Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Marriage and Les Miserables

Last Wednesday was our 3rd wedding anniversary. To celebrate this odd-numbered milestone, we had dinner at a nice place with views of the ocean and went to the musical, Les Miserables.

It is probably one of the most famous and well-known musicals, but I had never seen it before. Not even the movie! I had heard the premise of the story long ago but I really didn't know much. I loved seeing it for the first time and not really knowing what to expect. My favorite character was Fantine--the actress playing her had a wonderful voice that left me sitting in awe, wanting to take it all in. I also enjoyed watching the children who were in it too -- I'm amazed at the talent young children have and glad that some children have the opportunities to show it to us! (Maybe secretly, I wanted to be a child-actress when I was a kid.) And of course, the music, set designs, and everything were in my opinion fantastic.

I really enjoy these special date nights; we get dressed up, go somewhere we wouldn't normally go and do something we don't normally get to do. It makes me feel like I'm being pursued and courted all over again, when everything was new. I don't want to take these dates for granted! And I don't want to take for granted the effort my husband puts into them! One of his many talents is knowing how to make me feel special.

Our third year of marriage went by so fast! It felt really smooth and easy most of the time but reflecting now I know there were things we worked through:

We learned a lot about our preconceived gender roles this year. We both grew up in households where the husband worked and the wife was the primary home/caretaker (even if she also worked). We switched it up a bit this year, and it was a lot harder than I thought it would have been. In November, Chris found himself unemployed and once again, the months just kept passing without much work at all. Thankfully in July he found another short-term contract job. But in those in-between months we often struggled with our roles. I had a hard time letting go of the things I thought were my responsibility, even though I was exhausted from work, working out, and doctor appointments. Chris was more than willing to do (more than) his part, but wanted more than anything to be bringing home the paycheck. This also meant we had a tighter budget which made for some interesting conversations and realizations that we have not yet arrived to "where we thought we'd be by now."

I think we've grown a lot in the ways we communicate with each other. It's gotten easier to actually say what's on my mind and share my worries out loud and honestly. Chris would probably say I've gotten more bold or courageous by facing my fears like riding my bike in the city.

I've learned that relaxation is really important to my husband (and it's important to him that I relax too!). We've done a lot of things intentionally to make time to relax. Like driving south to sit on a warm beach for a few hours, go for a hike or bike ride, or watch a movie together.

We talk a lot about the future and what we want to see and do. It will be exciting to see what year four has in store!

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