We had planned it for weeks. It was to be a romantic date night away from the kids for the first time in 4 months. We were looking forward to having a yummy Korean dinner, complete with maracoons for dessert. We would have time to look at each other’s eyes and have meaningful conversations.
It was late. I was tired. I was hungry. I had a long day. By the time he picked me up for dinner, it was about 9pm.
We went to TGIF, where I ranted about my day to him as we ate. He seemed a little quieter than usual, but then again, it could be because I was ranting nonstop.
Once we finished our main dishes, he asked if I would like to order dessert. Normally I would jump at that, but on that night, I was physically tired and mentally exhausted, and I felt full enough, so I uncharacteristically passed.
I later found out that that made him a bit more nervous. But he nevertheless bravely began his speech. He said he was sorry he had been unable to get me fancy gifts. He bought me something, and he really hoped that I would like it. I prepared my own expectations, and told myself not to show any signs of disappointment if I indeed did not like the gift. After all, it’s the heart and thought that mattered.
But all my own thoughts evaporated when he put a blue Tiffany & Co box on the table.
Oh. Ma. Gawd.
I think at this point he continued on with his well-prepared speech, but honestly, I can’t recall any of it. I only remember feeling utterly shocked, and I couldn’t take my eyes away from the box. I knew what was inside. My heart was beating wildly. I wasn’t sure if I was ready.
Then the question came.
“Will you marry me?”
I looked at him. I looked at the box. I looked at him. And all I could say was, “Really? Are you serious?”
Unlike most girls who fawned and cried and screamed ‘YES!!!’ immediately, I had so many things run through my mind in those few seconds. My answer would be a very important one. It was not going to be just a one-word reply. It was going to be a big decision. For life.
I took a deep breath, and said yes. And he visibly relaxed as he put the (slightly oversized) ring into my shaking finger.
That was the beginning of our journey, which was solidified by our wedding a year later. We said our vows, making a big commitment. For life.
It’s been 8 years since we said ‘I do’. So many things have happened in our relationship.
In my husband’s words, we have lost our firstborn, we have welcomed and are raising a cheerful toddler, and we are now expecting another baby. We have been poor, and then been rich, and then poor again. Hopefully, we are on our way to being rich again *finger crossed*.
We have fought without words, fought with words, and fought on iMessage (which works brilliantly for us by the way).
We have been through quite a rough trail. Honestly, were there moments where I actually thought of bailing? Yes. But the commitment of love means that I will choose to hold on even when I want to flee.
Marriage is a lot of hard work. It is choosing to listen to your spouse when all you want to do is scroll your Facebook timeline (again, my husband’s words). It is choosing to be interested in your spouse’s day even though yours was as sucky as hell. It is choosing to spend time together even though you really crave for some me time after being hounded by a relentless toddler the whole day. It is swallowing down your temporary anger and resentment, and choosing to be kind instead. It is choosing not to keep scores, and to go the extra mile instead.
It is choosing to accept each other in every way, and not be on the lookout for ‘someone better’. It is choosing to overlook and forgive. It is choosing to remember the good times more than the bad times. It is choosing to see things from your spouse’s perspective, especially when you are blinded by rage. It is choosing to hold each other’s hands, and say again and again, ‘I will walk this road with you.’
Feelings come and feelings go. Butterflies appear in your stomach and vanish all the time. Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is the real deal.
So how do we stay in love?
We’ve only been married for 8 years. That’s a short time when measured against the years of life. But so far, staying in love to me means making choices and decisions every day.
Choose to remember our vows. Choose to remember what attracted us to each other in the first place. Choose to close an eye on the irritating habits. Choose to talk things out even when it’s difficult. Choose to solve issues even when we don’t want to. Choose to be fair. Choose to be kind. Choose to hold on when times are rough. Choose to create fond memories together. Choose to be completely honest. Choose to say sorry. Choose to dream together.
For better, for worse.
Happy 8th anniversary to my dearest husband. I love you more today than yesterday, despite all your disgusting habits. *winks*