It still is SO crazy to believe that after 8 years together and a 4 year long engagement, I FINALLY married my best friend. And as excited as I am to share details of our intimate celebration, I am more excited to FIRST share with you our journey to getting here.
I share a great deal of my life on social media. And I share it not for praise or recognition but in hopes to inspire, build confidence, and to offer a sense of reality in a space often filtered beyond perfection. But my relationship is the ONE thing I choose to rarely share in hopes to have something sacred between him and I. But today, I’m getting REAL about our relationship AND our journey to marriage.
Because of life’s twists and turns, the idea of marriage is something I have struggled with navigating for a LONG time. I’ll be honest, it took some serious internal searching, but I have finally defined what marriage means for ME (and my now husband). A groundbreaking concept I discovered- despite what society leads us to believe, a marriage is not defined by a wedding! So often the reason behind the marriage is pushed aside while the wedding is glorified to a point of making others feel pressured or negative about their own relationship. And because I am confident that I’m not the only one to ever feel like this, I want to shed light on our journey to MARRIAGE rather than our WEDDING. In this post, I vow to openly share my real, vulnerable journey to marrying my best friend. Trust me, I speak for us both when saying we are thankful for the highs and lows of our journey. In sharing our journey with you, we hope to remind you no relationship is easy and there is so much more behind every relationship than what you see. We hope to show you that it is OKAY to struggle and want to remind you to share your struggles in order to come out of situations stronger (and stronger together). I promise doing so not only grows love between you but allows you to love yourself more, too.
So here we go….
Growing up in a small town and beginning to date my now husband shortly after graduating high school, there was/still is A LOT of pressure to quickly settle down. And some may say we did that (getting engaged when I was just 22). But we both knew from a young age that the norm was not our path and that we wanted to go BEYOND the standard, together. (In fact, I believe our shared desire to do something different and impactful fuels our relationship to this day.) So for YEARS we have worked tirelessly together to support each other through school, move to unknown cities, and continuously push each other in the pursuit of our dreams. Our best friends say we are a power couple and we feel like one…most days.
Like ALL couples, we have our moments too…moments that for a long time I blamed myself for exclusively. You see, I’ve always felt confident in ME and the decisions I make for MY life…but you know where I lose all hope? In other people.
The actions around us shape us (especially as young people), and THANK GOD adult me recognized the story I had been telling myself for years. The story I led myself to believe was that the end of my parents’ relationship and CONTINUALLY losing my best friends meant everyone always leaves me. Through these situations I allowed myself to believe the lie that no one could ever stay with me or love me FOREVER. So for a long time when we would fight (remember, EVERYONE disagrees) it led to my belief that I would eventually be fallen out of love with. In turn, this led him to feel inadequate in the way he expressed his love and admiration in our relationship. Damn, was that hard to deal with and difficult to find root of ESPECIALLY with our differing communication styles. But coming to terms with the lie I told myself and navigating through it brought us out the other side stronger TOGETHER…and it took YEARS. In fact, it took up to just 2 months before we got married.
I’m sure that sounds crazy, right? Just 2 months before we got married I felt inadequate of FOREVER, making him question the validity of FOREVER. I wont lie, it was a tremulous time. But as advised by those in relationships we look up to, we pushed pause and took the time to sit down and talk about our struggles. And we did…one day we sat for 2 hours where we talked (and cried) openly about BOTH of our insecurities and fears in our relationship. It was one of the scariest conversations of my life. Together, we discussed if moving forward was the right choice, or if we end it here and go our separate ways? And in the chaos, I will admit it was tempting to give up…but isn’t the easy way out always tempting and less rewarding? In what is now one of my favorite moments in our relationship, I reminded us that everything is always against a good thing and HE reminded us that good things take hard work. Together we decided that after 8 years it didn’t make sense to call off our love that is unlike any other, but instead to continue to fight and grow our life together like so many times before.
And we did.
We decided to fight for us, for our love EVERY SINGLE DAY. And we sealed that deal with a wedding 2 months later.
It may sound crazy but I LOVE that we tackled this insecurrity just months before getting married. In our picture perfect society, we forget that no matter how strong a couple may seem, no relationship is easy. Hiccups come in all sizes AND at the worst times. But recognizing that you won’t always agree and being willing to comprise when necessary is KEY. If I can offer anything to any relationship out there, it is that a good love is not what society portrays as a perfect love (or a perfect wedding). A good love is one where you choose each other, every day, no matter what.
DON’T WORRY. I WILL be sharing wedding planning and day-of specifics VERY soon, so be sure to follow along!
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*all photos courtesy of Victoria Saperstein Photography