10 years ago on a cold, rainy day, I married the man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
Happy 10th wedding anniversary, my dear!
If I claim that we had 10 full years of marital bliss, I’d be lying. A real marriage (or relationship) can’t possibly be all sunshines and rainbows, at least not that I know of. We’ve had our fair share of challenges and arguments along the way. Learning to live with another person is hard work and little annoyances can be very peeving for a person like me. Fortunately, Alan and I complement each other a lot, and we often make up for one another’s weaknesses.
When Alan and I dated, I knew that communication wasn’t his strength. He didn’t like to talk about feelings and emotions, and any “arguments” that we had were obviously one-sided because he remained quiet during those times. When we decided to tie the knot though, he promised to be more vocal in our marriage, and even included this promise in his vows. Well, after practicing for 10 years, I now cannot get him to shut up. 🙂 He loves to “talk things out” and is often the initiator of our conversations. This key change in him has brought us a lot closer through the years.
Alan and I are similar and different in so many ways, but these similarities and differences are precisely what makes our marriage work. We love each other’s company because we are both incredibly adventurous and playful. We have such a great time together doing all sorts of fun things, or simply being couch potatoes next to one another at home. Yet, we thrive on having our personal space as well. Every year, he takes weekend trips by himself for his motorcycle track days, and I would travel without him to visit my girlfriends. We cherish these times when we get reacquainted with our individual identities apart from one another just as much as we cherish the time that we are together as a couple. It really works for us.
I’ve learned so much these past 10 years. Looking back, when I wrote my vows and read them to Alan at our wedding, they were merely words on paper. Promises are very easy to make, but difficult to keep. Love seems easy when you’re deeply in love, but what I learned was that the nature of love changes after you get married. Love becomes much more of a verb, and both Alan and I had to work hard to nourish and grow our marriage. When you’re dating, passion naturally exists every time you see one another, but in a marriage, you just don’t come home everyday with sparks flying around the minute you see your spouse. That’s not to say that passion disappears completely but it takes more effort to revive it from time to time. One of the many things that I love about Alan is that he is always reminding us to make time for one another, and is really committed to maintaining a good level of TLC in our marriage. As with everything else in life, you reap what you sow, and our shared commitment for a strong, loving marriage means we are constantly working hard on it.
I had so many “ideas” on how I wanted to celebrate our big 1-0 wedding anniversary– an elaborate vow renewal party, an unforgettable adrenaline-filled trip to Queenstown, New Zealand, etc. etc…. but in the end, Alan reminded me on the real significance of this occasion, and planned a low-key, yet incredibly special day for us while my sister watched the girls. He took me back to Sweet Way, the street that he lived on when we met. Our first date was spent roller blading right outside his neighborhood, where there is a spectacular view of the bay. Unbeknownst to me, he had hidden his roller blades in the trunk ahead of time, so I was delightfully surprised when he pulled them out and put them on that day. Since I was dressed nicely for dinner, he took out our scooter for me instead, and we rode/bladed along the headlands just like we did years ago, stopping to admire the first signs of sunset as we reminisced on the past 12 years that we’ve been together. Some of the memories felt like a life time ago while others felt like yesterday. We realized that we really have gone through a lot together, and we are so grateful for where we are with our relationship and marriage right now. We had a lovely dinner at Yume Sushi that evening, which also reminded us of our many dates where we would sit for hours at the sushi bar just enjoying each other’s company and good sushi. In fact, Alan was the one who taught me what good, authentic sushi really is. Prior to meeting him, I was happy with California Rolls! 🙂
Since we both love traveling so much, it is inevitable that we will celebrate with a trip later this month but we’re including Bridgette this time since she is old enough now to enjoy so many of the activities that we love. 🙂
Happy anniversary to the love of my life, and I’ll never forget all our wonderful memories together…
Going through all these old photos made me teary-eyed, as I relived all the beautiful memories we created together. It also made me realize that we had very little photos as a couple after Bridgette was born! It’s easy for the marriage to get “lost”, or to be put on the back burner, once kids come into play. But, as my wise friend Jean always reminds me, our kids will grow up and live their own lives in 18 years, whereas our spouse will be our partner and companion for many more years beyond that….so it’s very important that we do not “forget” our marriage while focusing on our children.
Thanks Alan, for 10 imperfectly memorable years. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. 🙂