The light in the closet is out, I muttered to him while getting ready for bed. It’s really my most glorious time of the day, I’m exhausted, my belly is huge, and everything hurts from the growing human inside me. I’m a downright joy to be around (not). I don’t even know if he heard me because I complained about how many times I pee at night immediately following my light complaint.
Then tonight as I went to go to bathroom for the 17th time I flipped on the closer switch on by habit and realized the light came on. Ben was already peacefully asleep (one of our many differences) and I smiled and couldn’t help but think this was what 7 years was.
At year one you want elaborate dinners and flowers for no reason (ok I still want that sometimes) but you think that is love, grandiose gestures. You think love is purchased or proved by things and trips.
Years 2-4 you’re working through all the hiccups year one brought, fighting styles, communication differences, expectations that went unmet but you’re also still newlyweds. You take fun trips, explore new cities, and treat your dogs like they are children instead of pets. You find couple friends and do activities that start at 10pm, something that you never realize will be a thing of the past once you have children.
By year 4 you have your first baby and it’s all new again. The love for your family, the emotional highs of love tadalafil in natura for your spouse and this new little one. Everything has a shiny new edge on it. Holidays are a little more special. Family pictures now have a baby instead of a dog. Trips become less and dates become the survival food you feed your marriage. It has its challenges and in a way you have to learn how to be yourselves again once this person has joined your home but you work through it, fight through it, and laugh when it all seems so hard yet beautiful.
5-7 you continue to add on. In our case two more kids and settle into a rhythm of chaos. Happy hour is now the time you sit on the porch after all the kids have gone to bed and wonder if you’ll ever get to sleep through the night and how you will pay for college. You work through parenting differences and money qualms. Even less trips but when you get to leave for a few glorious days you act like teenagers who just got released from parental supervision. You laugh out of sleep deprivation and pure ridiculous of what your life is now. You reminisce about the days of freedom but know you wouldn’t take them back. You wonder why you didn’t accomplish all your dreams while it was only the two of you. You stare at the clock begging for it to be the kid’s bedtime only to look at pictures of them and laugh at whatever funny thing they did or said that day. Each day is a little bit like hitting repeat but before you know it a year has passed and you have another full set of memories. Life isn’t slowing down so you learn to enjoy the ride and slip in the occasional weekend away to recharge and remember where you were steering this boat in the first place.
Then year 7 hits. This dreaded year that has been deemed “the breaking point of marriages.” You look at it square on the laugh because you feel the same love about a light bulb being changed than you did about the flowers a few years ago. You laugh at the 7 year struggle because you can see how truly lucky you are.
In year one you said you were lucky because you were married and you checked all the boxes but by year seven its love that’s seen counseling rooms, doctors’ offices, and delivery rooms. It’s the love that’s held you hand for your first baby and wept tears of joy as you brought a tiny person into your life. It’s a love that’s weathered stomach bugs and fights about laundry and eye rolls and nagging and the real every day. It’s the love that grabs the kids in bear hugs and tells you to sit down and relax when you’ve almost reached the breaking point. It’s the love that’s on your side when the world around you feels like its crumbling. Is the love that holds you close and tells you that it believes in you when you are scared of failing. It’s the love that’s walked a crying newborn around for countless hours in the dark so you can sleep. It’s the arms you’ve wept in when life truly disappointed. It’s the love that has sat in front rows and cheered you on. It’s real. It’s messy. It’s respected and deep. It’s real.
It’s that simple profound servant love that Jesus told us we would need in marriage. It’s the love that changed the light bulb, a thousand diapers, and promises to hold your hand through whatever comes next.
So bring it on 7 years. Do your worst.