I just updated my profile to reflect that OJ and I have been married for five years as of...today. Five years. There have been times I didn't think we'd make it this long. Then again, there have been times where I've envisioned our whole lives together stretching out before us, and five years seems like nothing. It's all a matter of perspective.
It's been a rough five years; one thing I do not recommend to new couples just starting out is to have children immediately. On the one hand, I am thrilled that we had children relatively young and am really looking forward to spending my 'mature' years with grown children. On the other hand, having children changes the dynamic of your relationship, and so much of your daily life, so drastically that I think it's really advisable to spend some time enjoying each other before taking that step, if possible. We didn't do that; I can't say I regret our choices because there has been so much joy in my life in the last five years. But I can say I had no idea, really, what I was getting myself into. I can also say that I think my relationship with my husband is much different than it would have been if we had waited to have children. In many ways, I think it would have been easier. OJ likens marriage to a rock tumbler; we are the rocks, and when we come together at first we scrape each other quite a bit with our sharp edges. Over time, we smooth things out and create grooves for each other and we come to fit together perfectly. Having kids added a couple extra rocks to the tumbler; there were definitely a number of sharp edges and scrapes for a while.
Nowadays? Well, I happen to think OJ and I both started as a couple of really spiny rocks. A lot of those edges are worn smooth, but we still scrape each other occasionally. We've really gotten into the rhythm of the rock tumbler though, and I have really come to appreciate our grooves. And those two little rocks we added so early? Are really beautiful gems.
I've never done things the easy way. I don't know why I would expect my marriage to be any different. But while I can look back and see how it might have BEEN easier...I wouldn't have it any other way. I am really looking forward to what the next five years will bring.