“Listen up, young ones.
Love looks different now.
This picture was taken on our honeymoon, more than a decade ago. These two crazy kids have no clue they’ll be pregnant 8 months later. They have no idea about the pregnancy losses they will face and the twins they will mourn for a lifetime. They’ve been married for a few days. They started dating in October, were engaged in March and married in June.
Love is simple for them. It’s light.
Here we are, years later and being together isn’t as simple. Alone time is rare but valued more. We’re busy with life, homeschool, his full-time job, my work, building a house on our own and the general chaos of life raising three kids.
Love looks less and less like romantic dinners and weekend getaways and more and more like washed dishes and laundry thrown in the dryer without being asked. It isn’t terribly Instagramable, but it soothes my tired soul so much more than it used to. I saw something online recently that said, ‘Don’t be eye candy, be soul food’ and that really resonated with me about marriage in the throes of parenthood. It isn’t about looking perfect, it’s about loving well in the trenches of the hard stuff life throws at you.
It’s easy to love when life is carefree. You need to choose a partnership that is ready for more than just fair weather, because seasons change.
Stress happens, resentment happens, irritations arise. Life isn’t as simple; love isn’t as simple.
Love is far more practical, less classically romantic and honestly at times pushed aside for the necessary thing.
Don’t get married for the way you feel now. Get married because the person you’re looking at is the one you want to struggle with. Marry the one you want to continually choose. Marry the ones whose strengths compliment your weaknesses.
You’re going to clean puke off the floor for them. You’ll stand together as loved ones are buried. You’ll be faced with impossible decisions. You’ll stand over a child you brought into this world and hold each other as you wait on word that they are going to make it. You’ll change jobs and move. You’ll act like an ass hat and feel the dreaded moment when you realize you are the one that’s wrong. You’ll argue over big things like money and dumb things like closing kitchen cabinets and hair in the sink.
You will hurt one another. Sometimes in little ways, sometimes in big ways.
You’ll learn to continually choose them, so choose well.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Katie Bryant, 31, of North Caroina. Follow Katie on Instagram here and Facebook here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
More from Katie here:
‘I got the call at 6 p.m., left my kids with my husband and drove to her house with my socks crammed into my Birkenstocks.’: Mom urges others to ‘just show up’ when friends need you, ‘She didn’t need Pinterest, she needed me’
‘I told him to stop! He pushed him again. So, I punched him, hard,’ my son said. I took him for ice cream.’: Mom proud of son for sticking up for bullied classmate, ‘My child has full permission to rock your kid’s world if they’re bullying them’
‘We nearly lost him today. I pulled off wrappers, started dishing them out. I gave it to him.’: Mom feels guilt for giving son Popsicle that ignited peanut allergy, ‘We’re just trying to keep our kid alive’\
Do you know someone who could benefit from reading this? SHARE this story on Facebook with family and friends.