realized a few months ago that today would be the big 3K, we knew it deserved a bit of recognition.

Three thousand days don’t pass without learning a thing or two about each other and this whole marriage thing, and that got me thinking. What have we learned on this journey so far? Honestly, it’s far more than we could possibly write in this space, but I can certainly break down a few of the good things. So here are three, big, sparkly pieces of wisdom we’ve gained in our first three thousand days of {mostly} wedded bliss.

1. We will never be everything to our spouse.

I think I spent the entire year we dated and then the six months we were engaged floating through the clouds. Even the first year of marriage. I couldn’t believe this handsome guy who loved Jesus and wanted to impact the world through teaching and practicing medicine actually wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. Little me who shrunk all his dress shirts the first month we were married and who killed all our house plants the second month. I felt like a mess while he seemed so well put together. But you know what we both learned before we exchanged vows? We learned that we would never be enough for each other. Doesn’t that sound like a sad way to start a life-long relationship? But of course it wasn’t. It was one of the healthiest things for us to recognize. We were never created to be everything the other needs. And for that I am so, so thankful. Because I would be a  hot mess trying to meet every single one of Pete’s needs. Heck, I’m already a hot mess! Here’s why I can’t be everything. One, he needs guy friends. He needs guys to hang out with and do whatever it is guys do together. (I don’ t need to go into detail here, right?) And vice versa. Pete can’t take the place of my girl friends. For one, he would get so tired of all my talking! My daily word count is a lot for him to take as it is. I need my girls to remind me why I love being a mom and a woman and to chat through all the little details of every part of my day. But the most important part of recognizing we can’t be everything for each other is because we know we both need Jesus a whole lot. I mess up all the time and so does Pete. We can continue to point each other to Jesus for strength and wholeness and unending love when we just aren’t feeling it. Because what Jesus has in absolutely unending and unshakable. I am human. I can’t love Pete perfectly. But Jesus can. And I’m so thankful he does.

2. We change over time.

I had this silly thought when I was in high school and early college that the only exciting, unknown adventure left in my life was finding my husband and planning our wedding. Not that I was someone who was all about the wedding, but I do like a good party. I somehow forgot that people change. We aren’t flat figures who meet, get married, and never do anything different for the remaining two-thirds of our lives. We live and experience life and a lot of the time, that means who we are is going to look a little different over time. It doesn’t necessarily mean the core of who we are changes, but how we respond to life might not be exactly as it once was. I look a whole lot different from the 25 year-old girl Pete married 3,000 days ago. And that’s a good thing! That girl was lovely and smart and ambitious, but she wasn’t ready to be the mama to two and wife to a busy ER doc. She wasn’t at a place to lead a group of moms every Tuesday morning or to pack a few bags and move to the other side of the world. It took time and lots of experiences to get to the place I am now. And Pete is the same! We are far better versions of who we were when we said our vows 8 years ago. We haven’t just sailed through that growth as a couple, though. We’ve both made lots of mistakes and we’ve both needed lots of grace. Lots of grace. But without those changes, we would be stuck as the same people we were when we got married, not ready to be parents to our children, friends to those around us, or missionaries to Kenya. Change can be hard, but it’s also really good and so very healthy.

3. It’s okay to ask for help.

There is a very common misconception that if we ask for help, we are weak. Let me tell you how not true that is. Pete and I have been teaching premarital counseling to couples at our church for the last five years, so yeah, we have some great ideas about marriage. We help people get through tough situations, we know a whole list of proper communication skills my heart, and we even teach couples how to have conflict in a healthy way. But does that mean we know everything about having a healthy marriage? Absolutely not. We are on a journey together and sometimes we need to hear from other couples who have been doing this longer than three thousand days. We need fresh ideas and guidance. Those ideas can come from spending time with other couples, reading great marriage books, or seeking professional counseling. Asking for help does not mean your marriage is falling apart. It simply means you are willing to humble yourselves and recognize that others may have answers you don’t have yet. Asking for help can be one of the healthiest things you do for your marriage, no matter how long you’ve been together. Want to know a secret? Next week Pete & I will have our first session with a marriage counselor. And we’re looking forward to it! Our marriage is not hanging on by a thread, but just like it’s healthy to go see a doctor every now and then to make sure we’re physically okay, it’s healthy to involve a professional to check in on our marriages every so often. I want to get to the bottom of any potential issues when they are still just potential issues before they grow into something bigger. Welcome help into your marriage! It will only equal a better relationship in the end.

Three thousand days! I think I’ve got a decent feel for this marriage thing now. Bring on the next 24,000! (That’s roughly 65 more years!)

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6 Responses to Three Thousand Days of {Mostly} Wedded Bliss

  1. Jim Boulger says:

    Dear Angela:

    You are so well-named! This is so beautiful a reflection and so honestly full of truth! I find myself in complete agreement – but I could never state it as eloquently as you do!

    Dee and I are, today, in our 17,927th day and I feel just as lucky and blessed as Pete must! Thank you so much for helping us all to keep the right things in the correct perspective.

    Take care and be filled with His love.

    Jim Boulger

  2. Julia says:

    I totally loved this post. Especially your first “Lesson”. You are right. We can’t be everything for anyone. That is God’s place. The sooner we realize that the happier we can be in our relationships.

  3. Mummalove says:

    Beautiful Angela! Happy 3000 days to you and Pete. Such great lessons you have learned so far. Thank you for sharing xx

  4. Aw, congrats on your 3,ooo dayversary! I am already calculating when we will reach that day. Although, since we have been married only two months, it will be a little while. I love posts that celebrate marriage. 🙂

  5. Char says:

    Love the way you share your heart, Angie. God is surely using you to help others.

  6. […] Three Thousand Days of (Mostly) Wedded Bliss by my precious friend Angela over at The Mango Memoirs. […]

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