It's crazy how time flies. I swear we were just at 7 years of marriage and now we are at double that. What a journey it has been. I was going to write that we've been married "happily" for 14 years but that would be a lie. We haven't always been married "happily". I feel it's important to be honest. Like any other couple we have had good times and bad times. Both of those have made us stronger. I love my husband more today then I did the day I married him.
I know we are both grateful for the trials and the joys that we have experienced. We may not have always appreciated them while we have gone through them but our marriage has come out stronger in the end.
Last September we attended a Marriage Retreat through Kevin's unit. I never wrote about it because aside from a nice break away from everything, I didn't really enjoy it. There were few couples there who had been married over 3 years. And the ones that had been were struggling. It was very weird to be around them. It was odd to listen to what they felt was important in their marriage. When Kevin and I would contribute to the discussions we were often looked at like what we were saying was weird. We mostly talked about respecting one another and how that is a good foundation to build upon. Mingling with these other couples at meals made it obvious that there was that respect factor missing in many of the relationships. It made me sad. I came out of that marriage retreat more grateful for my relationship with my husband. I'm not saying we are perfect and that we never disrespect each other because we're human and it happens.
I found it sad that we were the longest married couple at the retreat aside from the Chaplain who was in charge of it. We were not the oldest couple. I have recently "met" quite a few young Military couples and I want them to know that Military marriages can work! It isn't without a lot of effort and a lot of respect and trust. Love isn't enough.
Kevin and I have endured some hefty trials in our 14 years, loss of children, serious injuries, illnesses, loss of friends, extreme separation and whatever other mundane struggles every marriage goes through. How we got through many of those is through our faith in our Heavenly Father and our faith in ourselves and each other.
In the end, as I look back at the past 14 years I cringe at some of the fights, I laugh at some of the silliness and I cry at some of the heartache but overall, I smile at the blessing of an amazing man to call my husband.
Kevin, 14 years is a short amount of time in the eternal prospect of our life together, I look forward to more ups and downs in this journey of life that we'll travel together. I love you.