Tuesday, August 22, 2017

This Is Marriage: Day 716

Pete and I met on a trail in Rochester circa 2013, but the trails of our lives leading up to that point were vastly different and thus we have two fundamentally different worldviews. Pete built his life on a foundation in the military/security so he approaches things from a risk mitigation/protocol/chain of command point of view. Whereas I built my life on a foundation of people - I met people online and lived with them, I met people on trails and lived with them, I met stray dogs and brought them home -so I'm all unlocked doors/tell me everything about you and let's be friends forever/writing my innermost thoughts on the internet. Sometimes we balance each other out. (Like when I forget to lock my car door and someone rifles through the cars in our neighborhood and I'm like eh, nothing was taken, there's nothing of any value in there, and it's sad really because it's an act of desperation or unhappiness. And Pete buys a floodlight/security camera for the garage and gets notifications on his phone whenever anyone crosses the threshold of our driveway). Sometimes it causes conflicts. Like when he doesn't react the way I'm expecting (i.e. how I would react) or I don't react the way he's expecting (i.e. how he would react) and there are misunderstandings and hurt feelings.

Disagreements are inevitable. It's how we deal with them that matters. And we are learning how to disagree better. It's not about who's wrong and who's right, in a marriage you're both on same team. It's about telling each other how we feel, trying to understand the other person's viewpoint and working together to resolve the conflict. Because love isn't docile or meek. Sometimes it's confrontational and bold. Sometimes it's pointing out problems and shining light on the dark bits and doing the messy, uncomfortable, important work of changing ourselves.

In the 3 years we've been a couple, we've lost both our dads and gone through Pete's deployment to Afghanistan. That's a lot of life and death and stress and grief. I would not wish those things on anyone, but I think going through them has rather forcefully "encouraged" me to become a stronger, more grateful and more compassionate person. I know what's important to me - people, effort, running, experiences - and I spend my time, energy and money accordingly. (And I have been extremely fortunate to have more than enough of all of these things).

There are moments I look at Pete and I think stupid heart, what'd you do this whole marriage thing for? This is really going to hurt when it ends (Because it's going to end. Even if we make it through everything else, we're going to die at some point). And then I think you are unbelievably lucky to have someone who loves your strengths and weaknesses, who holds your hand on the happy days and the sad days, who climbs mountains with you and indulges your over-enthusiasm for being as ridiculous as possible at all times. So appreciate the everloving crap out of every day you get to be a part of this and be the best damn life partner you can possibly be.

Marriage is worth fighting for, hand in hand.

Me: "A giant lumberjack!!! We need to stop and take a picture!"
Pete: (does not want to stop but stops anyway)
Me: "Do you want a picture with him too?"
Pete: "No, I'm good."
Me: "Is it because he's taller than you?"
Pete: "Yes."
Pete: (Apropos of nothing, but said as if we'd been having a lengthy
debate about it) "Actually I think I will poop at that McDonald's" 

Lyric of the moment: "Love is mystical. Love will break the chains. You might feel invincible. And you might be afraid. Light in darkness will show you the way, give you the power to believe again..." ~Cold War Kids "Love is Mystical"

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