Today Jimmi and I have been married for nine years. We’ve known each other for almost 11 years and have been together for 10. I was just starting my senior year of high school when Jimmi and I started dating. I had just turned 17 and Jimmi had just turned 24. We faced a lot of scrutiny in the beginning of our relationship because I was so young and he was so much older.
I spent a large portion of my senior year defending my relationship with Jimmi and justifying my plans to marry him when I graduated. I had more than one classmate tell me that we’d never make it to 1 year or that we’d be divorced within 5 years. Well, we made it. We’ve celebrated our anniversary year after year and now we’re celebrating nine years of marriage. My classmates were wrong. To give them credit, many of the people I know that got married soon after high school are divorced. Some of them remarried.
The past nine years have not always been a picnic, but we love each other and are dedicated to each other. It’s interesting how we’ve grown and changed over the past nine years. We’ve both gotten college degrees and have both started new careers. Things are very different now than they were 9 years ago.
When we first got married, we lived in an apartment that was no bigger than 900 square feet — probably smaller. I didn’t even have the habit of keeping my bedroom clean at home, let alone an entire apartment. Between school and two jobs my house keeping skills were greatly lacking. And let’s just say Jimmi isn’t known for his attention to details when it comes to cleaning up. Laundry had it’s own bedroom because we started off our marriage with five loads of dirty laundry and it just grew from there.
I remember thinking I was a pretty decent cook until I was responsible for cooking meals 7 days a week. Basically throughout the week we had chicken, macaroni, and a vegetable or chicken, potatoes, and a vegetable. In between that I’d make spaghetti or meatloaf or maybe even pizza rolls. Between my lack of experience in making a full menu and our lack of funds as newlyweds that was what we ate.
And of course, we weren’t perfect…we definitely had times when we’d argue. And we very rarely argued fair or nicely. We’ve never been physical with each other, but we’ve both learned over the years that words can hurt just as much. I’ve been known to hold a grudge and bring things up from the past. I knew how to say just the right things to hurt Jimmi’s feelings. Jimmi had a tendency to bottle things up until they explode. He also knew how to say the right things to hurt my feelings.
We’ve definitely grown a lot. Now we live in a 2,400 square foot house that I can typically keep decent. Or at least it can look good, but lived in within 25 minutes if someone’s on their way over. And most of the time laundry is done, but never out of control. I mean seriously, I’ve got three boys under the age of 7 in the house — I’m lucky it looks presentable most of the time.
I know Jimmi is excited about this personal growth, but we no longer have the same four or five meals every week. Actually we very rarely just have seasoned chicken with mashed potatoes or macaroni. Unless it’s a favorite, I try not to make the same thing more than twice in a month. If I do make it more than that I leave it out the next month. The quality of food is definitely much better!
We’ve still have our disagreements and it seems like we go through phases. We won’t argue at all for several weeks and then all of the sudden we’ll argue several times all in the same week. I try not to hold things against him and I’ve learned some things are just not worth arguing over (like the fact that Jimmi almost never puts a new bag in the trash can when he takes the trash out). He’s learned to ignore the fact that sometimes I’m slightly more cranky by the end of the day if the kids are acting crazy. And we’ve both learned that some things are better left unsaid, especially in the midst of a disagreement.
There’s been many ups and downs over the past nine years and we’ve learned a lot. I can’t even begin to imagine the things we’ll learn in the next year or the next 10 years.