My wife and I recently celebrated our one-year anniversary. It's hard to believe--those twelve months raced by quicker than any other time in my life. Yet it was also the most enjoyable and fun season of life. So it's no surprise time flew.
That's not to say there weren't difficulties. But more often, my first year of marriage introduced me to the joys of marriage. Here are my top three.
Without a doubt, my favorite part of marriage is the companionship. This shouldn't have surprised me--my "love language" is quality time and in the past I've enjoyed living with roommates. But it came unexpectedly.
If anything, I thought I would struggle with always having someone around. I imagined fighting for space. I feared losing independence.
But that's not been the case.
Instead, I find immense pleasure in sharing daily life with another person. Even the slow moments--washing dishes, making dinner, eating breakfast, watching movies or television shows--are more enjoyable when done together.
Beyond the obvious expressions of intimacy--which are more wonderful than I could've imagined--I've also been pleasantly surprised by how much I've enjoyed the subtler forms.
Sharing our hopes and dreams. Opening up about our hurts and struggles. Encouraging each other after an exhausting day. Speaking words of affection and love. Listening and sympathizing and just being together.
For me, intimacy feels like walking into a previously unseen room in the house I've lived my entire life--and it's a beautiful room. It'll take years to explore the nooks and crannies. Every time I step through the door, I find the most wonderful books and precious art. I love nothing more than finding a comfortable seat, watching the light shine through the windows and the soft dance of the curtains as the wind slips inside, and enjoying every moment.
If I spent my entire life in this room, I would be the happiest person on the planet. Fortunately, I have that privilege with my wife.
Life is an adventure when shared with another person. It's continually exciting and unexpected and even whimsical.
I'm not simply talking about eating out, traveling to new places, and recreational activities. There's no doubt--everything is more adventurous with another person. But there's more to it.
Life suddenly takes on a deeper meaning. It transforms from a self-consumed autobiography into a sweeping and expansive drama. We're creating a life. We're on a mission. We're answering a calling. We're setting off on a journey.
And we're doing it together.
A version of this post was previously published at PaulPerkins.com.
If you're married, what do you most enjoy about it? If you're not yet married, what do you most look forward to about it?