Today is a very important day in our lives. Not because some four years ago we made a public declaration before family and friends to love each other for the remainder of our lives, but more so that because this particular day is a time where we set aside time to remember and reminisce, to giggle and laugh, and to celebrate and honor the years we’ve been together. So in honor of our four year anniversary, also now dubbed as “Biscuit Day”, here’s a list of the four ways marriage has changed me:
If there’s one thing that I don’t lack, it’s self confidence. In the area of words of affirmation, TJ is through the roof with me. I am literally praised for everything that I do. I might be struggling through a work out, and there’s my wife, giving me a pick me up. I can be attempting to flip an egg in the air (which TJ does very well) and even though it’s not a very good flip, I’m still affirmed for my efforts. Then there’s the endless compliments on my looks and how I dress (which TJ does most of my wardrobe shopping). And then of course the smaller and more random things like when I pass a little gas and then almost instantly there’s a “Good job!” headed my way. With all this positive affirmation, it’s impossible for me to not feel good about myself. I have TJ to thank for that.
Truth be told, it’s been a bit of a horrifying 18 months for us as a family with death, life and struggles all being a very big part of our lives. I’m happy to say that I’m more sensitive to the pain around me and I’m a lot more careful and cautious with my words. I’m still pretty rough around the edges, but I think I’m a lot better at expressing compassion and sympathy and actually entering the pain altogether thanks to TJ. Which then of course leads to number three.
3. Emotionally Healthier
There’s no secret that one of TJ’s many strengths is her emotional capacity. To contrast that, mine is about the size of a peanut. But in all honesty, in part of our last 18 months and on top of my marriage to the wonderful TJ, I’m actually pretty decent at experiencing and expressing my emotions. For someone who a few years ago could care less about emotions other than tired, hunger and angry, this is quite a huge step.
4. Physically Healthier
For whatever reason, marriage seems to drag men into some significant weight gain. Like beer gut level weight gain. I’m thankful I never went that route. In fact by the end of the first year, I had lost 10lbs just from exercising more and eating healthier. By year four, I’m at a pretty decent level of fitness. It will be a struggle, but I’m confident that I can do a half marathon on a moment’s notice as evidence of 2009. I’m also eating and enjoying healthier options such as whole wheat/multi-grain anything, veggies and salads. Having someone as fit as TJ is a huge drive. It’s absolutely humbling when you’re doing the same work out with your 8 month pregnant wife and she’s tearing through it and you’re doing everything to just keep up. But it’s also an incredible motivator too.
There are certainly many more ways that I’ve changed for the better because of my marriage to TJ. But I’ll leave with just these four for now.
*Photo taken by Jason Huang with Table 4 Photography