Wednesday, September 18, 2013


In the movie What To Expect When You’re Expecting there is a girl that is referred to as the “magical pregnancy unicorn.” While the other characters struggle through stretch marks, morning sickness, exhaustion, and even miscarriage and infertility, she glides through pregnancy with twins looking like a model and feeling better than ever. She is revered and hated because she seems impervious to the unfortunate symptoms of pregnancy.

Everyone reading this probably has a unicorn in mind. There are many of these mystical creatures that walk among us. The marriage unicorn(s) who seem to never have any fights or intimacy issues. The career unicorns who seem to float to the top of their fields as easily as though they were anchored to this earth with nothing more weighty than a few giant weather balloons. The school unicorns who appear to never study or show up to class but somehow manage to waltz away with a higher grade than the poor minions who formed study groups and sweated over each test question and essay. The list goes on, but they live among us and taunt us with their seemingly effortless perfection.

When I was younger, I was taunted by unicorns. These unicorns were married women. They were the cheerleaders and I was the gangly nerd in the back. As a single lady, it seemed that there was something extremely special about these women. Whether they had been married for one year or fifty years, in my mind, they possessed an otherworldly wisdom. They were special, set apart, and most importantly chosen. Men had deemed them worthy of pursuit and even lifelong companionship.

I knew that marriage would be hard work and a lifetime of putting someone else first.  When we discussed marriage, Esquire and I asked each other “What do you think marriage should be?”. My response was something along the lines of “Marriage is hard work. Marriage is loving someone when you don’t like them. It’s staying through the tough times and putting each other first even when it’s hard.” I’ve known since I was young that love isn’t an emotion. It is an action. It is commitment.

There’s this unwritten code in our culture today that you should only project the good things and leave the ugly side of relationships as a very private thing between you and your spouse. I don’t necessarily disagree with the premise, but I think that it leaves your single friends with this unfair idea of what your marriage looks like.

However, now that I’m a new initiate of the super elitist club that I so often envied, I want to lift the veil off the mystical state of marriage. These are a few things I’ve learned about men, myself, and marriage.

Jamie’s List of Random Things I’ve Learned In Nine Months of Marriage

Inside every man is a vulnerable little boy. Don’t get me wrong…my husband is a strong, masculine, protective hunk of a man. Still, sometimes he just needs me to give him a big kiss and tell him how proud I am of who he is and his accomplishments. He looks to me for confirmation that I appreciate his efforts to care for me. Sometimes he needs me to praise his video game playing abilities or his cleverness in solving a complex problem. I’ve seen this with other men, but I’ve never been blessed with the trust my husband gives me by showing me the most vulnerable places in his heart.

My husband is tragically flawed. No, I’m not referring to the fact that he doesn’t look like Ryan Gosling. I’m referring to the fact that he’s human. Being selfless doesn’t come easily to him. He struggles with balancing his own need for rest and relaxation with my need for communication and companionship. The beautiful thing in all this is that even though it’s not easy for him, he acts very selflessly because he loves me. We fight and probably always will, but his desire to act out his love for me leads him to treat me with extraordinary respect. Which leads me to…

Fighting is not as bad when you’re married. To clarify, fighting with Esquire isn’t nearly as scary for me because no matter what I know that he won’t leave me. Both of us have very strong beliefs about the sanctity of our vows. It gives me such peace to know that we can be upset with each other and know that he will still love me…even if he doesn’t like me. I was always wracked with insecurity when I fought with ex-boyfriends because they could just leave (and they did!). Every once in a while, old insecurities pop up, but they don’t stay long because they have no place in our marriage and I know that.

Fighting is worse when you’re married. I know I just said that it was better, and it is…but it’s also worse. You have to fight fair and watch every word because you can’t just take off and go back to your house if things get too uncomfortable. He can’t read your mind and doesn’t magically know what you need to hear. The couch isn’t far enough to go…he will wake up and find you even if you were enjoying your little rebellion. You also have the potential to deeply wound your very best friend in the whole world. That’s a huge weight to bear.

Being Newlyweds Is Like A Never Ending Slumber Party. I feel like I’m at the best slumber party ever because I get to stay up late with my best friend whenever I want. We eat junk food and dance randomly. We make up silly jokes and talk to each other in goofy voices. We kind of crack ourselves up.

I’m Not An Easy Person To Live With. Living with me is not a cakewalk. I’m moody, occasionally irrational, messy, and have no sense of time. I’m not saying I’m not trying to change and put Esquire first, but the truth is that my natural state resembles a grizzly bear that got woken up from winter hibernation a few weeks early. Apparently, I’m not an easy person to live with…who knew? ;) (The answer to that is “All my family and friends”)

Little Issues That Aren’t Addressed Become Big Issues Eventually. I knew this prior to marriage, but I have realized that it’s unfair to my husband to go from seemingly normal to borderline hysterical because a minor issue triggers bigger issues. I struggle to communicate these small things effectively, not because I want to hide them, but because I often don’t realize how much they have been bothering me until I’m a sobbing mess.

I, like many people in my generation, crave authenticity. I will strive to always provide honest posts about marriage, motherhood, and whatever else I post about. I’m not going to broadcast every little bump in our marriage, but know that we’re not perfect. We fuss, fight, and struggle to die to ourselves every day. There’s much to be improved, but overall, I can’t even imagine anything else. My husband, flaws and all, makes me so happy. I only hope I make him half as happy as he makes me. This man that prays for me, fights with me, and dances with me is the best husband and friend that I could ever imagine and I’m going to make sure that our daughter knows every day how much her parents love each other.

All images in this post were taken by the magnificent Crystal Bell of Gilded Sun Photography :)


  1. Jamie, It was so great to meet you at Blog Elevated! I really like this post too. It's true, before marriage no one tells you really what it's like. I majored in family studies (switched to it right after getting married) and in all my classes I was always like "OH, yes, why did no one tell me this before!?"

  2. Hi Sarah! It was great to meet you too. I really enjoyed having lunch together. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting :)
    Hope to see you again soon!

  3. Dear Jamie,
    Sorry, I haven't told you lately...
    (Someone sent me the link to this.)
    I love you!
    Aunt Beckie

  4. Hi Aunt Beckie,
    So glad to see that you stopped by :)
    Hope to see you and Alicia at the baby shower!