The 7-year-itch surprises I’m glad I didn’t know before ‘I Do’

If you knew that in your first-ever at-bat you were going to strike out, letting down the entire team and your entire family that was filling the stands behind you, would you still go to bat? Of course not.

If you knew that in your first-ever at-bat you were going to get the game-deciding grand slam that would be talked about for years to come, inspiring your entire team and your entire family that was filling the stands behind you, would you still go to bat? Of course you would.

If you knew your spouse was going to start every day with, “Good morning, my love. How did you sleep?” in his sweetest, sexiest voice, would you still marry him? Yep.

If you knew your spouse was going to string clothes around the house as though he intended for a rescue dog to search him out, would you still marry him? Mmmm…

That’s one of my favorite things about marriage – the surprises. I don’t mean the scented surprises that come after too much milk or too much beer, but the warm-your-heart ones that you never see coming. The ones that blow all those rom-coms out of the water.

There are at least 9 things – one for each year we’ve been married and two for good luck – that I am glad I didn’t know before I got married to my newly re-commissioned husband.

2006 wedding/2012 Christmas
2006 wedding/2012 Christmas

1. I’m glad I didn’t know how much I would come to depend on him. Thompson Square has a song “If I Didn’t Have You,” and in it is the line: This life would kill me if I didn’t have you. I used to make the fake-barfing gesture at lines like that because I thought, If you ever depend on someone’s love that much, you are too far in. Nobody can mean that much to you. Yeah, well. 7 years later and here I am thinking, Thank you, God, for my husband. I don’t ever, ever want to live without him. My heart stops at the thought of it.

2. I’m glad I didn’t know how much I prefer a non-committal relationship status. There is a reason I’m almost 30 and have only had an indoor/outdoor cat (which Greg had to work pretty hard to convince me to keep). Greg slipped that ring on my finger before I figured this out about myself, so go Greg.

2006 - at our wedding
2006 – at our wedding

3. I’m glad I didn’t know how good he was at not getting speeding tickets. A minor source of contention in our marriage, since he has gone in excess of 100 mph many times over, has gotten pulled over for it, yet manages to not get a ticket. I get pulled over for going 10 mph over the posted limit get a ticket. I have – no joke – described my husband’s motorcycle to a cop and requested that he be pulled over and given a ticket. That’s how desperate I am for Greg to pay for his speeding iniquities. However, since I am currently the breadwinner between the two of us, joke’s on me I guess.

4. I’m glad I didn’t know the path we would take to eventually wind up in North Carolina. It was always my dream, so you’d think I’d be over-the-moon excited if I saw a Preston Future timeline and it had “NC” on there. But if I had seen all the frustration we went through to get here, I would have a hard time moving toward it. And I wouldn’t have wanted to leave my Savannah friends. But we are so fulfilled here, some days we think it’s unfair how near-perfect our lives feel.

5. I’m glad I didn’t know how many times I would be wrong! If I had seen that timeline and saw the quantity next to “Elisa – wrong” I would have held back big time! Greg would’ve had a field day, but I certainly would have been afraid to move forward knowing I would be wrong that many times. Phew. Dodged that bullet…

6. I’m glad I didn’t know about flight school before ‘I Do’. I was hardly prepared to be a career Army wife; I was thankful when hubs decided he would do 4 years and be done. If I had thought he was ready for a career, I may have held back. But I’m so happy – and feel right at home – to have just started round 2 of being an active Army wife.

7. I’m glad I didn’t know about some of the Dumbest Arguments Known to Man that would ensue. Oh my goodness … I did not use the tip of the knife to pit the avocado!/Yes you did; it’s bent! … Please put one hangar per slot. … How could you not know that’s a workout t-shirt?! … PLEASE put the DVDs away instead of leaving them on top of the case. … That’s not what you meant. If that was what you meant you wouldn’t have said it. Wow.

2009 - at Dad's wedding
2009 – at Dad’s wedding

8. I’m glad I didn’t know that we would eventually make the same jokes at the same time. It happens every couple days, sometimes face-to-face, sometimes over text. We think it’s hilarious but also a little freaky – we spend that much time together and we’re that like-minded that we think of the same jokes? This was a happy surprise 🙂

9. I’m glad I didn’t know about the tears, because they cloud everything. And then I wouldn’t have been able to see that the laughter far, far outweighs those tears. I wouldn’t have been able to hear the jokes that inevitably follow our disagreements, or see the teddy bear mushiness that freely flows from his heart when it comes to me.

There is no such thing – absolutely no such thing – as a fairytale life. That’s not to be mean, just real. Besides, take a fairytale like Beauty & the Beast: you think Belle stopped speaking her mind just because she fell in love? Doubt it. Even after their happily-ever-after, 10-to-1 she maintained high expectations for her beast/prince’s behavior. We just don’t ever see that. We see the final dance, twirling kiss, tears of joy, walk down the aisle.

The nitty gritty stuff that makes marriage a wonderful, frustrating, life-giving, maddening surprise happens on a daily basis. It happens in the arguments over what part of the knife is supposed to be used to pit the avocado. It happens in the why do you always have to …, followed by a Hershey Kiss fight (yep, that’s exactly what it sounds like and we’ve done it). It happens in our kisses goodbye and hello, in our cuddle time while watching TV, in the tickle fights and in bumping each other out of the way while we’re getting ready for work.

Covered in love and smothered in prayer, hubster and I will celebrate our 7 year itch one week from tomorrow. How thankful I am that the ‘itch’ so many people talk about – and subsequently scratch – is nowhere on our radar. We’ve pushed through the hard times, conquered the temptations to flee, laughed through the stupid things (did you read the workout t-shirt thing?!), and held each others’ hand for the last 2,557 days. It hasn’t been easy, nobody said it would be. But it’s been an adventure, which everyone did promise from Day One.

Greg, thanks for loving me, letting me depend on you, forcing me to have a cat, moving toward our dreams together, stopping the stupidity with one of your silly jokes, and being one who loves to laugh. I can’t believe how much joy you fill my life and heart with on a mostly (wink face emoji!) daily basis.

Now, go get that speeding ticket and we’ll be good to go for another 7 years. 😉

6 comments

  1. “I have – no joke – described my husband’s motorcycle to a cop and requested that he be pulled over and given a ticket. That’s how desperate I am for Greg to pay for his speeding iniquities.” – This one got me rolling, Elisa lol. Enjoyed reading.

  2. Elisa, Dave and I have been together at times it feels like forever and others it seems like yesterday. I love this and could relate to every single point you made. The only thing is I am the one that gets out of tickets. It kills Dave too! I was pulled over three times by the SAME cop, in the SAME spot, within 30 days! Not once did I get a ticket. 🙂 Love the writings!

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