“‘Good luck— you won’t be married long!’ These were the actual words a driver told me one sunny Seattle morning after a few minutes of (mostly) polite conversation.
I had just shared that my husband Tyler was about to start law school, and by this point I was getting used to the wide array of responses. (Most were a delicate blend of admiration and pity.) While this particular response felt extra brazen (hi stranger), it seemed everyone had an opinion about lawyers, and even more opinions about being married to one.
Fortunately for Tyler and me, law school wasn’t the first hard thing we would do together. I say “fortunately” because over the years we’ve come to understand that our relationship can hold hard things if we choose to lean in, and that leaning in teaches us how to belong to this world and to each other. And that’s a beautiful gift indeed. Our relationship has held career changes, leaving friends behind and moving to new cities, stressful months in the hospital, losing a beloved family member, and navigating failures, disappointments and plenty of unknowns. But we’re learning that hardship in marriage is not what’s uncommon or special. What’s uncommon and special is opening the door to hardship, choosing to show up, and in the process learning ourselves better so that we can love each other better. And here we are, four years later, living in Los Angeles where Tyler just graduated from law school and we celebrated another amazing anniversary.
We spent an evening in Malibu with the very talented Jess Smith, documenting what feels like an enormous milestone in our relationship. We know there will be plenty more bridges to cross, but we also know that there’s immense joy in doing hard things side by side.
As the wise and witty Glennon Doyle Melton said, ‘I’m not big on advice, mainly because most days I learn what an idiot I was yesterday.’ (This speaks to me.) If I have anything to share, it would be lean into the relationship when things get tough, prioritize mini getaways (even if they’re just in town!), say thank you as many times a day as possible, and do the good life-work of learning and loving yourself, so that you can better learn and love your person. We don’t get it right a lot of the time, but we’re better than when we started, and that’s good enough for me.”