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I Love You & I Like You: A Note on One Year of Marriage

On October 12th, 2019, Jacob and I stood barefoot in a tree nursery and exchanged handwritten vows. I sobbed and ugly cried in a way that I never thought I would on our wedding day, and he cried too.

Both of our parents walked us both down the aisles, and instead of giving me away, we were welcomed into each other’s families. Bridesmaids and groomsmen stood alternating on both of our sides, blending not just “my friends” and “his friends,” but our friends-- friends of our marriage. During our vows, I said "I love you and I like you, my sweet JG, and I vow to love you even when I don't like you." I think that all marital vows really boil down to that.

We kept our traditions minimal, then celebrated with a beautiful family-style feast, speeches that melted our hearts, and dancing in a greenhouse. It was both a whirlwind and the most peaceful, joyful day of my life!

When I talk to other newlyweds, I usually hear two things:

1) That the whole wedding day was a blur.

2) That life before and after marriage is exactly the same.

Well, at risk of being “that wife,” I’ll say that honestly, neither of those statements are true for me... I still remember every single detail and our wedding season was such a huge point of transition for us, we both came out different on the other side.

Sure, marriage is “normal,” our living situation didn’t change, and he’s the same man I fell in love with while jumping in a puddle at a rained out University of Memphis football game 3 years ago…

But he’s also so much more now. And I’m so much more. We’re so much more ourselves!

Marriage is re-getting to know the person you love over and over and over again… when they grow, when they evolve, when they change their minds. It’s the willingness to not only share space but to hold space for a human being who you both know every part of and who has so many changing parts all at the same time.

Marriage is having someone witness all the messy and boring moments that I never thought anyone would. The kind that we keep tucked away for as long as possible, not because they’re shameful or embarrassing, but because they’re anything but presentable or impressive… the moments you wouldn’t even dream of having someone there for.

Marriage isn’t a fairytale, but it’s the most sacred friendship I could ever possibly know.

This year I’ve watched Jacob adjust to difficult changes with resilience and humility.

He's always been an amazing human being. He's thoughtful, hardworking, and just gets me.. but this year I've seen stress that used to double him over has rolled off his shoulders like water on a duck’s back… and sure, here we are in a pandemic, in so many ways we are dealing with massively inconvenient circumstances for the first year of marriage… But I’m constantly reminded that I married a man who I really do both love and like.

In a year of so much uncertainty, I’ve never been more certain about that.

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