My Dear Husband,
Seven years ago today, we chose each other. We promised to learn and grow together through good times and bad; to love each other, respect each other, and support each other as long as we live.
We’ve done a lot these seven years. I earned a college degree. You earned a college degree. We’ve lived in one apartment, two houses, one basement, and a duplex. We’ve traveled to eighteen states together, plus DC. We’ve eaten a lot of good food. We’ve adopted dogs, chickens, honeybees, goats, and ducks. We’ve launched two farm businesses. We had a baby together, welcoming her into the world as a team, and forcing us to relearn who we are individually and as partners in life. We’ve both had ponytails and shaved heads. We’ve seen Over the Rhine in concert three times. We’ve seen each others’ greatness and desperation. We’ve been treated unfairly, and we’ve been blessed beyond reason.
Deciding to get married was easy. When it comes to making decisions about the big stuff – even deciding what constitutes “the big stuff” – we’ve always been on the same page: family, integrity, charity, and good reading material. Remember when we separately filled out our premarital communication workbooks and made lists of the top five ways we hope to reach out together as a team? We listed the same five things, almost verbatim, in the exact same order, after knowing each other only four months. Now that’s a sign. Since then, I have often marveled at how perfect we seem to be for each other. Even when we’re driving each other crazy, we end up teaching each other and growing together.
My favorite thing about our marriage is that we encourage each other to be our true selves, however unconventional that may look. It’s something that has taken years of practice and even more patience, and we don’t always get it right. But the desire for this goal has kept us striving to be our best. It takes courage to find oneself and follow one’s own truth, especially within a relationship. It takes sincerity to encourage one’s partner to seek out that truth. You have given me freedom and space to find myself (whether or not I always take that freedom and run with it). And I think (hope) that I have supported you, lifting you into discovering your passion for growing food, reminding you of your innate gift of teaching, giving you breath to explore what else this life has for you. Seeing each other better than we see ourselves is both comforting and terrifying. We knew seven years ago that learning and growing together would be necessary. We hoped it would also be inspiring, engaging, even enjoyable. I think it is.