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This Is Marriage

02/13/2015 04:53 pm ET | Updated Apr 15, 2015

The greenish-blue hue of the cheaply made hair net matches his eyes. The blankets cover his body and the IV bag hangs behind him. He is about to be wheeled into surgery -- a minor foot surgery to remove a broken sesamoid bone which has caused pain for nearly two years. I hold my breath as I exit the pre-op area even though I know he'll be fine. He will be home in a few hours complaining about his new crutches and forced bed rest. I will spend the next few weeks caring for and loving him while occasionally rolling my eyes at his requests for extra blankets and back scratches. I will feel frustrated at his stubborn insistence to push himself. He will feel vulnerable and irritated by his temporary limitations. We will laugh at the absurdity of the situation one second and argue for no reason the next. We will both wish for time to pass quickly. Yet, I wouldn't trade one minute. I wouldn't want anyone else caring for him.

What does it really means to form a partnership and marriage with someone? To meet someone and eventually make the decision to share a life together. To be brave enough to embark on a journey that is ridiculously fraught with imperfections. To give over a piece of your heart and in turn accept another person's heart -- by choice.

Marriage IS NOT a fairy tale. Marriage IS NOT always simple. Marriage IS NOT about perfection. Marriage IS NOT just about love -- although most marriages test, push, and teach about the true meaning of love.

Here is what marriage is actually about.

Marriage is acceptance.

Marriage is vulnerability.

Marriage is forgiveness.

Marriage is truth.

Marriage is partnership.

Marriage is choice and commitment.

Marriage is laughter.

Marriage is sharing dreams and experiences.

Marriage is frustration and sometimes anger.

Marriage is love and joy.

Marriage is disappointment and sometimes tears.

Marriage is work.

Marriage is family.

Marriage is a journey.

My husband and I have been on this journey for nearly 10 years. Some days, I shake my head and wonder how and why it all started. I wonder if I'm the only one driven partly mad by the experience. Then I remember. I look into his eyes and I know. This IS marriage. A real marriage. Our marriage.

In sickness and in health, broken foot and all. We belong to each other.

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Nicole Dash is a writer, blogger, and business owner who lives outside Washington DC with her husband and four children. Nicole writes about life, family and finding herself amid the chaos on her heartfelt blog Tiny Steps Mommy. Please subscribe to her blog to join her in this journey.

This post originally appeared on Tiny Steps Mommy.

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