I promise to be here with you when things get hard. And they’re gonna get hard.
There will be nights—scratch that, years—when we don’t sleep. When one of us is always nursing, or rocking, or cuddling, or consoling in the darkest hours of the night.
There will be moments when I look at you and feel like maybe I don’t really know you at all, and you’ll look at me and feel the same.
We’re going to misunderstand each other. A lot. We’re going to feel unheard and untouched and unloved.
We’ll come to realize that the reason we always prided ourselves on communication was because we never had anything very heavy to communicate about before. But now, my hot head and your unshakeable calmness are going to clash in a fiery collision of emotion. Our walls are going to burn all the way down to their foundations, and we’re going to have to learn how to talk—really talk—to each other.
There will be times when the accusations fly, and we’ll both walk away from the heat of the moment feeling like we’re failing one another.
There will be nights—many of them, in fact—when we don’t sleep in the same bed. Sometimes out of exhaustion, sometimes out of frustration, sometimes because the motivation required to pry ourselves off of the couch is too great, and sometimes because we’re wrapped up in our toddler’s bed and don’t dare move for fear of waking him.
Everything we thought we knew about ourselves as a couple will be tested time and time again, and we’re going to fail those tests more often than either of us cares to admit.
There will be times when I’ll desperately ask you when we last went on a date, and you’ll stare back at me blankly because for the life of us, neither one can remember when we were even alone in a room together during waking hours.
There will be times when intimacy is not in the forefront of either of our minds, times when it feels forced, or rushed, or unwanted.
But in all of these moments, I need you to know . . . I’m not going anywhere.
For a drive alone to collect my thoughts, maybe.
Out for a walk to get some fresh air and cool my temper, perhaps.
Into the other room with a slammed door behind me, sometimes.
I’m not going anywhere from which I won’t always return to you.
I am in this with you and for you. Today, tomorrow, and 20, 50, 70 years down the road.
I will stay through the ebbs and flows of this is effortless and gosh dang, this is so hard.
It’s not a fairytale, this love of ours. Our hearts aren’t always going to beat in sync. It’s not going to be like what we see in the movies, because those never show the “ever after” part that follows the “happily”—the part that requires work and sacrifice and eternal dedication.
Loving you may not always come easily, just as I know that I can be a challenge to love in my own right. But choosing you? That’s one thing I will never have to think twice about.
There’s a part that was missing from my vows all of those years ago. It’s a part I didn’t know mattered then, but that I need to say now.
It’s the part that says even when.
Even when it’s hard.
Even when I don’t feel like it.
Even when it takes a whole heck of a lot of work.
Even when it’s not the easiest option.
Even when it seems impossible.
Even then . . . I am with you.
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