Marriage, year one: what I've learned about love

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Like most women, love used to be about the exhibition: flowers, compliments, kisses, romantic dinners.  As my relationship evolves, so does my definition of "love." In my first year of marriage I have learned that love is laughing at the moments that were once embarrassing. It is sharing the chores. Love is listening, even when you would rather be playing Mario Kart or watching HGTV. Love is sharing a goal and motivating each other to accomplish it. Love is patience, but not always kind.  Love is honest...even when the truth hurts. Love is eating a disastrous cooking experiment or watching an excruciatingly boring golf tournament. Love is sacrifice and appreciating the sacrifice. Love is sometimes silent, sometimes tearful, sometimes naked. Love is a partnership. It is attacking life's hurdles as a team. Love is respecting each others beliefs, even when they aren't mutual. Love is wisdom. Love is commitment. Love is perpetual.

While I still revel in the unexpected moments when Mickey grabs my hand at the movies, or kisses me on the forehead, I am much more appreciative of the moments in which the display of affection isn't necessary to substantiate his love for me.

Our marriage began with a hurricane (the storm, not the drink).  The morning after our wedding we were forced to evacuate Louisiana. We drove for 14 hours and after no luck finding a hotel, we ended up spending the first night of our honeymoon sleeping in our Jeep in a Cracker Barrel parking lot. While not obviously romantic, it was adventurous and oddly special.

We recently celebrated our first year anniversary — or as my husband would say, "We survived our first year of marriage." As year one passed us by, I couldn't help but reflect on what I have learned...about marriage, about love and about myself.

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