[Disclaimer- This post is inspired by the Netflix series Love Is Blind and it has nothing to do with Motherhood! It’s all about me and the Hubs.. Shout out to the show participants for giving me some seriously good one liners that I had to stop and write down along the way.]
If you’ve been following the blog then you know I mostly write about my experiences as Tre’s Mom and the impact Motherhood has had on me. Well guess what? There’s more to me than being a Mom and on March 28 the Harold (aka the Hubs) and I will celebrate 12 years of marriage. [Insert church clap here!]. Two years ago I wrote about our 10 year anniversary in The Henry, Jr’s, so why not do it again.
12 years y’all! Like 12…a whole dozen. A few weeks ago it hit us both and I died laughing when Harold went down the list to tell me what else comes in denominations of 12. Here goes: apostles, hours on a clock, tribes of Israel, months of the year, zodiac signs (we ain’t getting with the new sign nonsense), days of Christmas, roses, eggs, donuts, and some other random things I forgot. Biblically it means authority and perfection, and it can be also used as a symbol of divine rule. So what I’m saying is 12 is a BIG DEAL!
I jumped on the train and watched Love Is Blind and for someone who doesn’t normally like dating reality shows, it held my attention. I think I was more fascinated by the goal of the show to have the couples end in marriage than I was by the ‘dating’ scenes in the pods. Plus the title of the show kept ringing in my head more like a question than a statement. It went from Love Is Blind to Is Love Blind? As I watched I had to stop along the way because the participants were saying some things that stood out to me. There’s even a good line from Jessica! Below is a collection of some of those lines and I decided to give you 6 because I didn’t want to bore you! In no particular order, here goes-
Being in a marriage kinda changes everything. -Lauren
You dern right Lauren and there’s no “kinda” about it. As much as it can be scary and uncertain to think about change, there is also something beautiful about it. Marriage will change your priorities. Marriage will change your views. Marriage will change your ‘circle.’ Marriage. Will. Change. You. On a whole, my life looks different than it did in 2008 and it has been for the better. Lesson: Embrace the change.
Love is a beautiful thing. -Gia
Yes, love is beautiful and…in order to make it beautiful get ready to adopt a regimen similar to some of those skin care routines out there because, contrary to unmarried belief- marriage takes WORK. Harold and I haven’t made this far just by hoping and dreaming for a healthy marriage. We’ve had to work for it. The beautiful part about our marriage is that we both understand that and we are both committed to putting in the work to make it our version of beautiful. Lesson: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
What will be left behind in this new phase of my life? -Lauren
Honestly I haven’t thought about it in this way ever, but thinking about it now, when I said, “I do,” I left behind the idea that my marriage had to look like other peoples’. We had our parents, sisters, relatives and friends to look at for examples and, good or bad, we wanted to chart our own path. Again, I think entering a marriage can be looked at as a loss by some. I flipped that and looked at what I brought to Harold’s life and how I could become better by being with him rather than the contrary. Lesson: No one loses when we stay committed to doing the work.
This isn’t going to be butterflies and rainbows all the time. -Jessica
Out of everything she said on the show, this one made the most sense. Of the 4,383 days we’ve been married, those butterflies and rainbows have, at times, been replaced by fruit flies and thunderstorms. How did we get through those times? Love plus. Love plus the respect we have for each other. Love plus the trust we have in each other. Love plus the support we provide to each other. I’ve learned to appreciate those butterfly and rainbow moments when they happen and tuck them away in my memory bank so when those other days come I’ve got something to keep me going. Lesson: Jessica’s right! For real though; have a realistic view of what this kind of partnership will be.
Will I lose bits and pieces of me that were there once? -Lauren
I don’t look at marriage as a loss of anything other than singlehood and I believe the pieces that were once there will always be there. Harold will tell you the same Krystal (at my core) that he met in 2003 is still there. And this includes all of my quirky ways that make him scratch his head (even now)! I have worked to keep my own identity outside of our marriage and so has he. We have our own interests, hobbies and friends that have nothing to do with each other and that is important. Lesson: You won’t lose what you work to keep.
Marriage is about stopping, forgetting about yourself and making sure that you put that other person before your needs and everything that you do. -Barnett’s brother
I had to rewind and listen to this one several times to get it down right and boy was Barnett’s brother right. I talk a lot about #selfcare for Moms and I believe it is important. I also believe, and know, that putting Harold’s needs and feelings before my own is important as well. It’s a delicate balance (similar to a tightrope act if I’m being honest) that I take time to work everyday. Of the other points, this one can be the most challenging at times because it’s easy to want your own needs met first. When I fall into those moments I remind myself that marriage has its ebbs and flows and there will come a time for my needs to be at the forefront. Lesson: Marriage is not all about you. Remember that.
So after 12 years, 144 months, 626 weeks, 4,383 days, 105,192 hours, 6,311,520 minutes ad 378,691,200 seconds when I ask myself if love is enough I have to be honest and say, NO. I’ve needed more than love to make it through these years and I know Harold would agree. I think there’s more to a marriage and a commitment than that. There’s respect, kindness, trust, good communication, honesty, support, loyalty, and fun. Don’t misunderstand me now, love is important and it’s the strongest emotion of all, however, love is not the be-all and end-all for me. For this year’s anniversary, those other qualities have never meant more than they do now while we are practicing social distancing and leaning on the strength in those qualities to keep our marriage healthy. So join me in raising your ceremonial glass (or real glass depending on what time you’re reading this) and help us toast to 12 years and more! –krystal