Do you remember that moment? That moment when you looked at your significant other and you thought, “This is it. I’ve found you. I’ve found my lobster. The one I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life with.” Emmett and I knew it of each other very early on, too early if you asked us individually. We had both recently ended serious long-term relationships. We weren’t looking for someone and yet, there we were. Under a beach umbrella, sharing shade for an afternoon that would last a lifetime.
That first summer, oh, that first summer. *Bliss*. Heaven on Earth. Infatuation. We were madly in love and there wasn’t a thing we could do about it. We rode our bikes to the ocean every night. We danced at the end of a pier in the moonlight to old Beach Music. We spent every minute together and missed one another any moment we were apart. We knew what we had was special and we soaked up Every. Single. Second.
First comes love, then marriage, then babies in a baby carriage. And here we are. Nine years later.
Exhausted. Depleted. Our children have sucked the passion right out of us. The love we had for each other, overshadowed by our joint love of our miniature creations.
His needs. My needs. Their needs. Our needs. Whose needs come first?
We vowed to put each other first. We wanted our children to see their parents love one another. We wanted them to roll their eyes, embarrassed by our affection.
Our elders told us marriage was work. It is tough. It takes effort. We nodded our heads yes, not knowing what was ahead.
And here we are. Drained. Just one of, surely, the many mountains we will face in our lifetime.
So what do we do? Succumb to the tiredness? Maintain a robotic form of life? Wake up. Go to work. Have dinner. Bedtime. Repeat.
We recognize it. We label it. We address our concerns. We make a plan of how to improve it. And we follow through. Repeat as necessary.
This month, it’s his turn to pick our date. Surprise! We are going fishing and I can’t wait. Next month is mine and we will continue to take turns.
We are on the Marriage Strugglebus and damn. It’s HARD. Through the needy baby, screaming toddler and stubborn four-year old, we must find each other.
That boy who stole my heart. That girl who stole his. Emmett and Lauren. Together. Forever. And Ever After.
Beach photo by Camille Vaughan Photography. All others by Dee Akright Photography.