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  • Jasmine Blackwell

Let's be Honest

As I sit down to write a heartfelt entry about what I expected from marriage vs what I got, it’s quickly revealed to me that I honestly didn’t have many expectations. Getting married at 21 wasn’t what I thought was written in the stars for me, but it’s where my path took me. I could tell you that I knew what I was getting into when I decided I wanted to be with a man with two kids and an argumentative baby momma but I didn’t. What I can tell you is I thought I was in for an experience unlike any other, and that is EXACTLY what I got. Someone once told me “the first year of marriage is the hardest.” Something that later I found to be false. We have had an array of experiences. From arguments about his past lurking on me around every corner to the amazing memories we have created while building our life together. I can assure you its more than what I ever expected. Not that I had low expectations for marriage, just didn’t know what I was going to be getting myself into.

When I was inquiring about married life I learned two things: you have to do what's best for your relationship and marriage is about compromise. While I completely understood the idea, the gravity of the situation never even dawned on me until the time came for me to actually follow through. All of a sudden, the requests came rolling in it was time for me to share my space, give up my time, give up my privacy, and play nice with people who were just waiting on my to slip up. Initially I felt I'd be able to compromise on whatever was necessary to keep my relationship going. It didn't take long for me to realize there were some things I actually wasn't willing to compromise on, giving up all my personal time, watering myself down, and constantly being the baby sitter became things that started to bother me. Knowing marriage wasn't supposed to be easy... you know because that's what everyone tells you I just took it how it was. My patience became shorter and my willingness to work with my husband on things quickly fleeting. It was time to figure out a solution so we came together and discussed the issues. After telling him how I felt we set some boundaries, to this day we have not had a problem with it.

Knowing from the start of our relationship that people were already betting against us, I just knew we wouldn’t last long. I thought we were going to have a hard time because of our age gap but that proved to not be an issue. Our biggest hurdle was the drama we constantly faced with his ex. We’d only been together for a few months when I had my first run in with his ex. At that point I had already made up my mind that I wasn’t dealing with her bullshit, as our relationship flourished so did her hatred for me but more importantly so did our ability to stand together and ignore her. Once we came together and decided to cut off all unnecessary communication with her it was smooth sailing. Not to say we haven’t had a couple of encounters that could have been avoided but I’m still working on myself I only have so much patience. Now here we are years into our relationship the drama has died down for the most part, it’s been months since she and I collided. I like to think it's because of growth on my part. At some point I matured enough to realize everyone doesn't deserve my energy. There is no point in arguing with a narcissist no matter how much annoying and fucked up shit she does to her there is only something wrong when I respond. So I quit. I quit reading, I quit responding, I quit antagonizing. This made my marriage even better because not only am I unbothered by the extra drama but I have realized my husband needs me sometime to keep him grounded in these situations.

Blending our lives together seemed to be the easy part. Becoming a stepmom didn’t bother me much. Obviously we have our issues as every blended family does, we are working on it and that’s all that matters. All the time we spent figuring out what was best for our blended family I put my hopes of starting a family in the back of my mind. Until I got pregnant, a pregnancy that ended in miscarriage but that's a beautiful and tragic story for another time. We have decided that we are going to wait a while before we make a conscious effort to have a baby. But that doesn't mean we are doing anything to prevent our family from growing ;). He’s showed me some amazing things, we’ve taken wonderful vacations together, we have exchanged great ideas, and built amazing memories. We have also been through a lot of hardships together. I hope to have just as many amazing things ahead of us as we have had behind us. Never would have thought I’d be so willing to tell someone “it’s fine, we will figure it out.” Yet here I am.

I can’t tell you what to expect out of your marriage because everyone is different. You’ll have different trials than we have, you’ll have different highs, and different lows.There were definitely some things that I overlooked before getting married. I wish I'd payed more attention to the way he acts when he's upset, the way he bottles up his emotions sometime when he's sad, and how much he expected of me when it came to the kids. The entire time we have been together almost everything has remained the same: the things I like, the things I hate, and the things I wish I could change. Be aware of what bothers you in your relationship so that you can stop it before it becomes a problem, because it might be something you're stuck with for life. Other than that eat, drink, and be married.

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