I'm a hopeless romantic....I can't help it. Once a year, I have to watch Anne of Green Gables and somehow even though I know Anne chooses Gilbert Blythe in the end, I have to see it for myself. The same goes for Pride & Prejudice. I have to watch it just to make sure Elizabeth chooses Mr. Darcy in the end. The part in You've Got Mail in which Joe Fox comes over to a sick Kathleen Kelly's house and helps tuck her into bed, it gets me every single time.
Darn those Hallmark movies around Christmas and Valentine's Day too, because there I am clutching Kleenex in my hand at the oh-so-expected ending of the good guy ending up with the good girl.
Even though I know that each of those movies ends the same way, with the guy kissing the girl, I can't help but smile.
It seems so perfect.
The reality is, the books and movies never tell you what happens after that kiss. They leave you thinking he is perfect for her and that it will all be amazing in the years to come. A part of me always wonders if that is how it really is, but the other part of me already knows.
I know that there are tough times following the wedding. Days in which you wonder if you made the right decision to marry so young, or even to marry him. Nights in which you storm out of the house with your keys in your hand and refuse to answer the phone when he calls looking for you. But that first anniversary comes and you breathe a tiny sigh of relief, you have made it this far, you can probably make it another year, right?
Hollywood doesn't tell you that you won't see each other for four years as you both commit to finishing your college degrees and working on the side. That those times apart will practically rip your marriage right out from you. But that you grow up together through it.
They don't show you a positive pregnancy test that you both are ecstatic and nervous over. They don't show the real hard parts of pregnancy in which the girl throws up for 5 months straight, including once in bed much to your husband's surprise. You don't get to see the hard 24+ hour labor in which your hubby, so overwhelmed and scared, stays in a corner of the room cracking jokes, until the reality that his first baby is about to arrive makes him rush to your side. Fifteen months later you don't see the second positive pregnancy test that causes the girl to cry for fear of change and being sick once again. You don't get to see the hilarity of a husband rushing to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning, barely making it in time, and forgetting the camera in the car (which was his only assignment this time around), all to watch baby girl number two enter this world.
Hallmark doesn't tell you about the baby you will lose on a warm March day. They don't show your hubby becoming your rock in that time. They don't show his tears mixing with yours as you grieve together for what may have been. They also don't show you the utter joy and rush of traveling to southern Georgia on a hot July day to add the most beautiful little girl to your family. How you suddenly become a family of 5...just like that.
You don't get to see the financial struggles, business decisions, and everyday battles of trying to raise a family together. You don't get to see the fights on how to discipline your children, who will get up with them when one has a bad dream yet again, and who will clean up the throw up on the carpet (he will in case you are wondering).
The romance stories don't show you how somehow, despite birthing two kids, having a few extra pounds and extra marks on your body, your hubby can get home at the end of a long day and still desire you. How you will laugh with utter abandon at a joke he mumbles, no matter how corny it is. How you will dance in the kitchen together as he sings to you a country love song, country is his thing you know. You don't see the jokes over how cute he thinks Jane Seymour is, or the drawn on Adam Levine picture on your fridge to tease you over your crush on Adam.
The books don't tell you about the heartache that happens in your life in which your hubby's tears run freely with yours as you cry over something that will forever change your family. They don't tell you that he will practically have to force you to eat as you go through a deeper depression than you ever have been in. You don't get to hear the words, "I'm sorry hon, we will get through this together" whispered over the phone as you call him for the thousand time in complete tears not sure how you will make it through another day.
You don't get to see the no-makeup, crazy curly hair, yoga pants, and over sized sweatshirt she wears every single day, and yet he still walks in the door and tells her she is beautiful. You don't get to see the fight over the Valentine candy he brought home for his girls that she doesn't want him to give them because it has food dyes in it, and she is trying to eliminate them from their house. You also don't get to hear the meek, "I'm sorry" whispered later on.
Sigh........those movies and books don't show you much.
They show you the lovey dovey, butterflies in your tummy, new love stage, but they miss all the rest. Which is really too bad, because it is in those horrible, ugly, yet beautiful moments in your marriage, in which true love is born.
They forget that part in the books and movies. I'm glad really. Because no movie can show what true love really is. No book will ever capture completely the journey it takes to get there.
Between all the fights, giggles, heartaches, and utter tiredness, love is born.
Happy Valentine's Day, Christer! Thank you for loving me so well, through the good and the bad. Our love is better than any movie or novel could ever be! I love you!
To learn more of our love story, check out this post celebrating 10 years of marriage.