By Maggie Reimherr
As a millennial, there's one thing related to milestones that's just as important as the milestone itself: the Instagram. I’d been thinking through an anniversary Insta caption for a while, and I realized I can't write an Instagram caption about my marriage like some other women can.
Example: "Marriage is a sweet gift from Abba in Heaven and I praise the Lord for the abundant blessing of doing life with my forever person. #myheartissofull"
Well, I could write a caption like that because I just did. But it would be disingenuous. If you are that girl, more power to you. But when I think of my marriage to Derek, all I can think of is the lightness it's brought to my life.
I used to be dramatic. Wait, I’m still dramatic. I used to be… heavier. I used to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. I used to care what everyone and their brother thought about me. I used to be self-conscious and easily embarrassed and about 100x more anxious. Now I’m a lot more joyful and a lot more at peace. A lot of that has to do with faith… and a lot of it has to do with Derek and marriage and being loved so well.
Don’t get me wrong - we’ve done the heavy stuff. We said “I love you” for the first time while crying and holding each other’s faces in a Chick-Fil-A parking lot (#drama). We fought tooth and nail to keep our relationship afloat while living on opposite sides of the country. We had 5 hour phone conversations. We wrote love letters. Derek made the sweeping, romantic gestures.
But now, marriage is just… fun. It’s light. It’s happy. I’m thankful.
Of course we’ve had some rough patches. Some resentment. Some personal missteps. Some arguments (one time we didn’t speak for an hour because I accidentally called a Lyft to the wrong location). But most of the time, we’re having fun.
We giggle a lot. We make dirty jokes. Derek tickle-attacks me regularly. We speak to each other in our own language with dorky, made up words that only the other person understands. I call him long, obnoxious nicknames that are too embarrassing to write about. (Okay, fine. Once he was wearing his boxers around the apartment and I called him Mr. Thighs.) We drink beer and play board games and hang out with our friends. We have little routines everyday, like making eggs for breakfast and singing songs to each other while getting ready. We go on adventures around town.
And we take risks. We bet on our relationship for almost 2 years when $400 plane tickets and more than 1,000 miles separated us. I relocated to Boston before we said, “I do,” having never lived outside the south. And when I wasn’t happy, Derek bet on us again and moved back to Atlanta before he was ready.
The word I want to use to describe us is comfortable. But that doesn’t quite hit the mark. I don’t think we’re comfortable, because we still push each other a lot. I think a better way to describe the status of relationship is “content.” We’ve found a contentment in each other that I didn’t know could exist in life.
I don’t think we’re conditioned to seek out or search for contentment, especially in romantic relationships. Culture teaches us that fiery passion is what we should aim for. Of course, passion exists in our marriage. But it’s not what sustains us. The routine of just living our life together is the heart of our marriage and what brings peace.
Just because we’re not declaring our love for each other on Instagram every 5 minutes and not writing love letters anymore doesn’t mean we’re not truly, deeply in love. In fact, we’re more in love than ever because we know each other better than ever.
So on this day, our 1 year anniversary, my Instagram caption wasn’t a grand declaration of how #blessed I am. It was a silly recap of our year complete with emojis:
Derek, thanks for bringing light to the life of a girl who used to lean toward heavy-hearted. I’m excited for the fun that’s to come!