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Every year I tiptoe the line between not wanting to be the girl who gushes about her wedding anniversary on social media and totally wanting to be the girl who gushes about her wedding anniversary on social media.

My hesitation is in stepping into the ring of comparison, because marriage is hard enough without comparing ours to those of friends, family, and strangers. Social media can be prime ground for the comparison game, but that is an unnecessary and unfair pressure to place on ourselves and our partners.

What I want more than anything is to acknowledge and celebrate my marriage in a way that encourages you in yours.

There will be happy things and there will be sad things. There will be laughs and there will be tears. There will be sparkles and there will be dirt. There will be wins and there will be losses. There will be extremes in every direction.

Each of those things has value, but the sweet spot is in the middle.

The sweet spot is in the normal.

The sweet spot is in the routine.

The sweet spot is in the juggle of daily life.

The sweet spot is in texting each other dumb GIFs from across the room just to make each other laugh.

The sweet spot is in picking up each other’s slack.

The sweet spot is in cheering each other’s successes.

The sweet spot is a shoulder to cry on.

The sweet spot is forgiveness.

The sweet spot is laughing until you can’t catch your breath.

The sweet spot is doing absolutely nothing and being OK with it because you are together.

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The sweet spot is realizing you’ve both been using the green toothbrush for months and only being a little grossed out.

The sweet spot is leftovers for dinner. Again.

The sweet spot is in arguing over whether the deer mount really needs to hang in the living room.

The sweet spot is family dinner with your kid.

The sweet spot is a babysitter so you can be alone together for Five. Whole. Hours. And then talking about the kid for four of those.

The sweet spot is dreaming of what the future holds.

The sweet spot is remembering sweet moments from the past.

The sweet spot is learning something new together.

The sweet spot is saying it out loud because he’s not a mind reader.

The sweet spot is knowing he’s always got your back.

The sweet spot is that little goodnight kiss before bed.

The sweet spot is fussing over who ate all the Oreos, when you both know it was a team effort.

It doesn’t always shine and sometimes it’s hidden under a sink of dirty dishes, piles of laundry, and mountains of responsibility, but when you catch a glimpse of it, please stop and soak it in.

Recognize that the little things are the big things. Acknowledge that those middle places between the highs and lows are the sweet spot. Remember that your marriage is your own and it doesn’t have to look like anybody else’s. Give thanks for each other and hold on tight.

And when your wedding anniversary rolls around, don’t be ashamed to give a little shout out to the years you have invested in each other.

This post originally appeared on the author’s blog

Marriage takes work. Thankfully, there’s an app that can help! Lasting— the nation’s #1 relationship counseling app — provides accessible sessions designed to help you build a healthy marriage. Download and take Lasting’s free Relationship Health Assessment.

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Mandy McCarty Harris

Mandy McCarty Harris lives in Northwest Arkansas with her husband, young daughter, three dogs, and eleven backyard chickens. She writes about living happily in the messy middle of life. She can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and at HappyLikeThis.com

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