Choosing to Love Through Ten Years of Marriage
Later this week, Chad and I will have been married ten years. We dated for five years before that, so to think that we have been each other’s “one and only” for nearly 15 years just blows my mind—how is it possible that all those years have passed so quickly? Then, at the same time, it feels like we have always been together; it’s so normal and natural and right.
During our ten years of marriage, we have squeezed in SO many adventures, so many highlights and also lots of challenges.
Although we do post many cheerful-looking photos of our lives and have a very encouraging, positive outlook on life in general, we do try to share some of our more raw moments as they come up. We are not perfect, no matter how we may appear online. We raise our voices, carry out the silent treatment, suppress emotions and also let them explode out just like the next couple. We’re not always proud of how we treat one another.
Within days after our seemingly enchanted, beautifully snowy wedding day, we fell short of each other’s expectations. Five years in, we definitely left something to be desired for one another—we had so many issues suppressed, we weren’t even sleeping in the same room in our one-bedroom apartment. Last week, we let external challenges we were facing bring out the worst in us—in front of our son. There have been countless weak moments in between, too.
But just like Fawn Weaver said, “Happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It’s a choice.” When we have allowed them to (during our wiser, more mature moments), even the most difficult and ugly challenges we’ve faced have led to increased strength and love between us. When we both choose to love—to fight for each other and not against—we experience the fruits of growth, development, deeper connection, refreshment, companionship, romance, fun and strength. Being intentional about pursuing one another in this journey of marriage together has kept our love alive!
For 3,650+ wake-ups, we’ve had the choice: let annoyance, boredom, frustration and resentment take root OR to love each other and to fall more in love with each other on purpose. We’ve had the privilege of getting to know each other more deeply every day and also to help each other discover more about ourselves. This marriage is not always filled with sunshine, but after the storms subside, we choose to find the silver linings together and make our own rainbows. True love is about intentionality; real love is a daily choice.
These are the wedding vows I made to Chad Austin Langhoff on February 2, 2008:
I promise before God and these witnesses to take you, Chad, to be my Husband, to share all that is to come, to give and to receive, to speak and to listen, to inspire and to respond, to be loyal to you in all circumstances, and to join with you so that we may serve God and others together as long as we both shall live.
Hey, Chad, “I still do.” Thank you for your intentionality to love me so well and so willingly. Bring on the next ten years, babe—adventures, challenges, growth and all! Our marriage isn’t always pretty, but it sure is beautiful.