You have loved me through the best and worst years of my life. You have loved me a size 14, and a size 4. You have loved me with brown, blonde, and red hair. You have loved me when you thought I could give you no children, and you love me with the two we have. You have loved me when I wanted to conquer the world, and now when all I want to conquer is the laundry. You have loved me at 2AM, 22 and stumbling in from a night on the town. You have loved me at 2AM, 32 and stumbling in half asleep after getting the baby back to bed.

You have loved me. Every version of me all these years.

And it’s hard. I know you aren’t supposed to say that aloud, because you are admitting there is imperfection. But there is. Like last night, when you slept on the couch. I was upset, and tired, and done. I threw your pillow and a blanket in the living room. My pride got in the way and I had a point to prove. And even though we are both too tired to hardly touch anymore, it is lonely without you next to me.

Then morning came, and you still loved me.

I know you should always kiss goodnight, don’t forget to say, “I love you,” or go to bed angry. But we do. I have read “secrets to a good marriage” and they all sound pretty legit. But that’s not us. I know some mention that it shouldn’t be “hard.” But sometimes it is.

We keep moving forward.

We are still young in our love story, but it doesn’t mean we are naive. We know there will be difficulties ahead that we can’t possibly comprehend—life will bring those. We know there will be joys that are unimaginable too—love will bring those. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and it hasn’t. But we thought it would be worth it, and it has. Because you have looked me in the eye when I have wanted to give up, and just loved me—through it, through the storm. And I have looked back, and told you to keep holding on.

Every night we crawl into bed, two imperfect people, not giving up on each other. We wake up each morning the same way. Hoping we have a lot of years ahead to figure out “our secret.”

Kayla Friehe

Kayla Friehe is a wife and mother of two young boys. She loves wine, chocolate, and binge watching Netflix-- sometimes all at once. In her spare time she enjoys blogging about motherhood and day dreaming of sleep.