A short while after our wedding, after the honeymoon, after we came back home, let the shininess fade, and welcomed day-to-day chores and boringness back into our schedules, Mr. Dragon and I had our real first dance.
Yes, we had a first dance at the wedding. Nothing chaotic happened to ruin it or anything like that. But rather than enjoying the moment with my new husband I was panicking, tripping over my dress, and feeling all too exposed and awkward, clinging onto Mr. D for dear life.
In our kitchen, in our pajamas, the song we probably should have picked came on Mr. D’s iPod and I requested a re-do.
We are on our way
It might be a hard way
But as long as I’m with you
I say it’s the song we probably should have picked because looking back after one year, the lyrics couldn’t be more apt. Mr. Dragon and I really struggled with our first few months of marriage.
As I’ve mentioned before, for some of us, that dream of newlywed bliss can be easily shattered, not by anything big or unbearably treacherous or dangerous or shocking, but by the minutia of dirty socks on the floor, poor communication skills, unending dark and cold northwestern Ontario winters, and not making enough time for one another.
We may feel like folding
But as long as love is holding
The hands of me and you
The waves can be raging
For together we’ll be aging
And as long as I’m with you
I will fully admit that there were times, in that first six months, that I wondered what we were doing, and more importantly, what we were doing wrong. Were we just broken in some way, bound to argue until we imploded?
The answer is, thankfully, no. For us, it took re-learning how to talk to each other (and when to just NOT talk to each other). It took a conscious effort to stop keeping score, to stop the “but you said this” and “you’re wrong and here’s 30 reasons why.” Frankly, it took outside help, someone objective to break our bad patterns and help us learn new ones. But once we made that commitment to fix things before they got worse, it didn’t take long to get on an even keel (hallelujah!).
I realize this isn’t your typical, gushing, wedding-retrospective first-anniversary post. But over this year, I have really, really learned that the wedding doesn’t matter in the long run, yet the marriage does. Of course I reflect on our ceremony with happiness and scrolling through our reception pictures on Facebook makes me grin. But thinking on the marriage over the last year, well, that’s the part that seems most important.
Because oh, how we have grown and changed. I don’t think I could use the word volatile to describe us anymore. Which is good, because we’ve tackled the challenges and adventures of the last six months together as a result, holding hands and facing it head on—and that is highly necessary when you’re seven and a half months pregnant and living in the construction zone that is a DIY fixer-upper house with a countdown for both baby and winter looming, and all that that entails.
I loved our wedding day. I can’t believe it has been a year since then. I love the magic that it brought into our lives. But more than that, I love the quiet stability that a good marriage with good communication has brought forth. I love knowing that we aren’t getting complacent, that we are truly working to be the best we can for one another, and that when we slip up we don’t give up. As scared as I am of the future sometimes (baby + winter + non-functioning bathroom = ?!), I love that our relationship is a strong safety net.
At the end of a long, long day
There is not much more to say than love
I’m so glad I met you
For those of you who want to see how this whole I have one month till maternity leave starts and the nursery is covered in drywall mud thing turns out, I’m still blogging over at Northern Exposure.
Fellow September 2012 brides, I hope the year has treated you well!