Watching Nate before the wedding was really fun. I saw the excitement in his eyes and the eagerness to exchange those vows as soon as possible. When everyone else turns to look at the bride upon her entrance, I kept my eyes on Nate. And what I saw reminded me of a January day more than five years ago.
I tried to tell him what it’s like when you see the woman you love decked out in white at the end of the church aisle. I tried to explain the somersaulting free-fall you feel in the pit of your stomach when you realize this unbelievable woman is WILLINGLY walking towards you because she wants to spend the rest of her life with you. You smile and cry all at the same time, and you feel like the world was built solely for you in that moment.
If you could find a way to bottle that feeling or put it in pill form, it would put heroin to shame.
But as all the statistics on divorce will tell you, that feeling usually doesn’t last. Life inevitably gets in the way. Whether it’s kids, job loss, financial woes or sometimes simply the realization the two of you just weren’t meant for each other, there’s at least a 50% chance “until death do us part” really means “until we get sick of each other or find someone better.”
I sincerely hope life is kinder to my brother and Melissa over the next half-decade than it has been to me and MJ. Experts often say the first couple of years are the toughest as the new couple irons out all the wrinkles that stem from life as a newlywed. And we had those. We also bought a house just before the market crashed, MJ was hospitalized for a week a month after we got married, and we spent our first Valentine’s Day in Falmouth Hospital. We had two miscarriages before Will (our only silver lining), and two more after he was born. There’s more, but those are the biggies. And while others have it rougher than we do, many couples don’t go through as much in 20 years as we have in five.
So when we watched my brother and Melissa exchange the same vows Saturday, MJ and I just looked at each other. And smiled. Because we both realized we took them to heart and made them work.
How many couples can honestly say they’re MORE in love with each other now than on the day they were married? I’d wager not too many. But we are. Through all the struggles and bullshit, we managed to come out stronger on the other side. Life has thrown us some unimaginable curves, but we’re here. Still kicking.
But the thing I love most is I’m even more attracted to MJ now than on the day we got married.
Many guys fantasize about other women. I’m not knocking that either, I think it’s a pretty normal thing for men and women to do. But I don’t. Because when I fantasize, it’s about my wife. I know how corny that sounds and I don’t care. Because it’s true. And since I was pretty drunk at the bar Saturday night, half the wedding now knows it to be true since I yelled it from the rooftop.
Nate and Melissa are in Hawaii now on their honeymoon. In a few months that “honeymoon period” will come to an end. When it does they’ll go through turbulent times too. But if you love someone with all the passion you can muster, that love won’t end or go stagnant. It really will grow into something much more meaningful than you could ever comprehend on your wedding day. And I’d like to thank my brother and his new bride for once again reminding me how lucky I am to be married to the most wonderful woman in existence.
And now I’ll leave you with the cutest damn picture of a ring bearer and flower girl you’ve ever seen.