I Wouldn’t Call Marriage 'Bliss,' But It Sure Is Real

by Gabby Calhoun
A woman, in a happy marriage, embracing her husband from behind, as he reciprocates with a warm hug.
AleksandarNakic / Getty

Here’s a fun fact for you: I haven’t written a single blog post specifically about marriage since I was engaged, and for one simple reason: I feel I am highly UNqualified to speak on it.

David and I just celebrated five years of marriage. Though it may be a small milestone in the grand scheme of life, it’s a milestone nonetheless.

Would you like to know what I’ve learned in five years of marriage? If you’re still reading this, let’s assume you do.

In five years of marriage I’ve learned: I know absolutely nothing about marriage. All of my expectations and all of my picture-perfect dreams of what a husband should be like and how I would be as a wife were simply unrealistic and untrue.

Don’t get me wrong here though — maybe yours is a very romantic marriage and is everything you dreamed it would be. If you’ve been married more than 2-3 years and that’s you…please, give me all of the advice; I’ll take it.

I think the hardest thing I’ve had to let go of, is that while we love each other unconditionally, I’ve found that it’s impossible to like each other unconditionally (my goodness have I tried).

And yes, it goes both ways.

The “cute” habits we had when we were dating and newlyweds suddenly aren’t so cute after awhile.

We’ve aged. We’ve changed. In some ways for the better, and in some ways that we need to improve on.

We’ve weathered our share of trials. Some common. Some that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Ever.

We’re imperfect people, in an imperfect marriage.

But here we are. Five years. It’s hard, you guys. I’m not going to sugar-coat it and pretend our marriage is something it’s not.

It’s not always butterflies. It’s not always fun. It’s not always pretty. It’s not always romantic. It’s not always wedded bliss.

But man-oh-man. It’s SO REAL. So, SO very real. This man — he knows every single part of me. Both the good, and the bad or ugly parts in the depths of my soul. He knows my opinions, the times I’ve judged, the times I’ve been judged; my insecurities, my failures, and my flaws. My past, my present, my hopes and dreams. He doesn’t always like everything he sees, but even still, he chooses to be mine. And I, his. Every day.

I like to think that this realization of expectation versus reality is a sign of maturity. Perhaps it is. But here’s what I know for sure…

Five years of marriage and I can proudly say:

We’re still figuring it out. It’s a beautifully difficult journey learning to do life with another person. A person with different opinions, different annoyances, and different interests.

Love isn’t always pretty. It is always worth it, though. This guy — he’s worth the fight. Our marriage is worth the hard stuff.

Every day we get a little bit better at this marriage stuff. A little bit wiser. A little bit more realistic.

We laugh. We fight. We love.

This is marriage, 5 years in.

And I’d do it all again.

Here’s to the next 5, times forever, my beloved.