01/20/2015 05:53 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What I Learned In 5 Years of Marriage


I recently had dinner with a friend and one of the first topics that came up was my 5 year wedding anniversary. She asked how my husband was. What came out of my mouth gave her goose bumps she said. I said I loved him more than I ever did when I married him. I meant it.

I am first to admit that when I got married I wasn't really sure why I was getting married. My heart was in the right place but I didn't really understand the real purpose of a marriage. How could I really? I had no idea what was going to come our way or how we would handle it. I thought I was tough enough to endure anything by myself.

5 years later I have a whole different perspective on why marriage exists.

In the first 5 years we have been married we have had more than our fair share of change. We have changed jobs, friends have come and gone and loved ones have died. Our first child had a life threatening condition at birth; we have battled serious health issues and recently suffered a heartbreaking miscarriage.

We have woke up married for 1825 days in a row. Some good days and some bad days. More good than bad because I had him to help me. Although our personalities are wildly different, he is my biggest fan, quietly cheering me on and supporting me every single day. Marriage brings out who you really are. Sometimes it's not very pretty. You can only be narcissistic for so long before you get called out on it. Marriage is like being in therapy every single day. You are constantly improving and striving for better from yourself and out of the relationship. As I reflect on the last 5 years, I am proud of how far we have come and how much we have grown as a married couple.

In 5 years we have changed together and as individuals. We intentionally and purposely made an effort to stay engaged with these changes. We became parents which added a whole new dynamic to our relationship. No amount of guessing or assuming can prepare you for how your spouse will actually be through any storms that you go through, and especially not being a parent.

Through all the times of uncertainty, discontent and disappointment the only thing that remained constant was my husband. That was my light bulb moment. That's why marriage exists. Life is sweeter when you have someone to help you get through it. Together. To witness your life, to keep you strong when you don't think you can be, to keep you grounded when you're flying high, to tackle decisions from all angles.

Someone that will remind you when you are lying in bed in a dark room crying your eyes out that that baby was his too remember and he is sad too. Life isn't always about you, luckily when you're married it's about someone else too.