Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward in the same direction. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's "Le Petit Prince"
My best friend from elementary school, Kami, is organizing a bloggy thingy wherein a bunch of bloggers, for the month of November, make a list of five things they’re thankful for every Thursday. I’m late. And because I am loquacious and I don’t want this post to be a gazillion words long, I’m just writing about my first point of gratitude: Nathaniel.
Growing up, I didn’t think I would get married. My parents are divorced, so marriage didn’t seem like the norm. When I saw myself older, I saw myself in business professional with a large paycheck and a great apartment. A husband? Not so much. When I entered BYU, I thought I might get married, but that marriage would be a huge trial and would require constant effort to make it work.
I never would have imagined that at age 26 I would be in the best relationship I could want.
When Nathaniel and I were talking about getting married, I knew marriage was a huge leap of faith because I couldn't completely control the outcome. But Nathaniel didn't hide a thing and I knew I could trust him. I knew I wouldn’t be making a mistake if I married him.
I assumed that the easy stage couldn’t last forever. I kept waiting for it to wear off. I told Nathaniel, “I wonder when marriage will start getting hard?” Nathaniel said, “Don’t think like that. That’s like assuming the greenie magic has to wear off. It doesn’t.” And it hasn’t. I feel like I just stumbled onto the best marriage I could possibly have.
Things are different now than when we were dating. I don’t get butterflies in my stomach every time he walks into the room. He hardly ever puts on the aftershave that I love. I don’t make an effort to be as witty or as put-together like I did then. We don’t talk incessantly about how much we love each other and how great our relationship is (but I don’t think we ever did that, I hope).
Things aren’t the same, but they are really better. Sure, butterflies can be fun, but nothing is better than being in a relationship with a person who is interesting, who knows you and truly loves you, who understands and empathizes, who encourages you to fulfill your goals AND who loves your child almost as much as you love her. That is our marriage.
For this I am grateful. Happy Thanksgiving.