One Year

I am a 7. Married to a 6. That basically just means that I push us here and there on new adventures, and he worries about how it will actually work. There’s a lot more to it, but anyone who knows about enneagram numbers probably had themselves a little chuckle right there.

April 28th, 2019, we celebrated one year of marriage. It’s been an insightful year, let me tell ya! I think one of the top things that he and I say is how spectacularly different we are. We like to fancy ourselves loving and gracious by saying things like “I appreciate our differences.” Really though, it’s led to 100% of our disagreements. It doesn’t mean we can’t or don’t actually “appreciate our differences.” It just means that our differences are great when they make up for a piece we don’t already have within ourselves, but not so great when they come up against an opposing piece we do already have. I.E. One of us likes a clean, meticulous space right now. One of us likes a clean space when they get to it.

I’ll let you decide who is who. 😉

Despite our differences, we say often that we would do it all over again the same way. We find ways to compromise and love better. BUT. Whoever says the first year of marriage is the best has obviously led a different life than we have! I’m not here to say “this is how it has to be for everyone” just because of my experience. However, because of my experience, I say, don’t let any posed, perfected social media posts by me or anyone else let you believe the start of marriage (or possibly any stage) is beautiful and effortless.

My husband is my very best friend. If he wasn’t already, having a completely new start in a state where neither of us knew anyone, with zero community, solidified that! We’ve had some amazing times. We’ve travelled to many various places in California at this point. San Diego, Laguna, Palm Desert, LA, Malibu, Burbank, Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, and a flurry of different beaches! We’ve tried our hand at surfing, which was both an utter disaster and a hilarious memory for years to come. We’ve shopped Rodeo Drive and quaint beach towns, and frequented multiple new restaurants. We’ve navigated traffic to see Rob Thomas live at the Morongo Casino. We’ve biked the beautiful streets of Coronado. We’ve walked the enormous farmers market of San Luis Obispo. We’ve driven our car on the beach for the first time. We had our own tiny Christmas together in our tiny apartment. We have about a million memories like these that would make great posts all on their own!

I could share all of those moments and pretend that our entire life has been a dream ride on a cruise ship to Never Never Land where Hook never existed. That’s just not the reality of life though.

“If you don’t ride in the rain, you don’t ride.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

There have been arguments, silences, slammed doors, night drives, tears, couch sleeps, harsh words, and hurt feelings. To those newlyweds and long-time married couples who “never fight,” I really do envy you. To those of you who do, you’re not alone!! We are learning two whole new people. Each other and ourselves. We are still learning likes and dislikes, forms of communication, love languages, how to share a bed or anything for that matter, personality/temperament leanings, responses to situations, that it’s ok to be different, how to make room for those difference, learning so. many. things.

Aside from arguments between us, life has thrown us a number of it’s own less than amazing treats. Two days after buying it, my bike was stolen off the back of my car. A month later, his bike was stolen off the back of our two story balcony. There was someone on our balcony. We adopted a dog, dog was aggressive, disagreed about how to handle dog, got rid of dog, stewed about it for weeks. We adopted different dog to make amends, great dog, love dog, throwing up dog, hospital dog, bills dog, fresh food dog. Ariel gets extra job as mail/file clerk. Everyone remember the beginning? Who’s a 7. Ariel’s a 7. 😁Yay!

I was prepared for the “honeymoon stage” of marriage that’s supposed to last a while. I didn’t feel prepared for the hard stuff yet. Sometimes, it is though! Right off the bat, tough stuff! Not everyone is the same, and not everyone’s marriage happens the same way. I think maybe people are afraid to share the negative things because of the vulnerability it takes to say something about you or something you do isn’t perfect. It’s “too personal.” But, the truth is always personal, and it’s important to share.

It’s been a year of soaring highs and valley lows, but it’s an adventure I never want out of.

Ariel Henry