Making the decision to be in a relationship is wonderful especially when the feeling is mutual and effort is reciprocated. HOWEVER, love alone is not enough. Relationships/marriages do not mean that you and your person magically become a single entity. You are STILL you and they are still who they are. Neither of your life experiences (good or bad) will disappear- hell, some become even more apparent at one point or another while merging your physical world with another person’s.

I came across this meme/quote on the good ol #innanets (IG to be exact) where all things deep and thought provoking are found and it made sense. Not in a prolific “why didn’t I think of that before?” kinda way, but more so in a “this closely describes how I feel about this ideal” way. If there’s one thing my journey as a wife is teaching me about truly being in love, it’s that love can and will get lost in the shuffle of everything else if you don’t remember that you and your person are continuously living, growing, and learning as a unit AND as individuals.

I guess being in such a pivotal place in so many areas of my own life, I understand the importance of personal growth, being supported while in your growing phases and dissecting those experiences in order to learn how to better maneuver and manage; for my own success and the success of my marriage. Because our individual growth counts towards our success just as much as, if not more than, the growing we do as a unit.

Early on, I learned not to take the growing pains my husband experience personal. Yes, he’s a grown(and growing) man and handles his emotions well, but sometimes his growth is ugly, it’s rigid and uncomfortable (for both of us). But I can’t hinder his personal growth and whatever lessons he’s learning by 1) trying to fix it or save him 2) taking it personal if he has to focus a bit more on himself than on me in whatever moment. For me, it’s always refreshing to see him come out on the other side of things having gotten something from the experience (a lesson, a new or better understanding, appreciation, insight etc.). He’s like a shiny new bald headed quarter😂.

On the flip side, he reciprocates in the same way when it’s “my turn”. Listening to what I say, how I say things, or even watching my body language to know if I need him to rescue me from myself, or be just ready with a firm lingering hug and some tissue. I usually get a random card with some encouraging words; I guess that’s for when he’s not sure wtf to do lmao. Can’t go wrong w a good handmade DOC-Hallmark (and whoever he gets to draw for him has the mf JUICE!). I’m laughing, but small gestures and thoughtful ways of letting me know it’s okay, and that I’m supported throughout whatever I may be going through or having a hard time with at the moment.

That support is crucial. I think it makes all the difference between “He/She’s not the person I fell in love with” and “I love the person he/she’s become”. You have to let people evolve without stifling them with your selfishness or because you want them to be who YOU want them to be or, because someone decided that the only growth that mattered after the wedding was the growth you do as a couple. 🗣THAS WACK!!

These small tidbits of knowledge on how to handle each other don’t come from the thin air, we pay attention (most of the time lol), and we teach each other, right? Because love is also communication. “I like when you…” “It’s important to me that you…” or when you just don’t have a clue, “What do you need from me right now?” We can tell by the other’s volume, breathing, response time etc. if we can have a conversation over the phone, or if one (or both) of us will need to put on our writers hats and send an email instead.
Somethings just resonate better in written form, plus it gives the sender the chance to get their points out clearly and uninterrupted, and the recipient the chance to UNDERSTAND what’s being said without the noise of emotion, and eagerness to respond we all tend to have too much of sometimes. And this applies in both good and trying times.

Sometimes the email/card/letter is one of us encouraging the other and sometimes it’s a gentle foot up the ass. Both times, it’s sent with love.