I married my high school sweetheart at 19. White dress, big southern wedding—the whole shebang. We met in middle school. We went to college together. We now have two lovely, little kiddos we get to call our own. We go to church on Sundays and do our best to pray together. True love, fairytale kind of stuff, right?
We have also moved half a dozen times in the almost five years we have been married. Moving brings out the worst in me, so I feel it needs to be mentioned. We have argued more times than I can ever count, granted the majority of them haven’t been over very important things. Nothing is worse than pointless arguing—let me tell you. I have said words in the heat of the moment I later regret.
Our relationship doesn’t look like it did almost eight years ago when we first started dating. And you know what?
I love where we are now even more than where we were back then.
The butterflies are gone, but the steadfast security of love and a promise keeps us grounded and together.
I won’t lie though—my insides do a little happy dance when he comes in the door from work.
The grand, romantic gestures (I’m looking at you, promposals) are few and far between, and honestly, so is date night for the most part, but I’m perfectly okay with that. Now when he brings home flowers, I almost immediately ask him what he wants. We both get a good laugh out of it.
The best things to me now are my husband putting the kids to bed when I need a break, him getting up with the baby at night so I can get some much-needed sleep, or him cleaning the kitchen after I’ve had a long day. It’s laughing together over stupid mistakes and dreaming together about our future.
Our romance is much different than it was eight years ago, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
We’ve seen each other at our absolute lows and been there to experience each other’s highest highs. My hubby knows me better than I know myself most days. I’m so very grateful for that. I love my husband even more because of all we’ve been through.
We have lived on ham sandwiches and ramen for weeks in college, spent Sundays counting quarters at the coin laundromat, and stayed up way too late quizzing each other for all of those finals.
We’ve now also been there for each other as we tried to navigate finding healthcare, buying a house, and having a son in the NICU. It’s hard to keep the butterfly feelings alive in the most stressful moments of life. That doesn’t mean you love your spouse less, it just means together, you have more to focus on than just each other at that point in time.
My husband has been there to help me birth two babies. He has been there to support me from the moment the pregnancy test turned positive. He has nudged me forward when I thought I couldn’t take another step. He has pushed me to follow dreams I never thought would come to fruition. He is my biggest supporter and strongest advocate. He’s also absolutely not afraid to call me out anymore when I need to be brought back down to earth. I need this, too, and he knows that.
I never thought I could love my husband more than the day I married him, but here I am doing just that.
Watching him fold laundry or eating takeout at home after the kids are asleep makes me happier now than anything did in our high school dating days. Seventeen-year-old me would scoff at the thought, I’m sure.
The fairytale, butterfly feelings don’t last forever. It’s great while they do, don’t get me wrong. I will truly never forget how I felt on our wedding day, but I’m glad the fairytale ends.
I like where we are now even better.
The passion at the beginning of a relationship can, and will, expand in ways you never thought possible if you let it.
The fairytale feelings have evolved into something much greater than teenage me could have ever dreamed. They will always be part of our story, no doubt about it. I can reminisce on the early days at any time, but I wouldn’t trade where we are now for the world.