‘Tonight, someone tagged my husband in a photo with his ex-girlfriend from 10 years ago. His arm draped around her, a big smile on his face, surrounded by friends.’

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“Tonight, someone tagged my husband in a photo with his ex-girlfriend from 10 years ago. His arm draped around her, a big smile on his face, surrounded by friends. He looked so happy.

20-year-old me would have been livid.

30-year-old me smiled at the thought of all it took to get us to this point.

This point right now, with almost 8 years of marriage under our belt, and two beautiful and perfect children who complete our lives in ways we never imagined possible.

We’ve done so much growing together in the last 9 1/2 years. Our relationship surviving and thriving through even the most difficult times.

That photo showed a different time in his life. A life he led before he even knew this life was possible.

But what can’t be seen in that photo, or any photo for that matter, is the way he looks at me every morning when he kisses me goodbye to head off to work. That look that tells me I’m still the best decision he’s ever made.

No photo can show the world the way his eyes light up when I exit the bathroom after an hour-long hair and makeup session for a night out with him. That look tells me he appreciates the extra effort I put in to impressing him.

No photo can show the world the way he stared intently into my eyes at the altar the night he gave me his last name, emphasizing his undying love to me over and over again before God and a room of 200 people.

No photo can show the world the way he stared at me, tears brimming his brown eyes, as he watched me bring both of our children into this world. The pride and overwhelming love he felt for me in those precious moments are forever etched in my brain.

No photo can show the world the way his eyes smile on a Sunday morning, while lying in bed, curled up with me and our two children, laughing, tickling, living in a perfect heaven surrounded by the 3 people who love him most in this world.

Sure, he looks happy in that photo from 10 years ago. But he’s never been happier than right now, when he has everything he ever prayed for in the palm of his hand.

Sometimes, it can be hard to see old photos. To see memories we’d like to forget, things we don’t wish to remember. But they serve as a reminder of the broken road that brought us to this moment in time, when we have all we ever wanted.

And for that, I’m grateful.”

Kelli Willoughby Photography

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Four Norths in the South. The article originally appeared here. Follow Jade on Instagram here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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