Browsing Category

Marriage

Marriage is by far my hardest undertaking yet. It is a refining process like none other, and Tyler and I have plenty of rough edges. Marriage is also beautiful and comforting and just plain fun, and I can’t imagine life any other way.

On the emotions of moving (again)

Moving dredges up deep emotion in me. A state of turmoil over all the change. And despite possessing what I consider to be a very astute and self-aware personality, this type of change seems to put me in a fog that hides the real reasons for my stress and impatience and tears. It isn’t until the dust is settling and I’m waving goodbye to my most treasured sense of home– our house in Marion, our best friends in Alaska– that I realize how hard the move was and how there are feelings deep in me, tied to the move, that have caused my recent string of bad days.

Now imagine me “moving” every few weeks. It’s complicated has never been a more accurate descriptor. For Tyler and I both, this year has been eye-opening in ways we weren’t expecting. Last summer, we looked each other in the eye, shook metaphorical hands, and hopped onto the emotional rollercoaster ride of our lives, trusting in our pact to put up with one another no matter what. At times we’ve gripped each other white-knuckled and screaming– in alternating joy and fear– and at other times it seems that last August we accidentally slipped into two different cars on a dual track. While one rose up, the other plummeted.

Our relationship has been through the ringer this year. While I think it’s a natural stage after three years of marriage– part of the growing pains of two becoming one– I also recognize the stress that nomadic living has introduced into our lives separately, and how that inevitably affects us together.

Moving dredges up deep emotion in me. A state of turmoil over all the change.  And it turns out, it does the same for Tyler when we move at this pace. While I stress about the future, he struggles in the present. I wonder: are we making the right trade-off; what will we do when we stop moving at 100mph and have to confront life in one place; will I regret this? Tyler is too drained to think at all. He simply sits in his emotions and feels them weigh him down.

The emotions of moving aren’t as intense as when we’ve spent significant time investing in one place, but they come at us much more frequently. It’s been an uphill battle to develop empathy and practice patience with one another during this time. It seems we ought to understand the other’s feelings, but sometimes that fog makes one rather short-sighted. I’m thankful we can say we’ve held– if only barely– to our unspoken pact and continued to grow and love one another.

After having passed the halfway mark in year two of travel, we began hesitantly looking to the future. In the past two months, we’ve dreamt up every possible scenario for year three. We’ve talked about jumping ship completely and returning to “average life” earlier than expected. We’ve talked about extending the nomadic journey and drifting around a bit longer. We’ve run numbers and assessed motives. We’ve considered career paths and business proprietorship. We’ve been over it all… and we still aren’t sure.

We know we need a break from the rollercoaster though, so we’re going to disembark for awhile. We already have booked flights back to the States for an Alaskan reunion in the fall and family time during the holiday season. And for now, we’re shuffling through the practicalities of setting off for our next destination.

We say goodbye to Asia in less than a week, and we return with open arms to Europe. This time, we’ll be exploring some countries in the south– Turkey, Greece, and Italy. These places have all been at the top of my list for Things to Be Excited about During Year Two, so I can feel my morale slowly building for these last few months of moving. So many good things to look forward to; I know it will be worth it!

How do you handle moving? Will you be around for us to see you during our family-and-friends tour this fall/winter??

The One Friend Challenge

The One Friend Challenge- Could you handle having only one friend for an entire year?! That's what we're doing while we travel the world together!

What if you only had one friend for an entire year?

Just one friend in whom you would confide. One friend to go out for coffee dates, shopping dates, and movie dates. Who liked all the same cafes, stores, and films, obvs… One friend who would hopefully get your dry sense of humor, but could also have deep conversations when you were hit with the urgency to discuss life’s deepest meaning.

Just one friend who knew which side was your best for selfies, and could help you wax that tricky part on the back of your leg. Just one friend who would sing along to Top 40 hits and not be embarrassed if you sing a little (a lot) off key.

Just one friend to do it all.

 
Do you know this person?! I don’t!

But here I am.. living the One Friend Challenge for an entire year. Ladies and gentlemen, here is my friend, and this is my story:

(more…)

How Technology Saved My Marriage

Tyler and I recently celebrated our second wedding anniversary, and I reflected once again on what a lot of hard work a successful marriage requires. And how when you’re so new at this game of two-becoming-one, having the right virtual assistance can make all the difference.

Once upon a time, in this past year of wedded bliss, Tyler and I got into a huge argument. I can’t even remember what it was really about, but it was one of those small things that becomes a big thing quite fast. In fact, Tyler later said he’d never seen me so angry; my eyes were apparently becoming orbs of death flashing their displeasure. (Well… Tyler at least called them “scary”.)

After spitting our toughest words of accusation and building walls of defense around our weakly guarded egos, we retreated to separate parts of the house. When you live in a tiny apartment that means twenty feet apart with at least one wall in between the two.

After what seemed like an hour of deep breathing exercises and meditating on all of Tyler’s traits that I love– (I said I couldn’t remember the details, right? I’m sure that’s what I was doing.) — I was feeling pretty crummy about the broken bond between us and at least a little remorseful about how our “intense fellowship” had gone down. I, being the product of my generation, naturally picked up my phone and googled the following:

How to Have a Healthy Argument.

And lo and behold, there were dozens of articles written for such a time as this! I browsed through a few, and while finding some solace in the fact that this is a topic of much concern among all couples, I realized that it all boiled down to one piece of advice, the most practical, and really most obvious. I needed to go talk to him.

I slipped out of the bedroom and around the corner to the living area, where I found my husband hunched over the computer at the kitchen table. As soon as I made the tiniest squeak, he jumped and spun around with as guilty an expression as the cat caught at the fishbowl. Making a face that said “I don’t know what’s going on here but I’m judging you” as I verbally said “I’m sorry about earlier and I’m ready to talk”, I technically managed to sidestep the questionable behavior and stick to the mission.

Imagine my surprise and total amusement then, when Tyler wholeheartedly agreed with my regret and apology, and told me he was doing some online relationship sleuthing of his own! Although true to his nature, he had been researching a different avenue of argument resolution:

Apology songs on Spotify.

He’d been finding the perfect one with which he could come in and serenade me. If only I hadn’t interrupted, we might know today the song that would have wooed me! It appears there are plenty of options out there, tribute again to the timelessness of relationship blunders. And relationship menders.

And so, in the end, we found that both of us turned to the internet in our time of crises, and found in it a sense of comfort that we weren’t alone in loving, in fighting, and in wanting to love again. What a pair of technology-reliant saps we are.

The true moral of this story is though, that after a little marital tech-support, the real goal of it all is putting down the phone, sitting close, and having an authentic interaction.

 


Interested in seeing more of what inspires our marriage online?

Check out our LOVE pinterest board <3

image source

1st Anniversary: Lessons Learned

Today is one week from our anniversary so I’m wrapping things up with a final salute to the first year of marriage.

I began thinking about this post last week and jotted down a few thoughts. Today I’ve rounded them out a bit– with some input from Tyler– but I’m sure there will be still be holes left, maybe for you to fill in with introspective observations on your own marriage.

(more…)