when you decide to love anyway: jordan + amanda 2.5

10.04.2013


In November, Jordan and I will celebrate two and a half years of marriage. To us it still seems crazy that we're married at all, and we sometimes look at each other and say, "We're married!" like giddy newlyweds. Seriously, we still do that. 

Are you still a newlywed after 2 years? If you are, you're definitely on the way out. I'll say this: it didn't take long for us to become those "old married people" everyone talks about. But I like to be in bed by 9:00, dang it, and I'm not sorry.

Our first year of marriage was hard, but for some reason it seemed like all my friends who were married were like, "Our first year of marriage was so much fun. Not hard at all! Roses! Sunshine! Happy butterflies!"

Hearing that doesn't make you feel great. You wonder what's wrong with the two of you. You wonder if you can keep living with someone who annoys you so much. You even might wonder if you made a mistake getting married at all, because how can two people who are so opposite actually live together for 40 or 50 or 60 years? Or, really, how can they live together for the next five minutes?
A few nights ago we were lying in bed, and I looked over at Jordan and felt that rush of love. In that moment I knew that I would never ever get annoyed with him again because he was so cute and sweet and I loved him.

And those feelings last for a while, sometimes days or weeks, but then something happens. 
Something small, seemingly inconsequential, usually something ridiculous. It doesn't take long for those feelings of love to leave and you're wondering how you can ever look at him again because you've never been so angry in your life. 

That's when you decide to love anyway.

These past two and a half years have been, and will continue to be, a process of me killing my pride and learning to choose grace. 

And I fail. A lot. I'm easily irritable, selfish, rude, and impatient.

But I like to think I'm getting better. 
I like to think I'm slower to speak and quicker to say, "I'm sorry." I like to think I'm being more patient and less selfish. None of that could happen if the Lord wasn't doing a work in my heart, because when I'm left to my own devices, I will fail every time.

So how's year two going?

It's been a blast. 
It's been hard. 
It's been waking up and choosing love. 
Every day.

For the rest of our lives.


45 comments:

  1. This is gold. Our first year of marriage has been hard, too - and I hate admitting it - but there it is. It's good to know we're not alone. And this is great, practical advice for the hard times. Love.

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  2. So well written Amanda! Love is definitely a work in progress...always. I love that first picture of you two!!!

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  3. This is so true. Michael and I are going on about 2.5 years and it's hard. He's here all the time and I take all my stress out on him and he does the same. But the good days make up for the bad days and that's what's important. Love this- love anyway. Great post!

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  4. Over 5 years later I'm STILL trying to kill my pride. Ugh. It is SO HARD! But I am so thankful to have a loving, patient husband who helps me work through it. Marriage is SO hard but it's also the BEST thing ever!!
    LOVED this post! And you two are the cutest :)

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  5. This is so true, I've lived with Tyson for about 12 years now and there are still days when I'm sure he should move into the house next door so we don't have to share anymore.

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  6. I think "love anyway" is such a good way to put it! Though Peter and I don't live together, making it a little easier to get some me time when I need it, there are still times when I get frustrated and don't want to be near him haha. I'm storing all these marriage tips for down the road :)

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  7. greatly appreciate your honesty! love is definitely a choice and marriage is hard work sometimes!

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  8. I never understood why people would say, "marriage is work," until I got married. I think hearing other people be open about real married life makes it so much easier! It's nice to know that other people get that "rush" you talk about then, it gets ruined by something silly and insignificant. At least I know that I'm not alone! Ha.

    Great post!

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  9. This is so true! And those moments of "what have I done?!" are hard to work through! We're almost 2.5 years and I've had to come to the same conclusion- the 'love anyways' is actually really freeing.

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  10. For us, the first year was way harder than year 2, and now that we're closing in on the end of year 3, my husband and I have said to each other--man, we've had the best year yet! I think there's a pretty big learning curve when it comes to marriage--you can't really learn how to be married till you are! But yeah, that whole lesson about choosing to love even when it's not quite as fun, is a good one!

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  11. Year one was hard! I think it's hard for everyone, but too many people are afraid of what their marriage will look like to others if they admit it. Marriage is hard work, but so worth it! Not every day is rainbows and sunshine but your choice to be there is what counts. I love this post!

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  12. "These past two and a half years have been, and will continue to be, a process of me killing my pride and learning to choose grace." THIS. I'm not married (or even engaged) but I am dating the man I know the Lord put into my life to marry and that sentence is so.so.true. Great post.

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  13. Haha that photo bomb at the end was awesome.

    Also just the fact that, you know, you're honest and candid - that's awesome too.

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  14. My first year of marriage _sucked_. We probably got into door-slamming, I-hate-you-I'm-going-to-go-live-with-my-sister fights every other day. The second year was better, and then in year three we ran into a ton of crap. And if you can get through a ton of crap together, then you're pretty solid for the rest of your marriage. I hope. :)

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  15. Such a great, well-written post. I can certainly relate. While I think our first year of marriage WAS awesome, it was also hard and suchhhh a huge learning experience. I think we've come a long way since then, but we of course still both have struggles and fights, etc. I like to think I'm getting better too, like you said :) Marriage is absolutely work- but the most rewarding thing ever. I think all the time about how much better our marriage has gotten in just 2.5 years, so I can't imagine how much better it will continue to get!

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  16. Aww love this post! The pictures are hilarious and shows that you two can be goofy together which i think is so important!

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  17. I loved this! So great! I loved your honest voice and reliance on choosing love and relying on the Lord! Tyler and I are almost to 2 years and grace is definitely a must! Thanks for sharing!

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  18. See, I was told year one would be the hardest - and for the most part, it has been pretty simple, easy, and carefree.

    Not to say it is always that way, with every couple. It just has been for us. I think God is just priming different marriages, and people for different things.

    Maybe year three with be a breeze for you and we'll trade?

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  19. I just got married in May and I love that feeling I get when the thought flutters through my mind that I'm married to Kevin. I hope that, like you, I'm still excited and borderline shocked by the thought years down the road.

    Marriage totally is a conscious decision, every. single. day. And I am continually humbled by how much better at being a good person Kevin is compared to me. I married up...for sure.

    I really enjoyed this post! Thank you for sharing these thoughts and feelings!

    -Amy

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  20. We've been parried for 6 years with 3 kids...and I still look at him and go, "Can you believe we're MARRIED?!" He rolls his eyes at me. Because he's obviously the more mature one. ;)

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  21. I've been with my husband for over a decade and a half, we have six children, I've always desperately loved my husband yet every so often I fall more deeply in love. It's amazing how much love just keeps on growing even when you think it wouldn't be possible to fall into even greater love. (If that makes sense?!) :)

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  22. I love this! So good. Just think about how sweet it will be to be able to look back on these posts one day!

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  23. P.S. I completely second what you said about year one. Everyone says it's all rainbows and butterflies and magic and it's just not. It's totally worth it, but it is not butterflies.

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  24. I love this post! I'm glad to know that not everyone has an amazing first year of marriage but it's so true that you have to choose to love. Happy 2 and a half years!

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  25. I'm single, so I appreciate it when couples have the strength to be honest and call it like it is; love is hard work. For every moment of butterflies, there is a moment of "I just wanna stab you right now".

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  26. Preach it, sister. Marriage is difficult, but the Lord commands us to love, not anger. Being so honest about it is one reason why Jordan loves you! You're you, and you rock.

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  27. Beautiful Amanda! Nothing wrong with going to bed at 9! It is the golden hour of sleep. I can't agree more with you about marriage. It is a way for God to refine us, mold us more and more into His character. It takes work, hard work and changing is not always fun....year one is hard, I think it gets better, but that doesn't mean it gets easy. God still wants us working intentionally day in and out to be a reflection of His love for the church. Congrats on 2.5 yrs!

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  28. Happy 2 1/2 to you guys! I think you can still call yourselves newlyweds. I mean, what's two and a half years when you have f o r e v e r to go? ;)

    It sounds like you have already learned some valuable lessons that it probably takes a lot of couples a lot longer (if ever) to learn. That will serve you so well for the rest of your years together! I think that so many people told me over and over that the first year was going to be so hard, that I was surprised when it wasn't harder. Each year seems to get progressively better though, as we learn more about how to love each other.

    You guys are really cute. :)

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  29. Haha! Love the silly pics at the end. This is awesome. I definitely feel like our first year of marriage was the hardest... I lost my job, money was tight and then there was just all that adjusting-to-being-married thing. But hey, we made it and it just keeps getting better every year. I totally know that "rush of love" feeling, and now it's an even bigger rush when I see how he loves our baby girl. Happy 2.5 years! :)

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  30. Love this. SO honest and true!! Life gets crazy hard and it's so much better to do it together!

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  31. Oh you are such a sweet sweet couple!
    Congrats on your anniversary :)

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  32. this may sound strange but i was on the other end. all of our friends had hard first years. they were choosing love and the Lord was doing so much work in their hearts. it was hard but they were coming out refined. my husband and i breezed through our first year and we wondered "what is wrong with us?" do we not care enough? are we apathetic? ... i realized that we all go through seasons. some are fun & easy and others are hard & exhausting. those fun seasons fuel the hard seasons - they push us through.they give us hope. AND we also go through seasons at different times then the community the Lord has given us so that we can help them and they can help us.

    Love this post!

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  33. oh YAY this is so sweet! and it's reassuring - there are totally times when Jon and I will say to each other "I love you so much but I just can't STAND you right now." it's nice to know that other couples feel that way occasionally too :)

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  34. Um so this is precious :) I am getting married in 20 days so I need all the marriage advice I can get from my blog friends :D

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  35. Choosing love. That's such a great way to put it! It's definitely something I do but couldn't put it into words. We are on our second year of marriage and it's going great. But I think it's because we both practice this everyday. :-)

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  36. Hi Amanda,
    Just found your blog today, and I'm really enjoying it! We just celebrated our 2 yr anniversary on 9/24, and our first year of marriage was hard, too. Nice to know we're not alone!

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  37. This is such a sweet post! If all goes as planned, I'll start my newlywed days next year - this week actually! :) It was heartwarming to read your story and I'm really looking forward to writing ours!

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  38. Amanda, i found your blog from Susannah's today & came to check it out. i found this post & i'm so glad i did! i'm in my 7th month of marriage & it's been a rough few months & i was reading the beginning of the post saying "yes, that's how i feel!" - i just wanted to say thank you for the encouragement! deciding to love anyways is really the only thing to do! after all, God loves us through everything & every sin we commit. when marriage is hard, it's good for me to remember that it's a covenant i made to God and my husband. :)

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  39. In 1989 I married a man I thought I loved. In 1991 he almost divorced me. Those first few years were HARD! Last month we celebrated our wonderful 25th anniversary and people ask us all the time what our secret is. There are no secrets. Work at it everyday because it MATTERS and always always always remember that the person standing there is the one you agreed to spend the rest of your life with so you should treat him better than anyone else in your life.

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  40. I'm in love with this post for all sorts of reasons. Lamar and I have been married just a little over a year, and it was fairly easy. Everyone had told us that the first year would be the most difficult, and it seemed like a breeze! However, I wonder (ed), what is wrong with us? Are we not spending enough time together? I DO think there is something to that, and Lord knows we need to work on it.



    Okay, I think I just rambled on and got off topic of what I meant to comment about. Sorry!

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  41. i'm glad you linked to this post in your reader survey results. this continues to be my favorite post on your blog!

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  42. Yes, yes, yes! Love is a choice! Absolutely! There are definitely days (nearly 11 years together and nearly 7 years of marriage) when I look at him and I am just overwhelmed by the feelings of love for him. But the day in and day out... it's a choosing to be together.

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