February 7, 2013

3 years of marital blish

No my friends, that's not a typo up there. I just made up a new word. It means bliss-ish. Kind of sort of bliss, but not really.  Read on.


Today is me and Matthew's three year wedding anniversary... we met almost exactly one year before our wedding, so we've been together now about four years. Four years! I know some of you lifers say pashaaww, that's nothing. But to me, it's something. It's now the longest relationship I've been in, which is pretty neat.

I get a lot of visitors to our love story, and a lot of emails thanking me for writing it. The other day I reread the thing in its entirety, and while it brought back some lovely memories and totally made me smile, I couldn't help but think how very incomplete the story is. How much has happened since. How much we've learned, changed, grown, and are still growing. And I feel like it's time I set the record straight on how I feel about marriage. Or mine, anyway.

When you're in a relationship - married or just dating - and especially if you're having some routine problems like most people do at some point, it's easy to look at other couples, or read blogs about other couples, and feel inferior. You start to hear this little voice inside that's saying "they seem happier than you do. more compatible. her husband is totally more handy than yours. more fashionable. more agreeable. more successful. they probably make a ton of money. they probably have sex five times a week. I bet they don't argue about the dumb shit we do. I bet she's a better wife, and never complains. I bet he's a better husband, and treats her like a queen." And so on and so forth.

And you know what? Maybe some of those things are true. Maybe they really are the perfect couple, and maybe they really are happier than you, at this moment in time. I guess I can't really speak for all those other hypothetical perfect couples. But I can speak for us. And let me tell you, marriage can get rough sometimes. You know all that stuff I said in our love story about the law of attraction? Totally still true, but it gets more difficult to implement that law when life starts chucking lemons at you, when the day in and day out gets real monotonous, when you have health issues, work issues, financial problems, the stress of continuing education (hello, law school!), family drama, personal problems, or when you find you disagree on major issues or the direction of your lives. What do you do then?

I'm chuckling to myself, because Matthew and I have been through it all these past few years. Only a few people know the full story. Just last year we were hanging on by a thread... there was lots of anger and tears and marriage counseling and tweaking this and tweaking that, and I'm only writing this now because I'm confident we've come out on the other side.  (oh, and you thought you knew everything about us by reading this blog? proof that blogs are just a peek, right here!)

But what is the point in telling you all this? Have we discovered the perfect formula for a successful marriage? I wish we did, folks, I wish we did. I wanted to express to you, though, that it's OK if your story doesn't look like a fairytale. Ours started out pretty blissful, but fairytales leave off at happily ever after, don't they? They never really get into the real stuff about cohabiting with someone, about traveling through life with them and taking the hard punches together, making babies together and the stresses that entails, changing together as humans often do, and continuing to love despite that change. So many marriages end in divorce because people are too quick to peace out when they get to the part about marriage is hard work. They think, "yeah, but not this kind of hard work. This is grounds for divorce, for sure." But the truth is that the hard work will look different for everyone. Maybe it will be harder hard work for some than for others, depending on circumstances. But as long as you still have real love for each other and are willing to accept a person as they are, you have what you need. The work part comes in changing yourself, almost 100% of the time. That much I have learned to be true.

I'm not advocating dysfunctional relationships. I'm not saying you should ever stay in one that makes you miserable and drags you down. Life is too short for that. But I remember when we were going through some of our hardest periods last year, and I would ask Matthew if he still loved me. Every time, he would choke up and say yes, without hesitation. And I knew he was worth it, and I knew I wanted us, and I knew he wanted us. When your hearts are in the right place, you find a way to make it.  Gold is only purified by fire... remember that.

*****

The following excerpt was read at our wedding. Ironic that I chose this piece. I love it more today than I ever loved it before.

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth….

But if in your fear you would only seek love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover you nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing floor,
Into a seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course…
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.
~ from The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran 

Our first dance was to this song... still one of my favorites. :)





159 comments:

  1. Marital Blish is a fantastic term. I think that "blish" is what makes a relationship better, I wouldn't want it to be a sunshine and rainbows all the time. It is in the hard moments that I feel our relationship grows stronger.

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  2. I love the honesty in this post! Happy anniversary!

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  3. Happy Anniversary!! This post left my jaw hanging on the floor, and I am still trying to find it lol. Thank you so much for this post it was honest, raw, yet so nicely put and something I needed! Bless you both

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  4. Happy anniversary to y'all! And ditto on loving the honesty in this post :)

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  5. I cannot thank you enough for this post. I teared up while reading the last paragraph before the wedding verse section because I've been there. Oh, have we been there. Even though we are not married, we still choose each other every day.

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  6. Happy Anniversary! I love the honesty! Marriage is hard work, but the reward is oh so sweet when you know, deep down, this is the person you are meant to do life with. All those hard times will never amount to a big enough battle that you feel like it's not worth it anymore. That's when your marital blish becomes a little more like bliss :)

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  7. Lovely post Jenni - you are most definitely right. A relationship, any relationship, takes a lot of work and often, we don't see that looking in on others. Thanks for putting it out there!

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  8. oh jenni- i SO needed this post! i swear, not only were our dresses the same, but it seems like our marriages are, too! we are in the middle of our second year and, shit, it's been rough. and we were also hanging by a thread last summer. counseling. fighting. more counseling. and way more fighting. BUT, it seems like the past few weeks have totally gotten us back on track. which is odd, because we are currently dealing with A TON of shit that i never anticipated dealing with. shit i thought for sure would drive us apart. but it's done quite the opposite- our love has seemed to grow and become deeper, more real and honest, despite the emotional stress and time spent apart..

    so now you must email me, so i can tell you about this shit. (;

    i mean, now you have to go sex up that studly man of yours AND THEN email me...

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  9. Happy anniversary! Marriage is not all happiness and roses. It's WORK! I'm so glad you two are working at making your marriage last. I hope you have a lifetime of blish!

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  10. Happy Anniversary to an amazing couple , so happy to know you two, because I think you are just fabulous!

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  11. Great post!! Thanks for being your wonderful self! Miss you!!! ((Come visit us in Cali, I have a little precious (fur) baby who would love to meet you!))

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  12. So sweet, Jenni! And totally spot on! Thanks for taking the time to write this....I know so many will be influenced by it. :)

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  13. Happy Anniversary! I agree with Carolyn abour your honesty and appreciate this post alot. It seems to me that successful marriages are those that fight for each other through the hard times as you two have done. I have differing opinions when people say phrases like 'we never fight' or 'don't go to sleep angry'. I think arguing shows passion and I think giving yourself rest overnight after an argument opens the mind to reflection and changing yourself. I never thought about the hardest work in marriage being changing yourself. I'm getting married at the end of the year, thanks for your great insight!

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    1. I completely agree... the whole "don't go to bed angry" thing is complete crap, IMO. Why stay up and duke it out when you're both exhausted and stressed and all you really need is sleep? Things always look way less heavy in the morning. :)

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  14. Love, love, love this, so nice to see someone admit marriage is lots of work and isn't always fun. Thank you for your honesty it's refreshing!

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  15. All marriages have ups and downs. I liked what Steven Jobs once said about his marriage - hard times but never bad times. My husband and I are going through a tough time, our twin sons died 14 weeks ago. It's not something we ever imagined going through on our blissful wedding day 18 months ago. But we're getting through the sorrow together, he is my rock, and we're already so much closer and stronger because of it.

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  16. When everyone out there is trying to polish their online lives, I'm happy to see something genuine and honest. Putting yourself out there for SO many people can't be easy, it means being vulnerable to the core.

    In that same respect, marriage leaves you feeling vulnerable. It's like...that one feeling you don't want to feel (it's terrifying!) but you just sort of... have to anyway. Trusting someone with all of your being? Giving yourself to them? It's freaking tough!

    Each time I read a post you've written that really dives deep into the corner of your mind, it resonates with me so much. I honestly think we're similiar in so many ways. (Not to mention, it sounds like our stubborn men are pretty similiar in some ways too...) There's so many things I want to write... but I think it's best kept off a public forum :) Haha.

    P.S. That reading is genius! (I'm on the hunt for one more for my wedding, it's sooooooo hard deciding!)

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  17. So refreshing to read, Jenni. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think it is so easy for all of us to get caught up in the world of blogging and the little window it provides, and it is always interesting when things get real. I couldn't agree more with all you wrote. I swear, Brian and I have been through 30 years of experiences in the past seven, but I am so glad we both stuck it out, too.

    Looking forward to meeting you in a few weeks!

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  18. Thanks for sharing your heart :) I know it can be so difficult to open up about the less-than-perfect parts of life, especially when so many blogs only focus on the fairytale side of things. It's refreshing to see a young couple willing and able to work through the hard times that marriage can throw your way. And the fact that you and your hubby were willing to go to marriage counseling to work things through is so admirable. When I was in 6th grade, my parents almost got a divorce and I can still picture the look on my dad's face as he started crying at the kitchen table when they told my sister and I that they were going to try to work it out but weren't sure what was going to happen between them. It was awful. They went to marriage counseling, took a "2nd honeymoon" to Aruba for a week when their counseling sessions were done, and they are about to celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary in a few weeks!! Just a small testimony that true love lasts, and even grows stronger... even through the lemon wars ;)

    Happy anniversary! Here's to many, many more happy years for you and your man!
    xo

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  19. Happy anniversary, Jenni and Matthew!

    I love this post. I just want to go out to coffee with you and mull over stories (and possibly bitch a little bit?).

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  20. I love this. Thank you so much for being so honest. I know when you're going through hard times you don't really want to talk about it (at least I don't!), but sometimes it's just so good to understand you aren't the only one regardless of what actually makes the times tough for each individual. Marriage is "work", but it is worth it for sure.

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  21. CONGRATS!!! gorgeous wedding & pics. that's a true blessing - a loving true marriage! i think more folks need to be honest. because so many folks think that what they see "as in the green is always green some where else" but it is not true. we all go through trails & unsure moments. i think that married folks need to & every one needs to be real. a marriage takes constant work, love & support. you have to want it. work for it & try each & every day. not only doing your normal work, but working on that marriage of yours always & forever. if you forget it & don't respect it... it will not work. you have to work it just like a well tended garden. i wish you all the best in your marriage & that it will be a wonderful relationship together for many many years. GOD bless. love that song. awesome - i wrote my comment & listened. now to see if i have that on my ipod. take care. big big hugs. ( :

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  22. Happy anniversary to you both! Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us here on the internet. I needed to read this. Being married is a completely different stage of life that takes a lot of stamina. You're working on it and growing. I have found the "work part comes in changing yourself" to be so true. I'm grateful you shared this; it's inspired/encouraged me in so many ways. Blessings to you and Matthew!

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  23. great post, friend. preach it! marriage can be a bitch sometimes but, a lot of the times, it's worth fighting for. and happy anniversary!

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  24. You never fail to inspire me with your writing. I've been with my boyfriend for just about 2.5 years and I think that is an accomplishment. It's not a long time in the grand scheme of things, but it hasn't always been easy. Sometimes we fight like cats and dogs and sometimes I swear we're near the end, but we've made it through. I think every relationship is hard at some point, but it makes you stronger in the end. I hope one day me and my husband, whether that be my current guy or someone new - only time will tell, will have a strong marriage. I really think love is enough. No matter how many times I hear that it isn't. If you have real love, you can make it through everything else.

    Congrats Jenni! Thanks for sharing your story. You and Matthew deserve a lifetime of happiness and it seems you're on the right path.

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  25. Your raw honesty is so convicting and wonderful! My husband and I have been married for, 6 months shy of, TWENTY YEARS! (and are raising our 3 teenage girls!) We've been thru everything but infidelity and abuse. (thank the good Lord!) It's been one of the the hardest, yet most gratifying journeys. I have learned, the hard way, over the years that you can only compare your marriage to YOUR marriage. To compare it to another's is to dismiss who you are... who your spouse is.
    We are unique individuals and we are all struggling in one way or another... it's human nature. For us, once we decided to put God at the forefront of it ALL.. it all seemed to make sense and the struggles weren't so bad and forgiveness came quicker. It became less about "ME" and more about US.
    My husband is my VERY best friend. We may go thru "dry spells" in the romance dept, but who doesn't?! It's just MOST people never say it! (I wish they would bc if we were/are all in the same boat at one point or another, we, as women, wouldn't feel so alone). I know, with out a shadow of a doubt, there is no one I would rather lay down beside every nite and wake up with every morning.. He's the first person I think of when I have something to share, he's the first one I go to for advice or to vent or to laugh or to cry. His arms are the one's I want around me thru it all... So, as long as that is my perspective, it'll all be ok.

    Your post is beautiful and I believe, by george, you've got it!
    Happy Anniversary and MANY more to come!!!!!

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  26. Happy Anniversary!! If only everyone spoke with a bit more honesty we'd have a better understanding of what we're getting into in life. It would make it so much sweeter and easier to conquer, in my opinion. :) I was just chatting with someone the other day about how I've learned that there are phases where we are nit pickier than I thought possible and then phases where we are as loving as can be. The crabby stages go so much slower though, and it's easy to forget that things will look up. Congrats on four years!! That's big to me!

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  27. thanks for sharing this little bug. well-written too ;) Happy anniversary!!!

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  28. Reading this actually made me cry. Words haven't brought me to tears in a while. Thank you for this lovely piece of your life.

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  29. Happy anniversary to you guys! Marriage is always a work in progress. Every couple work at it and sometimes it is still rough but we push through the tough times and celebrate the good times. I've always said nobody knows what happens between two people behind closed doors so I don't look at couples and envy their perfect blish!

    Congratulations again.

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  30. Happy Anniversary! And thank you!! I so relate to this post and the challenges of marriage. You've hit on a lot of things that I truly believe so many of us encounter. Going into it I think that we all understand that there will be rough times, but we truly don't have a clue until those rough times actually arrive, especially early on. There have been times where I've thought 'isn't it too early on to deal with issues like this??', but I agree that the hard work looks different for everyone. Finally getting to a place where you've come out on the better side of the a rough go-round is THE best! And I've very glad that you and Matthew are there! :)

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  31. Happy Anniversary! Such a refreshing post. I have narrowed it down to two songs for our first dance, and "You Make it Real" is one of them. Such beautiful lyrics. Great choice!

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  32. Happy Anniversary! Not an avid commenter but had to stop and say I love love love this post. Especially in the blog world you think... is her husband really THAT perfect? Is my relationship missing something? It's so easy to second guess yourself but it's important to remember that whether their relationship is perfect or not it's not YOURS and you're so right, when you love each other at the end of the day you can get through anything! So happy for you and Matthew and all you have conquered together! xoxo

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  33. Love the way you write and agree with everything you said (even though I'm not yet married). My SO and I fight like nobody's business, but also love like nobody's business. It's hard work but nobody ever said it was going to be easy!

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  34. I really appreciate how honest this post was. When I first started blogging I was a naive newlywed. I compared myself to relationships on the blog all the time, and put myself down alot too. I know better than that now, because all relationships go through difficult moments. As Cheesy as it sounds I always remember that line from the notebook "So it's not gonna be easy. It's going to be really hard; we're gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me... everyday." You fight for the person you love, and in marriage you forgive and fight for each other daily. :)

    Happy Anniversary Jeni! Sending Happy Thoughts to Both of You! :)

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  35. Happy anniversary! I just want to say thank you for your honesty. There aren't a lot of bloggers that do what you just did in this post and, for me, that's what sets your blog apart from others.
    Me and my man have been together for 13 years. There have been some pretty rough times but giving up isn't an option.
    I'm happy for you guys and wish you many happy years together :)

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  36. Thank you so much for writing this. I seriously need to read it.

    Happy 4 Year Anniversary!

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  37. When we get married we will be just a month shy of being together for 4 years. :) I have to say, this post spoke volumes to me as we're inching closer and closer (29 days!) to our wedding. When you're planning your dream day and just OVER THE MOON in love and ready to live with your man, it's hard to really wrap your mind around the idea that its NOT always going to be easy. We have our first marriage counseling session tonight and I'm so excited to really prepare my heart for our marriage. I know that if we are truly dedicating our marriage to The Lord that we will never walk through our struggles alone.

    I'm so thankful that you shared your heart even though it shows the world that you aren't "blogger perfect." I appreciate the honesty so much and I think your words will help me in my (almost!) marriage! Thanks for another great post, Jenni. Love these "real life" posts. Happy Anniversary, friend! Saying a prayer for you and Matthew today!

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  38. beautifully written. congratulations on three years. :)

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  39. Happy Anniversary, Jenni!! This post really spoke to me today. I can get so down on my marriage when I delve into the lives of those I know only through their blogs and Instagram accounts. I think, "well damn, I've only been married a few months and we're already worse off than this or that couple." It can really mess with you...and then it sweeps out of you and infects your marriage.

    I'm never going to be perfect, and neither is my marriage. But it's worth fighting for. I think you and Matthew are real and inspirational...

    Thanks for giving us a greater glimpse of the real beauty in life today. Not easy love --but a love worth fighting for.

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  40. i love this, marriage is definitely not always roses! it's hard not to get caught up in the comparison game too...so thank you for being so open and honest. = it's not something you always see in the blog world. i'm glad you guys came out on the other side... i think you said something about calling yourselves "team MJ" in another post, i really like that, and might starting doing the same with my hubs! happy anniversary!

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  41. So glad to see this post because you two are THAT couple for me - he's so stylish & she's so skinny & they're so lucky & blahblahblah. I am really curious about your therapy because we just started seeing a therapist as well. How long did you go & how do you know when you can stop going? I feel like she is going to give us tools & ways to make life adjustments so that our thoughts & reactions are different than what they have been (she says what you were doing wasn't working, so you're going to try something different) but how do you keep reminding yourself to react differently when it's not second nature yet?

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    1. Hey Ashley, I am so sorry for the slow response! We probably went to our
      counselor for about two months. We stopped going because we really couldn't
      afford to go anymore... not a good reason, I know. But we did feel like we
      gained some valuable new insights and felt like we simply HAD to start
      implementing them or our marriage would fail. So it was do or die. Things
      also reached a head at one point, AFTER the counseling, where we literally
      chose to stay together. We actually discussed divorce and it was the worst
      things had ever been between us. And I think that was some sort of weird
      breaking point that wound up being what we needed to both snap out of
      destructive behaviors. I don't really have a good answer for how to remind
      yourself to react differently when it's not second nature yet... it's SO
      hard. But I think we set the ball rolling in a positive direction, and also
      some outside life stresses eased up, which really helped.

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  42. great post! so refreshing to read an honest perspective on a real marriage.

    happy annivesary! wishing you many more to come :)

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  43. This is beautiful....and so true! Especially when you write about just how much work marriage really is, and how much people maybe don't expect that. I know I never knew (and can never seem to articulate to those who aren't married) just how hard marriage really can be. I swear, if anything ever took effort, determination, and hard work, it is truly marriage. But you framed it so wonderfully--hard work doesn't mean a lifetime of misery, it's just a refining process that really is worth it.

    I don't know if you saw that Relevant Magazine article circulating via FB lately about "The 3 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married", but it talks about how marriage is work, and how you see the flaws in your spouse, but also yourself. And how responding to that, loving them despite it, etc. is what it's about. Pretty much what you say too!

    You are wise one, and I just loved this. Thanks for sharing and bringing tears to my eyes with your truth :) Happy Anniversary!

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  44. Ok first thing: Happy Anniversary! Second thing: THANK YOU for writing this. I'm completely guilty of jumping on the comparison train and begin to get down on how my life isn't what I see on a screen, or think it should be in my fairy-tale dreams. Life is hard and I have to remind myself that we are all different and unique and not everything is as it seems. This week has been especially a hard one for my marriage, and I appreciate you being honest (without completely divulging everything) and making me feel that it's ok to experience those hard times.

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  45. happy anniversary, you're a beautiful couple!

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  46. Thank you so much for your honesty!! I'm sure this wasn't an easy post to publish, but it's an important one. It's really easy for me as a single lady to forget about all of the tough parts of a relationship, and wax poetic about all of the good parts. It makes it easier to be happy in my life while I'm on the path to meeting someone :)

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  47. Thank you for putting yourself out there and opening up about the truths and hardships of marriage. I am getting married Oct 5, 2013, and I have to say, I love the verse you used and might steal it! ;) I am so happy to hear that you guys are going strong and are working to overcome your obstacles. Stay strong lady! You looked absolutely stunning on your wedding day! Happy Anniversary!

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  48. I really admire you for writing this. As someone who has had those "hanging on by a thread" moments all too often in the last few months... It's good to feel less alone in this blog world. Sometimes it's suffocating, with no release. You don't want your friends or family to worry/judge/dislike your spouse - You don't want to admit to yourself that you need someone to talk to. Blog world with their perfect marriages, perfect homes, perfect this-and-that's... it's hard out here on these marital streets!

    I knew marriage would be hard. I didn't know it would be THIS hard. But you're so right, when you get down to those raw moments of "is this worth it" and you can't even bare the thought of not loving the person sitting across from you, it's so worth it. It's hard, it's beautiful, it's raw, it's amazing. The true embodiment of what love should be!

    Sorry for writing a novel, this just hit home. And thank you for sharing the real side - the honest side. You have EARNED every bit of happiness in your marriage and it's all worth fighting for! Congrats on three years of BLISH. It's truly something to be proud of.

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  49. Beautifully written as always sweet friend. Happy Anniversary to you two MUFFINHEADS! Marriage is hard, but it's worth it. I love you and I think that this post is just BLISH! :)

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  50. I cannot tell you how perfectly timed this post was. I don't have a lot of girl friends and certainly not a lot of married ones who talk about this kind of stuff so when I realized my husband and I are actually having a really hard time right now, I didn't/don't have anyone I can relate to or who can say, "You're not the only one!" even if I know I'm not. This post was everything I needed to hear right now. I don't know how to even begin solving our problems but I know we will. Thank you for taking to time to honestly talk about this. I'm sure you know how much it can mean but I just wanted to stop by and let you how much it truly means to me specifically.

    xoxohannah
    www.signedxoxohannah.com

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  51. So after reading this post and your FAQ, I genuinely wish that we could sit down with two cups of coffee and have a heart to heart!

    Farrell

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  52. I just love you. Absolutely love you. Me & my husband have been trying for a baby for nearly 3 years now and man has it been tough. It's really put a huge strain on our relationship but for the most part, it's bought us together and made us stronger and I am absolutely sure of that. We both have our bad days where we cry and scream and shout but at the end of it all we know that we just need to be thankful that we have each other and that some people are much worse off than we are and believe that our time will eventually come.
    I haven't written about any of this on my blog (and I don't know that I ever will) and I'm sure it's easy for my readers to assume that we've got it good because we go travelling so often, but what they probably don't realise is that we're going travelling to try and escape our problems for a little while.
    Thank you for being so honest. I'm glad to hear that you feel that you guys have come out of the other side of your problems now. I agree that too many people just give up when the going gets tough. But it looks, at least from the outside, that you guts really have found true love.
    x

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  53. Happy Anniversary and thank you for your honesty! Marriage isn't a cake walk, but it's worth it!

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  54. Love this post so much. I can't tell you how much I needed to read this today, and especially that excerpt. Thank you for sharing your honest & sincere story. It means the world to me!
    www.shannonheartsblog.com

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  55. Absolutely beautiful!

    Man, comparing your marriage to others... I find myself doing that all the time. I really liked what you said about it being true that other marriages are better than yours, sometimes. I always have to remind myself that marriage being about seasons means there's going to be some rough ones. Thanks for sharing!

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  56. You look gorgeous in your wedding photos! To be honest, I think while reading this I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. Thank you for writing from the heart.

    xo, Courtney
    www.shabbyloveschic.com

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  57. Happy Anniversary, love! Thank you for sharing the honesty that comes with a meaningful relationship. I have been through divorce. Unwillingly. And I can say without hesitation that people do "peace out" too soon. I'm glad you two know how to make it last.
    xoxo

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  58. Thank you for your honesty. A lot of times, I feel like people sugarcoat their marriage or other life experiences on their blogs or through social media and don't share the tough/real stuff. After the happily ever after, love is a daily choice, through the good times and the struggles. Holding on and fighting for you marriage is admirable and something so many people give up on too fast. Thanks for sharing and encouraging me today. :)

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  59. Loved reading this! Thanks for your honesty. Have a great weekend!

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  60. So raw and SO true!!! My story is very similar...and coincidentally, my anniversary is tomorrow as well :) Thank you for sharing this. I am a new follower. I love your honestly. Too often people aren't honest, and it does make you feel bad about yourself. I really admire you for sharing this! God bless you and your husband's marriage for many years to come!

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  61. Your post made me teary-eyed in the office. But, thank you for your honesty. Happy Anniversary!

    By the way, I love your blog! You make me want to go to Austin. :)

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  62. thank you, thank you, thank you. right now this is a very welcomed reminder of love and the trials that may come with it.
    xoxo

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  63. I read your blog everyday, but I think this is my first time commenting. I've been married for almost 3 years and have had a similar experience as you. Thank you so much for your honesty, it is so comforting to know others have to work (hard) for their marriage, but that it is worth is.

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  64. Thank you for writing such an honest & real post! I definitely get jealous when I read other's blogs or look through their Instagram but what I'm seeing is just a peek, as you said. I'm not married yet but I love reading all this insight about just how hard marriage is but also how rewarding it is too.

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  65. Great, great post. Thank you! "The work part comes in changing yourself, almost 100% of the time."- truer words have never been spoken. It seems like your marriage will only get stronger. Happy Anniversary!

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  66. What a wonderful post to read....raw and so real. This sentence sticks with me and is so true "The work part comes in changing yourself, almost 100% of the time." Happy Anniversary and thank you so much for sharing and being real.

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  67. Love, love, LOVE this post. Thank you for your honesty! My husband and I are approaching 4 years of marital "blish" and everything you said is so right and true for us as well. Wishing you and your husband a very happy anniversary!

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  68. I love this post! As a person that is divorced, I know what you mean by someone expecting a fairytale. My ex husband just quit at the first sign of trouble. No amount of couples counselling could change his mind, but what I learned is more than anything else, I want a man that has the same understanding of marriage as I do. That it is hard some times, but that hard doesn't mean impossible. That at the end of the day you remind the other person that you love them and that you are taking on the world together as a team. You and Matthew seem to have that part down! Cheers to 3 years!

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  69. Love this post Jenni! The best things in life do not come easy but they are worth fighting for :)You guys are the cutest couple btw!

    http://mylifebeingrenewed.blogspot.com/

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  70. So very true! Thank you for being so candid and open about a topic that is often glossed over in the blog world. I'm really happy to hear that you and your hubby are doing well and blishful, but not without effort and the willingness to change. Marriage is hard work, but worth it. xo

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  71. i love your honesty--marriage is work sometimes and i think it is that for everyone. but you just have to think it is worth it :)

    happy anniversary!

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  72. happy anniversary jenni! first, i'm gonna say the same thing i said last year...you got married on the super bowl!!!!? and congrats because three years is a long time! i think all married couples go through what you're describing it's not a matter of if but when. some do it right away, some five years, some seven years etc. i'm happy you're kind of getting this out of the way now! it will make your life much easier later on. i think a lot of this is your current situation with law school...but it will be SO so worth it when he's working. you'll have more space, your home will be a time for relaxation and for both of you (not studying!)and i'm sure matthew will feel more like a man/provider for working and doing what he's been working so hard for. obviously i'm assuming a lot here but being married to a law student sounds so hard! thanks for sharing, jenni. hope you both celebrate tonight and have the best time! and do it in the car or something. i mean....

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  73. Jenni, thank you so much for this. You are so right about looking at other bloggers and thinking their lives are perfect. We put so much pressure on ourselves to show only the perfect parts of our lives and that's a lot. I wrote on my blog about that very topic. But in regards to marriage, I know what you're talking about. Marriage is really hard. When it's forever, the stakes get higher with every fight. But when you know you love someone, and I mean true love, that's when you know it's worth it. Just like you said.

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  74. Your wedding pictures are gorgeous! And you know.. relationships are never EASY! Since I have been with my hubs for 11 years, I can honestly say that year three is the hardest. People can, and usually are, on their best behavior for quite some time. But by year three, most everything comes out. I think the best key to success is to learn to fight/argue fairly. That and a bottle of wine and two co-habitating people should usually be fine. (Mix in law school, however, and you get a whole other ball game.) =)

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  75. Happy 3 years!! Any relationship is hard. It is not 50/50, it is 100/100. And you do have to keep working, keep making things better. Love that song too!

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  76. I absolutely loved this. You are such an amazing writer. I can never put into words how I feel/life/etc so eloquently. I am so glad y'all have come out the other side of the struggles and stuck through it together. My hubby and I have been really really struggling with marriage. So bad, I almost flew home. But he just hugged me and told me over and over, no matter what he loved me and always would. We are working through it. And this gives me so much encouragement, a reminder that it's worth it to work through things, to change or challenge myself for the betterment (idk if that's a word) of our marriage.

    Happy Anniversary to you and yours, sweet friend! <3

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  77. Jenni, thank you for this post. I think that everyone- whether they admit to it or not- can completely relate with the things in this post. Marriage is a journey- those first few years of learning to understand each other- what's okay, what's not okay, how to help, how not to help, and how to love- it can be very trying. But what's so beautiful is coming out on the other side alright and knowing that you both fought to make that happen.

    Thank you for your honesty.

    Happy Anniversary! May you continue in everlasting blish! :)

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  78. Happy anniversary! What a great post. Just goes to show that there are always things going on behind the scenes of the 'perfect' life of a blogger. You are an inspiration!

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  79. Jenni! Seriously! this was great. Just being in my 5 1/2 year dating relationship, I can see this comparison go on through blog/IG and everywhere else people just want to show the 'lovey' side of things.

    It is hard work and i'm sure its only going to become even harder work when we're married! I'm so glad you two were able to work it out and be even closer now. I loved when you said, he would get choked up and say he still loved you. So sweet!! Happy 3rd to you both!
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

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  80. Happy Anniversary Jenni and Matthew! =)

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  81. Oh man, Jenni, thank God you can write what I am feeling. I could have never said this the way you did. You know Ross and I have been married a long time and went through some horrible trials. And you are sooooooo right! You have to work hard and as long as you BOTH still love one another it's worth fighting for. I would LOVE to hear from that "perfect couple". I think hell would freeze over immediately if there is one that even exists. You have such a way with words. One of my favorite posts; one every man and woman should read. Happy anniversary to a beautiful couple. Cheers to many more!

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  82. Deep insight on relationships .. And a wonderful couple :)

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  83. Happy Anniversary Jenni :)
    Thanks for this post. True honesty and something that anyone who is entering marriage or is married should read.

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  84. This is perfect and exactly what I needed to read today. I'm getting married 4 months from tomorrow (eek). We've been together for over two years and living together for almost a year and half. It's been hard and we're not even married yet. Some days I'm like "isn't this SUPPOSED to be the honeymoon stage? Why the hell do I feel like this sometimes" to hear that it's normal and that almost all marriages go through stages like that makes me breathe a huge sigh of relief. Reading all of these comments above has really helped too. Again, another great post that really spoke to me. Thank you for being so raw and honest! The blog world needs more writers like you :)

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  85. I was and am still such a fan of your love story. I also love that you share such significant moments in your life! I totally know what you mean about the stress about education, too. Although I'm not married, my boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years, and he is finishing up his last semester studying Mechanical Engineering (A LOT of math). We have had our fair share of rough patches, and many of the fights occur due to his stress from it all. Anyway, thank you for sharing this piece of your life, as well as the lovely pictures from your special day! :)

    - Hayley

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  86. This is hands down one of the best and most honest posts I have read in a long time. Happy Anniversary!

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  87. the honesty and wisdom in this post is incredible. thank you for being a realistic voice out in a world of unreal expectations!

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  88. As someone about to enter into a marriage later this year, thank you. You can try and prepare all you want for what marriage brings but you never know until you are in it. The best you can do is build the strongest foundation of love possible. I'm happy you guys have gotten stronger and better, that's a beautiful thing ;)

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  89. Happy anniversary to a beautiful couple! Not everyone is as willing to work on things and so glad you guys chose to...marriage is so much more rewarding when you have things to work on or work towards. Now make some year 4 babies!

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  90. First of all, Happy Anniversary!

    Secondly, thank you - THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! - for your honesty. It's so easy to get caught up in what everyone else's marriage or relationship looks like and start to feel like yours doesn't measure up- Especially when you're going through a rough patch. I've been through this myself with my husband and had to work through this with two girlfriends this past year who needed to be reassured that YES, everyone goes through this and no one's relationship is 100% perfect 100% of the time. But, like you said- If you really love each other and your hearts are truly in it, you will make it through 100% of the time.

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  91. Jenni, your raw and heartfelt honesty was not only refreshing but inspiring. Marriage and relationships are HARD. It is the truth (seriously, THE truth). But the real 'fairytale couples' are the ones who recognize this and commit to loving each other through the good, the bad, the pretty, the ugly and especially the hard work. You are building a strong and solid foundation. Michael is lucky to have a good woman like you! Thank you for this and Happy Happy Anniversary!!

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  92. I love this post. so honest it rings true for many. Happy anniversary and to many many more!

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  93. My boyfriend and I will celebrate 19 years (what??) in October. When people ask me the secret...I take a line from George Harrison's wife in the documentary about him that's been on HBO the past few years. She said their secret was: "Don't get divorced." It sounds simple but...it works! Nobody ever promised it would be easy, but (for us) it's been worth the hard times.
    Congrats to you guys and I hope you enjoy many, many more years together!!

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    1. I was thinking the same thing - sometimes the hardest part of all is to stick with it, see it through and not walk away. Congrats on your 19 years!

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  94. Jenni, I actually teared up reading this post. It hit home with me in a huge way. In nearly 5 years of marriage to my husband we've had many wonderful times, and we've also had some serious growing pains. Like you and Matthew, we're bouncing back from a rough 2012. I think these words were just what I needed today. Thank you for your willingness to put yourself out there. Your refreshing honesty and beautiful way with words have reminded me again why this is one of my favorite blogs.

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  95. Oh I love James Morrison! I wish he'd come to the US for a tour.

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  96. Happy Anniversary!!! I love your story and your photos!!

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  97. happy anniversary girl.

    i really liked this post. could there be anything better than a good marriage counselor? i say no.

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  98. Lovely post Jenni. Happy anniversary to you and Matthew. :)

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  99. Happy Anniversary! This was one of the best things I've read about relationships! I have been dating my boyfriend for over 5 years now- through all of college and now long distance while he is law school and I'm finishing graduate school. We can't wait to be married and your post was very encouraging! We are facing some major stress with graduating soon and looking for jobs, trying to start our life together and actually get married...this post was really wonderful, because it is authentic. Thank you for sharing.

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  100. Happy Anniversary!!! You're honesty is very refreshing. Chris and I have been married less than a year but together for 6. Looking back, years 3 & 4 were our hardest and, for the most part, it was all because of silly stuff. Once we let go of all of that things were great. Kudos for working on your marriage and not walking away!!!! BIG KUDOS!

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  101. Seriously, thank you for your willingness to say the truth in marital blish! Congrats on 3 years!

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  102. Jenni, You're amazing and your honesty here is inspiring. My boyfriend of two years and I have been struggling lately, and I honestly don't know what's going to happen or even what I want to happen. It's been discouraging but it's awesome to know that when the relationship is right, even the worst of times will pass and you'll be stronger together for it. Thanks for sharing. I absolutely love your blog and your wedding photos are beautiful!

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  103. Jenni, like everyone else said, this is such an amazing post and so brave of you to expand the peek we all see. It's so refreshing to hear your story because like you said, you guys seem like that perfect couple to all of us and I'm sure no one had any idea. It's nice to see that you pushed through it, and such good advice for someone who is getting married soon ;) I hope we will have the strength that you and Matthew do. Thank you for writing this so perfectly and saying so many things that need to be published in public

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  104. Happy anniversary! I just wanted to thank you because this is so poignant, and I appreciate it all the more having just been married this past August. I don't comment often, but your blog has long been one of my favorites because you're always able to push through to life's most genuine moments. And really, there's nothing better.

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  105. First of all, Happy Anniversary (belated)!! I hope you did something super "team MJ" to celebrate, like kiss deer heads and shoot things with arrows (no judgement). Clearly, this post and your honesty resounded with a lot of people this week, eh? Well, just in case you were doubting, it did so with me.

    Shay mentioned this post of yours to me yesterday so of course I read it, although I'm already a fan on my own accord (I think you know that). I just want to say that honesty is the most beautiful thing. And I want to tell you that I see you and your man as stronger than ever after you bore your soul on here (scary to do!)So, I offer an official "salute" to the good and bad times for you 2. Lord knows we all have them. And if the road ever gets too hard and seems impossible, just remind Matthew that you weigh as much as my purse, and that makes you light enough for him to carry you and the dogs away from it all and rebuild your lovely "D" family ;)

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  106. Wow what an honest post. Lovely to read, Happy Anniversary. You have given me hope, we have been through some difficult times through our long distance relationship but this just goes to show when you think its too difficult and the other party doesn't care, theres a possibility that its normal and they do care really because they stick through it! xx

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  107. awww..so awesome. happy anniversary...marriage is beautiful isn't it!!! enjoy!

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  108. I'm so happy you posted this! Honestly, there are couples on the web that I had totally pegged in my own mind as being perfect couples. In fact, you were among that bunch, so thanks for bringing my fairytale beliefs back to reality. I am totally guilty of doing the whole "Jack and Jill have romantic date nights and sex three times a day, why can't we be like that?" thing too and I'm realizing more and more lately that what you say is SO true; that a blog really IS just a peek into a fraction of somebody's life. Hell, I've had people completely make up stories about me and my life and have no idea how they even came to those conclusions! Thanks for being such a real person and not being afraid to let others know that life isn't always gumdrops and rainbows.
    xox dana

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  109. Full disclosure is hard but sometimes totally worth it.
    Relationships are hard. And sometimes the hardest part is not walking away.
    Thanks for being honest and sharing. I think it brings us together to know that we aren't the only one who has a less than perfect life.

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  110. I loved this post Jenni! All of it so resonates with me. We've been through it all, family death, health problems, 3 kids in 3 Years, bankruptcy, you name it:) and you are right that marriage is so SOS so much work. So worth it but ao much work at the same time!!! It is so nice to know that we are not alone input struggles. Life is hard!!!
    I hope you have a wondeful weekend and I hope you get to celebrate your anniversary a little. Maybe Matthew will feel better!! Xoxoox Hanna

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  111. New Follower from The Browse! What a wonderful story! Congrats on 3 years and not giving up like so many do! And like you said we are all guilty of judging others relationships and how "Perfect" they seem, but nobody else's life is perfect, only the life you live is the best and perfect one for you!! Happy Anniversary and enjoy the life with the one you chose to be your partner through this journey! No one said it would be easy, but it is so worth the ride to be there with your best friend! :)

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  112. happy anniversary. i think the first few years of living together are definitely the toughest. I think back to when we bought our first place and I was 22 and the nights of arguing and feeling a bit hopeless and feel that we have come so far. While I will never say we were close to going seperate ways, I will say that oddly enough, having to face several large stressful life events has made things easier. And also funny enough, now that we have so little time for each other, we actually seem to care more about that time.

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  113. UNBELIEVABLE post - so beautifully written and so genuine and honest!
    Thank you for sharing a post that we all need to hear sometimes and be reminded of - we often live in a world of "perfection", societal expectations and fairy tale facades - especially in the blogging world. This shit is real but also so beautiful. Thank you Jenni and happy anniversary to you both - hope your hubs feels better soon x

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  114. You're beautiful and you guys are beautiful together. Just saying. Also, I figured something was up. I don't think you give your readers enough credit. We know your writing, and we know you better than you think. Maybe not details, or how far things really go, but we know. There was a while I was convinced you were going to get a divorce. Just by your tone, and the way you spoke about different things, and the things you didn't talk about. I wanted to reach out, but thought that was weird to be like "it seems like everything's not right, what's up?" I'm glad you've come out on the other end, and VERY glad you feel comfortable letting us in a bit. So many bloggers are all about pretending their lives are perfect, and it sets up these unrealistic expectations. You writing this post is inspirational for couples everywhere - well, the ones reading this blog.

    You're awesome. And I'm praying for you both. Whether you want it or not. :)

    xo.
    -- dysfunctionaleverafter.com

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  115. This is a beautiful post. Its extremely refreshing to hear someone be so brutally honest about their marriage/relationship for a change. After all we are all human and everythings not always perfect like we like our readers to believe. Its great to see a couple perserver through the tough parts and refuse to give up because the best times are worth it.
    Sincerely,
    Kayleigh http://www.thewayiwanderlust.blogspot.com.au

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  116. What I love most about what you wrote is this line right here.. "When you're in a relationship - married or just dating - and especially if you're having some routine problems like most people do at some point, it's easy to look at other couples, or read blogs about other couples, and feel inferior."

    What you wrote doesn't just apply to marriage but to all relationships, to the way I sometimes look at people's relationships when I'm struggling in my own. Wondering when it's just going to even out and be perfect. Sometimes we need someone, like yourself, to remind us that everything isn't as perfect as we assume and that we aren't alone, we aren't the only ones. The grass always looks greener on the other side so to speak. Reading this came at a really good point in my life where my boyfriend and I are at this crossroads on if we want to be together or not. I haven't spoken about it out loud to anyone except my best friend. And while it's been a week since the big fight that has happened to lead to the decision of giving it a little more time, and while things have improved significantly since then.. It's still fresh in my mind. It's helpful and makes me feel a little better that even those in marriage still sometimes have these same struggles. I'm glad I came across your post today even though I'm a little jealous that you're married and younger then me! (only by a year haha)

    http://jessraquel702.blogspot.com

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  117. Just like everyone in blogland this week, I absolutely loved this post :) Thank you for sharing with us! xoxo, Eliza

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  118. I can't tell you how much I needed to read this. My husband and I have only been married for about 5 months, and holy whoa, it was *not* what I anticipated. I went into it expecting work, sure, but my expectation was still way off base. The reality check really freaked me out, and it terrified me that I made a huge mistake. It doesn't help that we moved cross country right after we got married (literally, the day after the wedding) and I still don't have close friends here to vent to and with. So, raw, honest posts like this are truly appreciated. And needed. Thank you for putting this out there. I mean that, thank you.

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  119. Absolutely amazing post. So real and true. Many times I think we look at other bloggers and think "Why couldn't my marriage/relationship be like that?". It's great you and your husband are doing better. My husband and I recently went through a 6 month separation and not that any of those 6 months were easy but it put a lot into perspective and drew us closer in a way I don't think anything else could. I love reading your posts, keep it up!

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  120. Love your post and all of your gorgeous pics! Something that I recently learned about myself, through half of my friends getting married, is that I have never actually sat down and given much thought to the details of my future wedding-not that it even matters because I'm single! But, the more exciting part of that is that I get so excited to see other people's wedding photos because it all seems so new to me. Seems like in that aspect of my life my head is screwed on straight though...better that I be more concerned with finding a man than planning my hypothetical wedding! Great post!

    PS. Thanks for your email response. When you get a minute check out the "Blogging Tips" section on my blog (myblackwhitecolor.blogspot.com), I think/desperately hope you like. Thanks again!

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  121. Amen! When we went to couples counseling after our first trying year of marriage, it was WONDERFUL. I don't know why we put it off for so long (we've been together almost 7 years ---- 2 years of marriage now). Now I realize that marriage is HARD work ---- but it can be incredibly fulfilling. I can't imagine walking through life with anyone else --- but it doesn't mean it will be perfect (and that's boring anyway). I think fairy tales need some updates. ;)

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  122. fantastic - this part: "The work part comes in changing yourself, almost 100% of the time" - so unbelievably true, as I have learned over the past few years as well....thanks for sharing

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  123. Gosh, I'm late to the game. Happy Anniversary Jenni! 3 years! Whoo-hoo!
    That's really great, and re-freshing, to read about what's been happening in your marriage the past three years. I admit I'm surprised to read how there were not-so-great moments for you guys, since I guess I was one of the people who thought you were perfect! Well, not perfect, but not 'hanging by a thread', as you put it for a certain period of time. I'm glad you guys worked that out :)
    But it's also good to know, and to remember, that what I read is only a peek into your life, and for sure not the the whole story. Not that I want your real story to be a bad one, but a real one.
    Anyway, happy three years to you both!!

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  124. Late to the comment party, but I read this on my phone the other day and couldn't wait to get on and comment. Obviously from the outpouring response of comments we can all relate to this on some level or another (I will def. be browsing through everyone elses comments too). It's hard to convey in blogland how a persons marriage and relationship is and I commend you for giving us a honest and raw look into yours. Where alot of us might have thought it was rainbows and sunshine and two gorgeous people living the fairytale life, it was refreshing to see that everyone struggles in some areas or another. I also love that you shared that you guys went to marriage counseling. I couldn't agree more that people give up to easy now a days when it comes to putting the 'hard work' into marriage. Me and B are always 100% all the time but I continually strive to make our marriage better and to communicate on how to make it work.

    Thank you for sharing this love.

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

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  125. Can I tell you how much I love this? Everything about this post is perfect. Thank you for being real and for teaching us all that is it okay to be honest about our lives, it's healthy in fact. It inspires others and lets the rest of us know that we are not alone. No one has the perfect life, well, at least, I don't think anyone does...yet everyone wants to convince others they do. My boyfriend and I of almost five years just moved in together...I thought it was going to be easy.. ha ha ha... not even close. It's difficult, we fight on occasion, more than I'd like at times, but like you said, I know we love each other and I know we are both willing to fight for this, so I have no doubt we can make it. As girls I feel like we have that bad habit of always comparing our relationships to our friends and others, thank you for the reminder that pictures and blogs don't always tell the true story. And just because we all hit bumps in our relationships at times, doesn't mean our own relationship isn't great. It may not ever be PERFECT, but it can be great! Thanks for sharing! It means so much. I hope y'all had the greatest anniversary, you sure deserve it! Love your blog. :)

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  126. I really appreciate what a raw and honest post you have written. Marriage has so many ups and downs, and it seems like most people bail as soon as a down shows up. But, if you work hard enough, you'll see mostly the ups. No one can say that their marriage is perfect, and it took guts for you to come out and say yours isn't either. We need more of that around the internet. Hope you guys had a fantastic celebration of your third anniversary.

    LC from theworldofellesee

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  127. Oh, Jenni. You brought me to tears. Reading that excerpt while listening to that song... I was so moved. My first go-around at marriage didn't work out for the best but reading this sure gave me a new, fresh, hopeful perspective. And that excerpt is the most beautiful I think I've ever read about love. Thank you for this :)

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  128. I read this post last week and couldn't figure out how to respond. Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of my divorce. I believe whole-heartedly that my husband and I needed some sort of separation, but when I told him I needed space he refused to give it to me. It was divorce or remain in the damaging cycle we had established. I wonder all. the. time. whether I gave up too easily. Too soon. To be honest this post made me feel pretty crappy, once again. But if bloggers were more open about their own struggles instead of just describing the sunny side of life, would I have known it was okay and held on longer? Would I have found comfort in the fact that others struggle too?

    But then I remember the fights in front of friends. Leaving parties with mascara running down my face and bruises on my arms. I go back and look at my journal from the year approaching the end and remember just how damaged I had become, emotionally. I miss him. I really do. But I don't think that you can heal from that.

    I really appreciate this post and I wish more bloggers could be as honest. I think readers need to hear it and know they aren't alone.

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    1. Caroline, of course I don't know your unique situation, but it sounds like you did the right thing. Publicly fighting with or humiliating your spouse and leaving bruises on her arms is NOT cool. I would have run the other way too, and never looked back. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I'm sure there is someone out there who will treat you like a princess, as you deserve.

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  129. I'm pretty sure that I have thought every single one of those thoughts that you have italicized. I'm not even with anybody, but I always think to myself - I hope I find somebody as - creative, handy, sexy, caring, willing-to-put-up-with-my-ridiculousness - as "he" does. It's good to hear it from both sides, and it's good to be reminded every so often that no matter how picture perfect it looks from the outside, it takes hard work. Which is really really good to be reminded of when you don't have someone in your life like that yet and all you're thinking about is - oh I want someone cute to come home to, I don't want to sleep alone at night - but you don't usually remember all of the work that it takes when you're thinking about that. So - thank you. I always appreciate your honesty on this blog.

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  130. This is very beautiful. I wish you more years to come. You look absolutely stunning!

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  131. In the past 9 months of my marriage, I've caught myself thinking those same things about other couples...and it can be so damaging! I've been learning how NOT to do that because every marriage is different.

    Thank you for being honest and open with what you and Matthew have been learning and how you're feeling about your marriage. I'm sure this has and will touch so many people!

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  133. Thank you for your bravery and honesty. A few bloggers have come out with "remember this is only the good snapshots you're seeing" posts which I think is often, if not always, a needed reminder when you're taking a superficial glance at something as complicated as someone's (anyone, really) life. I think you hit the nail on the head with: "it's OK if your story doesn't look like a fairytale. Ours started out pretty blissful, but fairytales leave off at happily ever after, don't they?" because that really is the crux of the matter. Work is required to sustain happiness in all areas of our lives and kudos to you and Matthew for realizing that and working through your issues together. Oh, and happy anniversary!

    P.S. Blish=next new word in the dictionary (or at least Urban Dictionary). Totally awesome.

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  134. Hi Jenni!

    Thank you for sharing not only your amazing love story, but this thoughtful and honest follow up post. It's so important for people to understand that even when you meet "the one" there will be challenges.

    I wish you and Matthew many more years of love and marital blish!

    Shakirah

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  135. hi jenni,. you are awesome woman,.. you make me touch when im reading this,..
    your fantastic,..

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  136. I just found your blog through Shanna's and I'm SO glad I stopped by.

    I cried through the last 3 paragraphs. It's exactly what I'm going through right now...the rough parts. It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you're in the dark. But I think what you said is completely true "Gold is only purified by fire."

    Thank you for sharing your story. I needed to read it.

    xo, Jessica

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  137. This was absolutely beautiful. It is so nice to hear "the real" in other people's relationships. It's so easy to get caught up in the fantasies we create in our heads about the lives of others. Thank you for that.

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  138. Thank you for sharing your story, Jenni! We have had a really rough streak a few years back. I was about to grab the baby and walk out on him. But I stopped and thought if my life, if our lives, would be better without him, would our daughter and I be happier without him. And I knew without even thinking about it, it wouldn't. I love this person way too much to ever wanting to be without him ever again. It took me 22 years and many frogs to find this prince, and I'll never give him up again. It seems to be a pretty good advise that I have given to a friend of mine who was about to break up with her then-boyfriend. Now, they have a baby and just got married!

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  139. Ok so NOT trying to be a creep or anything (I just commented on another one of your blog posts - eep!) BUT can I just say my husband and I had our first song to "You Make it Real" BAH! I sort of live in this world where that song only exists for him and I so it's a BIG deal that you have it too! Your cool points just went up 100%!!! But seriously, it's nice to hear the real-ness of a relationship. We got married this year on the anniversary of our 4th year together and we've been through lots of ups and downs too. Another coincidence is that I too have said the "do you still love me?" during our worst moment and his response was "I'm incapable of not loving you" - same as you, we both knew each other was worth it and we made it work. :)
    Also - you guys are gorgeous! Great photos!

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  140. I love this! And the new word is totally appropriate! :) Thanks for writing out this and your love story in so much detail, it was truly an delight to read!

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  141. Thank you so much for this post!!! <3

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  142. I am at this phase in life where I am deciding if the person I love is really right for me. Off late there has been a lot of ebbing and flowing in the relationship. And I am glad I read this post at the right time. I am ready to put in the 'hard work' to make this relationship going, instead of thinking I am the only one struggling with love. Infact both of us will work it out. And the song....awww.its been playing on my system all day long ! Keep inspiring !

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  143. Well of course when you asked Matthew if he still loved you he said yes. How could he not? You shine inside.

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  144. Aubrey Leigh GoodwinJanuary 3, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    This is beautiful. And so are you. :)

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  145. Hi Jenni! I just wanted to say that I read your "Love Story", and your strength and wisdom when it comes to life and love have truly inspired me. (You turned the comments off on "Love Story," so I figured I'd post here.) I have been learning some difficult lessons lately; sometimes, for whatever reason, it can be hard to see the difference between what you want from a relationship and what you deserve in a relationship. It sounds like fate just brought you and Matthew together at the perfect time, and sometimes that's how life works. I have not found my special someone yet, but I know the day will come. Until then, free and easy down the road I go.


    Thanks again for your inspirational story! I'm excited to follow your adventures on the blog from now on :)

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  146. I think everyday, I make a choice to wake up with the person we are in a relationship with. I can choose to leave at any time. The fact that I might be scared to leave is an excuse. If I choose to stay then I see it as a place to give.

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  147. Hi Jenni.

    First, I must inform you that I came across your blog while experiencing the deepest sorrow I have ever felt in my life; however, after reading this entry and the first entry you wrote about how you met your admirable husband, I have been encouraged to stay encouraged. Your story has touched me in so many ways, words cannot explain. I am a 24 year old woman who has DREAMED AND PRAYED to find a loving guy that will love me forever and a day and vice versa. Yet, throughout the years, I have only been heartbroken time and time again, causing me to have cynical views about love. So many people tell me that I am too young to even entertain the thought of settling down, but I know my heart and I know I am ready to not only be loved, but also, I am ready to love. You are truly an inspiration to all young girls who have either given up on love or have experienced rough patches while being in love. Thank you kindly for sharing your story. Because of you, I now know that patience is virtue and if you keep your heart open, love will definitely find its way to you. I wish you and your husband many many years of happiness, love and blessings. When my day comes, I hope to write my love story just as you did yours... and hopefully, you'll be reading mines as well. Be blessed, Jenni =)

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  148. grt was your love story......ever i heard.....i hope some day i will alao get my dream story....of which there is little hope

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  149. n pls dont ever think for divorce..... will lead to distructions only...u both are fated for each other.....

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Thanks so much for leaving your two cents! I read and appreciate every comment and respond when I can. Thanks for reading. :)

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