May 27, 2016

The Friday Diary: Making Our Relationship Work

Advice for brides: the importance of date night

Not a lot of people know this, and it’s not a fact that I disclose all that often, but Bill and I are 17 years apart.

Oddly enough, that’s not even the biggest reason why most people would’ve bet that our relationship never would have worked.

I’ve talked about this a little bit in the past, which you can find here, but we also have four kids between the two of us – none of which are children we had together. They all come from previous relationships.
We also are both owners of multiple business. I’m a wedding photographer and a realtor, and Bill owns more businesses and works on more projects and ventures than I can usually count. It’s never less than three, to be honest. The life of an entrepreneur is insane, and it doesn’t fit in a neat Monday – Friday, 9-5 box where regular life can resume as soon as we get home at night, and through out the entire weekend. Often one or both of us has stuff to do at night before bed, and more often than not I have a photo shoot or a wedding or an open house or a consultation on Saturdays, that make me unavailable for most of the day, if not most of the night too.

So with all that going on, and all those years between us, how do we make it work? Why are we together?
Why do we keep choosing this life, instead of an easier one with somebody else?

Well, in my opinion, it works because we’re ridiculously in love.
I love Bill more than anyone in the world, and having been a single mom before meeting him, I’ve seen my fair share of what the world has to offer in the men category, and while I love men, I just don’t feel like 99% of them hold a candle to Bill. I legitimately think he’s the best man in the entire world, I feel genuinely lucky to be with him. It’s not just something I say, it’s really how I feel.
We make each other laugh, we can be ourselves, we get each other, and we just love each other so freaking much, it’s ridiculous.

I think that’s what keeps us together.
We’ve seen the other side of relationships, and we appreciate the acceptance and grace we get from one another so much more, because we both know what it’s like to live without it.

We’re together because it’s just not any fun to be apart.
And we have tried it.
In the 7 years we’ve been together, we’ve broken up before, and it. sucked. so. bad.
We went on dates with people who didn’t make us laugh the same way, with people who didn’t understand us, who didn’t fit, and we ended up choosing each other in the end.
When you’re an entrepreneur it can be hard to be with someone who isn’t – especially if it’s a lifestyle they’re afraid of. When you’re a little dark, and a lot sarcastic, and a little too attached to the F word…well… you find your tribe, and love them hard.

When someone sees your heart and your soul and your weakest moments, but still insists that they only remember you for your strongest ones, it bonds you to them in a way that is hard to break, and in a way that you want to take very good care of because you can just tell it’s so rare.

I can look at Bill wherever we are, and whatever we’re doing, and I know I am loved. I know I am safe. I know I am cared for in a way that I’ve never known before. In a way that feels more like family than the people I was raised with, and with a consistency that makes me want to try harder, to reach higher, to constantly be growing into a person who is not only worthy of that love, but more and more capable of giving it back.

We keep choosing this life instead of an easier one, because we can be who we are, and we can make our mistakes, and we will still be loved.
We will still be accepted.

Not in spite of who we are, but because of who we are.

And that makes all the difference.
Cheers to the ones who love us, and the relationships that teach us how to love back!

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