Just a short 8 years ago at this time, I was getting ready to marry my best friend.
I can remember when I knew that Lee was my best friend. Something crazy happened at a store in the mall - something that was like "oh my word, I can't believe that just happened in front of me" and I had to call someone to tell it to, and I didn't call Sylvia or Kate, my two closest girl friends. I called Lee. In that moment I knew he had become my best friend.
We know each other well, like best friends do. And we were friends before there was romance as well as after. It is our friendship that has kept us together.
Romantic feelings only last for so long.
Then they are gone. And you have to make a conscious effort to get your brain to produce those chemicals again. (I am definitely not an expert on the scientific side of this, but maybe I should study it)
Just like any friendship can grow apart over time, a marriage of two friends can grow apart too.
You have to work to have things in common.
This was especially true for us whenever we had Bella.
My world became all about changing diapers, feeding a fussy baby, holding a fussy baby (because she wouldn't let me put her down or let anyone else hold her)...everything was survival for me.
Lee continued to work and be a part of the Chi Alpha world, which I wasn't really a part of at the time.
One night, when Bella was close to 8 months old, one of Bella's favorite people came over to watch her. So, Lee and I went out to dinner...we sat at the table and hardly talked. I know he was tired and stressed...so was I. We finished eating and then didn't really have anything else in mind to do together, so we went home.
We had only been gone about an hour. I started crying as we sat parked in front of our apartment. I had a small "freak-out" moment. We weren't really friends at that moment. Sure we were, but we weren't best friends like we had been. I knew couples who had gotten divorced because they weren't friends. I didn't want that to happen to us.
So, I can say that was a monumental night in our marriage. We have made it a conscious effort to be friends. To have fun living life together. To enjoy each others company. To be open and honest with each other, even when the truth hurts. To work through our frustrations together instead of letting them build up and explode.
Marriage takes work. Maintenance. Constantly. Life is full of changes. It is not static. It does not stay the same. So why would I want that for my marriage? I want it to be full of fun and love and life. I want it to be thriving.
A healthy marriage is the best gift I can give to my children and others who are a part of our lives.