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It's an old saying: "The First Year of Marriage is the hardest." It's said by a lot of well-meaning friends and loved ones, but is it really true? I'm about 9 months into marriage with my beautiful, tattooed wife and I don't buy it.
My wife and I met four years ago and became a couple about three years ago. We got engaged last summer and got married on September 5, 2017. I love her. More than my own life. If everyone gets one "great romance," then she is mine, without question. Our young marriage has not been hard. Life has been hard. It always is. That's the most beautiful thing about marriage though. You get to go through life with your best friend.
A lot of people view marriage as a war-zone. Like two opposing countries, fighting to get what they want from the other, and if that's how you think of your marriage, that's what it will become. But from my significantly small time being married, I've learned that it's not "You v. Your Spouse." That thought will make you hate your spouse. It's "Your Marriage v. Life." My wife and I get to stand together and face everything the life could throw at us. We get to fight for each other because we love each other.
One of the most special things my wife and I share is our friendship. Outside of loving each other as spouses, we genuinely love each other as people. We were great friends before we started dating. I think it's one of the most valuable parts of our relationship because we never had to find things that we had in common. We didn't go into our friendship trying to make it a relationship, and I believe it's a reason that we will be able to make it our entire life together. We have a foundation of a solid friendship, of enjoying America's Next Top Model, Bon Iver, and horror movies. We were able to let a friendship grow organically, and it created the space for a relationship to bloom because we weren't trying to force anything by dating without knowing each other.
Now, I'm not hating on any couple who has met through, say, a blind date, or a dating app. I just think the most important part of a relationship is cultivating a deep friendship, where you are able to just hang out with your partner without needing the sexual tension of a relationship. I believe that is why most relationships or even marriages fail, because they rely on the "fire" of sexual tension, and when that tension is gone, the relationship has nothing to fall back on.
I love marriage, deeply. I love my marriage. I love other marriages, and I want to see them succeed. Every marriage and every person in marriage deserves to have the best marriage they can. We all must help each other and share what works for in our marriage so that we can all have a long and happy marriage.