Lately I have joked with a few friends and family members about what I call the Elation Hibernation. Since getting married last spring, I have been fully aware of (and basking in) the Elation Hibernation I have been enjoying with my new husband. It has been a necessary step in our relationship and in our vocation.
You can find a million places and people around the world who will give you their version of what the first year of marriage looks like. My husband and I have gotten a continuum of responses, from "If you can make it through the first year, you'll be together forever," to "The first year is the honeymoon stage; just wait." Boo, I say, to ye negative ninnies!
Hey bear, time to get up!
Image courtesy of Toa55 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Married life has gotten better and better everyday of this, our first year. I love him more now than I did when I first realized I was falling for him, than I did when he surprised me by kneeling with my ring in hand, and than I did when I looked at him as if he was the only one in the room while I vowed to be his wife forever. I have also spent more time with him than any human being on the planet since I was a baby attached at the hip to my mother for those first few months.
We have become expert chefs (in a few dishes), fit runners (well, he was already a ridiculous runner), committed workers (on both our marital choices and employment), movie-cuddlers, and explorers into each other's minds and habits.
I'm blessed with parents and parents-in-law who understand that my husband and I needed to learn about who we are as a family. They generally wait for us to contact them, which, unlike has been my lifelong habit, means I don't talk to my family for days sometimes. We are learning about our autonomy. It's a whole new step in the direction of adulthood (am I there yet?) that I didn't see coming.
Warning: ignoring the fact that you're hibernating can alienate you from the outside world. I became aware of it (though I still delighted in our PJ and movie-watching evenings) and came up for air in the form of reconnecting with good friends. I'm so grateful to have these friend and family who show us, every time we see them, that they understand with their outstretched arms and interest in our lives.
The next step, as any good sitcom will teach you, is to find great couple friends. We're blessed to have several already and we're working to spread the joy. God has blessed our marriage with so much Grace that we've both grown in our relationship with Him through our covenant with each other.
Honestly, part of me feels like summarizing with "Sorry I'm not sorry," though I know I could be much more successful at reaching out to others, like we are called to do. As soon as spring shows up, so will I :) In the meantime, pass the Netflix.
I'd love to hear from the married folks, dating folks, engaged folks, and single folks on this phenomenon.