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Like a Second Honeymoon without the Learning Curve ~ Life:Unmasked

We had two and a half child-free days this weekend, my husband and I. It was glorious. Like a second honeymoon, only without the beach and the newly-married learning curve. We did crazy first-year-of-marriage things like eating out and staying up too late and sleeping in and napping and shopping together. I wasn’t tired (imagine that). We did crazy almost-fourteen-years-of-marriage things too, like eating breakfast without saying much, and reading books separately while in the same space.

Marriage: a long-term every day choosing of the other.

But that quiet sometimes made me uneasy. I had a flash of fear that we were becoming that couple that doesn’t know each other once they finish raising children. I had to melt that fear in the warmth of knowing that we are ok with silence. He is my best friend. We talk when we need to, and we don’t if we don’t.

It got me thinking about us and all the things we have weathered in our almost fourteen years and how we’re still together. Sometimes, I play through scenarios, like what if his bus crashes, and I’m widowed. What would I do? But I never think “what if one of us just walks away.” I can’t imagine starting over. We’ve built something unique together, piece by painstaking piece, that we could never recreate.

Our marriage has been a long-term every day choosing: choosing to remember the good and the true. Choosing to stay and keep building.

In those moments when all is quiet and nothing is new and we slip into taking one another for granted, I choose to remember. I recall the thrill of those early days when a kiss and an “I love you” were risks. I remember how he wrote letters and waited for me to finish school and moved back for me, and especially I remember how he stayed.

He stayed when our baby nearly died and he stayed when she lived. When my breasts were hooked up to a pump like a cow to a milking machine, he still wanted me. He pulled me close and spoke sense into my ears when, in a sleep-deprived fear-induced craze, I lost my shit over losing control of my kitchen and my life. It’s my kitchen! It should be the way I want it to be. I don’t want to need help! I want my life to be normal dammit! He stayed when in a depression and faith crisis, I lost my shit again and the entire family was walking on eggshells around me, fearing the next explosion. He chose me in spite of the slammed doors and desperate words and tears in the midst of kisses and the pounds gained and the skin tightness lost.

I choose him the way he chooses me, instead of the mythic greener grass on the other side. I choose this man with the calm soul, the graying temples, the slow impish grin, the love of old classic cars, and the arms that fit around me just right. I choose the man I can still make to blush when I flirt, with the twinkling blue eyes and the insatiable love of creating. I choose the one person who can make me laugh when circumstances threaten to overwhelm. I choose him even when the dollars don’t add up right and we make a stupid blunder on vacation and when he passes out in my favorite workout class and gets rolled out on a stretcher.

I remember all the moments when he chose me, I remember all the times we’ve smiled together, laughed together, and cried together. And I choose him again today.


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  1. This was such a beautiful testimony of love – I have tears.

    It made me think of my love – the one who stayed too.

    SO much thankfulness.

  2. Love it! I too have lost my sh*t on more than one occasion and my hero stayed, too. We celebrate 13 years next week. Congrats on weathering the storms thus far and may you have calm waters ahead.

  3. This is marriage. Beautiful.

  4. Ermmm, this just kinda made me tear up. What a beautiful beautiful expression of love!

  5. Beautifully done, Joy. Congratulations and great gasping sighs of thanksgiving for evidence of another committed relationship enduring, in around and through enormous stress. May your tribe increase.

  6. It’s true, isn’t it? It’s a continual re-choosing.

    I resonated with so much of this, Joy.

  7. love it!

  8. Love is in the choosing. Sounds like you’ve made wise choices. I’m so thankful my man has chosen me and vice-versa. God is gracious.

  9. Reading your story made me fell in love more with my hubby. The best thing that ever happened to me:)

  10. This is so beautiful.

  11. What beautiful words. Thank you.

  12. This is so beautiful!

  13. Marriage is not always easy, but if we can remember the vows we made and our commitment to each other, we can weather any storm.

  14. This is precious. These are things I cling to on the “I love him but I really really don’t like him” days. It really is about choosing.
    Thanks for sharing.

  15. That was awesome, Joy. Something about the two of you reminds me so much of Maile and I. Proud to know you both.

  16. thank you for sharing about your weekend, and reminding us how much we have to celebrate each day.

  17. This is so beautiful! It gives me so much encouragement as someone who just finished her first year of marriage! It’s so wonderful to hear of couples who have been through so much together and choose to love and stay committed to each other every day, despite what life throws at them. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

  18. I just found your blog and linked up with you. My post today is definitely showing my heart.

    I know what you’re saying about your husband. We are approaching our 23rd anniversary this year. A lot of ups and downs, but God has done great things!

    Great to meet you!