Lessons Learned After Five Years of Marriage

As of about 3:45pm today, my husband and I will have been married for five years. Comparatively speaking, five years doesn’t seem like a long time (well, it is by Hollywood marriage standards, I suppose).  As I was lying in bed earlier this morning, waking up and listening to our son chat to himself (loudly, like the typical Campbell man he is), I decided that it hasn’t felt like five years.  It’s felt like a blink of an eye.  Like the time it takes for a light bulb to light up once the switch has been turned.

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Five years of marriage has felt like a split second.  But that split second has taught me more about life than I could have imagined.

Five years of marriage has taught me to never say never.

Growing up, I was always the girl who said I’d never get married and never have kids.  That was a naive teenager talking, but at the time, it was something I truly believed.  The reasons behind these convictions varied, but at the heart of it all, I figured about the former (marriage) that I would never find anyone who would love me enough to want to marry me, and about the latter (children) that, if anything, I would adopt because there were already millions of orphans in the world and who was I to have a child of my own when I could help someone else who so desperately needed it?

Well, we all know how those convictions went out the window once I met my husband.  I do not feel ashamed or guilty for giving them up because, as I said, those convictions were ones of a girl who knew no better.  I just didn’t know what love could do to a person, how it can change you and alter the way you think and feel and live.  My husband reminds me on a daily basis that I am worth loving and that I am loved.  My children remind me of that as well, and that just because they are biologically my own does not make them any less worthy of love, or that I am less worth of their love.

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Five years of marriage has taught me about being worthy of love.

It’s funny what being loved by someone – truly loved – teaches you.  It changes your perspective on life and how you live it.  I remember having lunch with some girlfriends just a few weeks before our wedding day.  We were talking about wedding jitters and I remember saying I wasn’t nervous to get married because I wanted to be married; that my husband, because of who he is as a person, makes me want to be a better person, a better version of my best self.  That is still true today.  But I would not have felt that way, nor would I still feel that way, if I didn’t feel worthy of my husband’s love.  I will be very frank and say that it took me a long to time feel this way, feel worthy of someone like Andrew.  It has/had to do with self-esteem and confidence, things I still struggle with but am working to overcome.  Having Andrew as my partner in life makes me feel worthy of overcoming my own obstacles and learning to be grateful of what I have, who I am and the life we lead together.

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Five years of marriage has taught me about business.

This seems like a boring one but it isn’t.  I’ve spoken before about how I was not raised on a farm and how much I still don’t know about farming.  But I know a helluva lot more than I did five years ago – and Andrew and I didn’t start farming full-time until three years ago!

I think that marriage and business are very similar in many ways.  You have to commit; give your whole heart and soul to make it work and succeed.  It’s important to have a vision of what you’d like your business/marriage to BE, for you and for your partner; but it’s just as important to roll with the changes and be ready for anything. You have to be truly happy with what you’re doing/who you’re with, and if you’re not, you have to face that and figure out how to either A) fix it, or B) break away and move on.  Life is too damn short to be working at a business you don’t like for the sake of working or married to someone you don’t like for the sake of staying married.

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Five years of marriage has taught me that nothing stays the same.

Rewind to me saying five years feels like a millisecond.  Because it does.  It is absolutely weird for me to think of my life five years ago because it looked so very different: just about to be married, no children, living in a different house, working for someone else at a different job, spending time socially with different people and just generally focusing on different things in life… and now it’s all changed.  Just like that.

Except it hasn’t happened “just like that.”  It’s been 1,825 days of constant change, living every day with little plans and big dreams, and making it to the end of each day together. Throughout the last 1,825 days, I’ve been pregnant twice and had two babies.  We’ve purchased a dairy farm, renovated (both barn and house) and moved.  We’ve both started our own individual businesses plus started one together. We’ve been to various weddings, funerals, bought gifts for new babies and kids growing up.  Life changes every day whether we notice that it does or not.  The idea, marriage has taught me, is to understand that and take what comes, one day at a time, together.

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Five years of marriage has taught me that life is very, very short.

I have dreams (not very often at all, thank goodness) of passing away in the arms of my husband, and vice versa, a la the final scene from The Notebook (preferably, minus the Alzheimer’s and the heart attack).  I don’t know if Andrew and I will live out our days together until we’re 104 and 100 like we’ve always talked about.  But I do know that we take care to say ‘l love you’ before either of us walks out the door and that we hug each other a little longer when we walk back through the door again.  I never take for granted that I will see my husband through to the next day simply because I don’t know that I will.  But I do know that we both make sure to tell each other how we feel each and every day.  That way, if we don’t make it to our centenarian years, we know and feel the love for one another as if we had.

Happy anniversary, my love. 🙂

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Wedding photos by the phenomenal Ewan Phelan of Last Forty Percent Photography.


2 thoughts on “Lessons Learned After Five Years of Marriage

  1. What a beautiful story of you and Andrew. I have been married for 53 years. I grew up in Kingsbridge and had a small business in Auburn for ten years. You live not far from those locations. Marriage is a 50/50 “contract”, sometimes it changes to 40/60 and 20/80 and then reverses to some other ratio, but never,ever should it be quits and go your own way again. From what I see and read , you are the stronger person and Andrew is a hard working farm boy, honest and faithful to the core. He probably needs you more than you need him. If you find the perfect man, will he find you as perfect?
    Happiness is a byproduct of what we do. Take a trip to San Francisco, if it is more action you want; but where you live, I would give my eye teeth to have. There is plenty of action where you live if you set your goals a little higher. I have a friend just outside of Blyth near Brussels who runs a formidable pig operation. He is content in what he is doing. Is he perfectly happy? Probably not, he has a few aches and pains among other things. I enjoy your flair of writing skill. Perhaps it is a book you could concentrate on writing. We all need diversity in our lives. But for now concentrate on Andrew, he needs you the most.

    George Philip Hebert

    Like

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