My husband and I have been married for nearly five years. While it’s had its ups and downs, I can confidentially say that the majority of the last five years have been a wonderful experience. But I will be honest– I have never felt closer to my husband than I do right now.
Here’s the thing– Husband and I recently decided that we want to go to Pompeii together. We’ve only been on one trip since we got married, and one of our goals in the future is to have children, so it makes sense for us to aim for this particular aspiration while we are still able to do so with just the two of us. That we would choose one of the world’s most tragic archaeological sites as the one place we want to see more than anywhere else might say something about us– either that we’re perfect for each other or that we’re sociopaths. I’m hoping it’s the first one.
Anyway… Planning a trip like that is hard. And costly. In order to prepare for it I’ve taken on a second job and am averaging 60 hours a week. I’m not going to lie– it sucks. A lot. I’m tired all the time and I can’t even remember when my last day off was (I just checked. It was the 4th). But… it’s okay. Because every time I take on a new shift or put on the work uniform that I loathe with every fiber of my being I get to remind myself: “this isn’t about me. This is about us. Our trip.” And somehow, I make it through. Every day I get the chance to ask myself: “do I really need a tea on my lunch break? No. No I don’t. Pompeii is more important.” And, while that dollar doesn’t seem like much, I feel like it’s a dollar towards something important, and I am happy for it.
The biggest thing about this is that I am constantly consciously making decisions to put my relationship before my own needs– and I know my husband is, too. Somehow, these little (and big) daily sacrifices make me feel closer to my husband than any of the other ones we’ve made over the course of the last five years. And that’s an amazing feeling.
Now, don’t get me wrong– making sacrifices for each other is not a new thing in any relationship. But I think it’s different now because we’re both constantly reminding ourselves why we make these sacrifices, rather than just doing what we’ve always done without reminding ourselves why it’s important to us. I think if we forget why we do things for our significant others, those actions become resented burdens rather than loving gifts. So every time one of us forgoes fast food or a night out with friends, we get a chance to remind ourselves that we’re part of something more now.
And I think that’s beautiful.