Full Circle and Three Years Ago

Three years ago Hal and I were married. In the Little White Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada, the notorious pit-stop for celebrity weddings that were over before they began and to be honest, for a while I believed we were just as doomed. If you would have told me this time last year that we'd still be together for our three-year-anniversary I would have shrugged, cried for a good ten minutes and then said "Nah."

our especially classy e-wedding announcement: copyright Jan. 22, 2005

No one gets married thinking they're going to break-up, obviously. But no one marries thinking, "Shit, bitch! This is going to be the most fucked-up, insane, difficult thing ever!" And it is. Marriage is seriously tough. And the fact that I can look at Hal and he can look at me and we can even crack a smile at each after three years, I think, is miraculous.

We barely knew each other when we got married (dating for a mere eight months) but there was something about being twenty-five weeks pregnant that caused us to overlook all that. We had made the ultimate commitment to each other, already, deciding to have a baby. Might as well score a vacation weekend and some eweddingbands dot com to make it official...

Our ups and downs were the typical ups and downs of any couple saddled with a newborn during the so-called honeymoon months, or should I say any couple saddled with a newborn at all. The fact that people have children as a relationship bandaid is pure insanity to me. There is nothing more wearing on a marriage or any kind of coupling than a stranger asleep on a pillow between you.


When I was working on my book, this time last year, Hal and I were enduring an especially rough patch. We were on the verge of breakupsville, choosing marital therapy as our last resort. Our happiness together seemed hopeless for a week... a month, a while. I spent a lot of time down south at my parent's. We spent weekends away from one another to "think"...

Meanwhile I was trying to remember happier times, so that I, if for no other reason could write about them in my book. A lot of what I was writing was in real time, during a time when we were barely speaking... A confusing and difficult task. I wanted to be honest. But I also so desperately wanted to be happy. I wanted to write about love and what it felt like to be in a family of my own. A family I wanted to come home to.

Days after the book was finished, Hal and I shared an especially poignant moment together, a diamond in the rough-patch so to speak, so (naturally) I wrote about it, a perfect epilogue, I thought for the end of my book. The epilogue merged with the rest of the manuscript and in the second draft, became the ending, an ending I didn't realize at the time would become the beginning... to this: Our love-story 2.0.

Whether it was an accident or a subconscious choice, I had written, in a way our happy ending. A happy ending to a story I thought was mine.

But It wasn't my story. It never was, I soon realized. It was our story from my point-of-view.

A lot of our issues stemmed from our different ways of seeing things; marriage, life, work, everything else. I have a hard time looking at life through any one's eyes but my own. I have always been the center of my own universe, something I have been forced to face and then fess-up to as a wife, a mother, someone with responsibilities beyond herself. Myself. No one has held up a mirror to my flaws quite like my husband has and living with that reflection can make things tumultuous. But also, and most importantly, helpful. I am a better person, now. I've grown up. I'm growing up. We both are. Helping each other change for the better without sacrificing the parts of ourselves that we know make us great. And that's really what it's all about.

When Hal and I first met we were work partners, writing a pilot together that we never finished. Maybe because we didn't have a story, then. But we do now. We have our story, a story that has inspired us to work together again. A story we can tell from experience and then see what happens... Because that's all anyone can ever do: see what happens. In a marriage or creative venture, or any kind of partnership.

Our creative team took three and half years to make possible. And in that time we created a beautiful child together, got married, then engaged and in the last few months, really fell in love... and not in the Honeymoon kind of googly-eyed love we felt at the beginning. In the real, holy-shit, I know you! kind of love.

Celebrating our friend's engagement party, two shiny-happy freaks.

This week we will put the finishing touches on our pilot and whether or not anything happens with it beyond our living room is beside the point. Whether we stay together for a hundred years or die tragically in a Morrissey-esque double-decker bus-accident. No one knows what's going to happen. But I can say this, I've never been happier in my marriage. I've never been more in love. And that's fucking rad.

The fact that in six-months two whack-jobs could go from barely living together to being an unstoppable force to be reckoned with is beyond anything I would have ever predicted or expected or hoped for.

I don't know about happily ever after, but I do know about being happy. Right now. That's all we can ask out of love. And marriage. For the good times to outweigh the bad. For the love to break through the clouds in sunny rays, for the rainbows to appear with some patience. Mmmmmmm yeah... Patience....




GGC

45 comments:

superblondgirl | 5:12 AM

What a gorgeous, truthful tribute to your marriage. Happy anniversary!

Kyran | 5:50 AM

happy anniversary! the rekindling has been apparent between the lines. :-) happy for you both, and thanks for sharing another chapter of your continuing story.

k.

motherbumper | 6:23 AM

Happy Anniversary GGC and Hal - from another set of crazy kids who will celebrate 3 years next month and are still in shock that we are married with two and half year old (you do the math). We too were commitment phobs, didn't really know each other, and decided to have baby. Together. Why not? OMG WTF did we do? That has only crossed my mind about a zillion times since we married but know what? That thought happens less and less as each day passes and the love grows. AWWWWWWW Axl, tell me how it is ;)

GoMommy | 6:32 AM

That was beautiful! I wish you guys nothing but the best!

Kendra | 6:37 AM

Cheers to you and Hal! And many, many more pilots.

MetroDad | 6:39 AM

Thanks for your openness and honesty. As I'm sure most people find out, marriage is quite possibly the hardest thing in the world to achieve. I always liken it to a duck swimming in a pond. Everything may look nice and calm on the surface but, in order to stay afloat, you've got paddle like hell.

So...happy anniversary, you kids. I wish you a long, happy, and healthy future together.

Anonymous | 7:01 AM

I too got married in Vegas mostly due to pregnancy, and I had only known my man for 4 months. But....we'll be married for 13 years in May, which seems CRAZY to me. There were many times I never thought we'd make it.

Congratulations to you both.

metro mama | 7:06 AM

Lovely post Rebecca. Happy anniversary to you and Hal.

foodiemama | 8:03 AM

awesome! we by-passed the marriage, went thru 8 years of crazy living and loving together-just the two of us and them whoops! baby on the way! still not believing in marriage we have that whoops of love and it'll be 12 f-ing years together in april....and man, its always work but if you're willing to plow thru it there is a light when you both are unstoppable (and crazy, in our case!)
here's to 3 more years!!!!!

Andy | 8:21 AM

It is fucking hard. I know first hand how rough the first year of marriage can be, and especially when you add a child into the mix.

Congrats on three years.

Crazy Baby Lady | 8:27 AM

Beautiful. I am so happy for you. You give me hope.

liz | 8:32 AM

I will spare you my annoying Happy Anniversary song and just say that you guys rock. Not many people are willing to put in the work - kudos!

PunditMom | 8:38 AM

Thanks for this great story and the reminder that marriage can't be put on auto-pilot. Mr.PunditMom and I are coming up on 14 years married and 17 years together (!!!). We're solid for PunditGirl, but for each other -- clearly more work is needed.

xo

Woman on the Verge | 8:38 AM

What a great post and tribute to your marriage.
It's hard as hell but so worth it when you reach that point. You know that one...

Anonymous | 8:43 AM

Whew. Happy Anniversary. My Baby Daddy and I are together 12 years and married 8. That's crazy to me since I'm only 30. Just this past month I've been on the down-and-outs and this post inspires e to keep working at it! Not easy, to be sure.....

Mrs. Chicky | 8:46 AM

Happy Anniversary to you and Hal. As a woman who is on her second marriage I'll echo the sentiment that marriage is fragile and a lot of freaking work.

LD | 9:00 AM

Happy anniversary-- what a wonderful story, because it's real. It's not white fluff and fake diamond sparkle that fades after the cake is eaten and presents are open- it's a tribute to just how hard this whole marriage thing is. My husband and I were the opposite--planned everything years ahead of time. Best friends, knew each other in and out--but in that first year of marriage I routinely would go on runs (I'm not a runner AT ALL) just to get out of the house and cry by myself. It's never easy merging two lives, being selfless, seeing yourself through someone else's not-so-rose-colored glasses, but your story, all of our stories, show what's possible and what it takes to be "happy,"

Fraulein | 9:34 AM

Awesome post. Isn't it amazing that nobody tells you beforehand how hard marriage will be? Congrats on making it work!

ME | 10:04 AM

Hubby and I have been married for 8 years and we are just now rediscovering each other after getting through the infant/baby stage with our kids.

Congrats, you crazy kids.

laurenzo | 11:28 AM

love you guys very much. you make me happy.

verybadcat | 11:37 AM

Sometimes the only thing that keeps a couple together is the thought of having to split up the CD collection.... thank god for that. ;-)

EW | 1:45 PM

That really was beuatiful, and as a newleywed, what I needed to hear. That marraige isn't perfec,that is is tough, that there will be struggles, but that there's nothing better than looking into the other's eyes, and saying "God, I SOOO love you!!". Awesome...wishing you and Hal a million more years together. (and another Archer Jr.!)

clueless but hopeful mama | 1:56 PM

Happy Anniversary! and thank you for your honesty.

Tis weekend, my husband and I were a bit of a mess; in our version it's all hurt feelings and held grudges. Last night, we forwent (is that a word?) sleep to hammer it all out so that we both felt understood. What a hard slog and we were so tired.

Today is a new day and even if it's still gloomy in LA, it feels just a little bit brighter.

Mom101 | 4:43 PM

I love your honesty, your real life happy ending that defies the ones in fairy tales.

Happy 'versary you two crazy kids. And I hope the positive chapters keep on coming. Lack of conflict may not make a great pilot but it sure does make life a little sweeter.

Aline | 11:08 PM

Cheers, dudes!

We just started planning our wedding this weekend... I didn't even realize we were "engaged", so maybe it'll be a few years of marriage for us before Simon pops the question to me as well. ;) I'm not knocked up, but it'd be sweet if I was. We've been together for 5 years (I think I'm just a couple years younger than you), so it's about time we pretended to be adults (HA!)

Did you hear about Juno & the Oscar nominations!? I was giddy today when I heard about it. Diablo Cody has definitely earned a nomination, if not a stack of the little gold dudes. Candy Girl was an awesome read, and I adored Juno. Plus Ellen Page freaking rocked (did you see Hard Candy?)... and I'm proud that she hails from my good ol' Canada! Gotta get us frigid northerners more up in the movie biz!

But I digress... Cheers to you both and your happy beginning/middle/ending. I hope that I have as many interesting stories to tell after 3 years of marriage.

Better | 11:12 PM

I think the best love stories are created out of hard work, not magic. Your story is inspirational, just like you. Congrats, GCC!

Jaelithe | 8:56 AM

Speaking from similar experience, I think when you get into a situation where society expects your marriage not to work out, statistics predict your marriage will not work out, and you yourself doubt whether you're really ready, or just getting into this lifelong commitment on paper because you're already growing a different and much more irrevocable kind of like-it-or-not lifelong commitment in your womb, well, that atmosphere of fear and doubt can CREATE the very problems you want to avoid. Every little problem or disagreement in your relationship can seem magnified, because it causes you to ask, every time, "Did I make the right choice? Did I have enough time and space to think this through? If circumstances had been different, could I have chosen someone else, someone more compatible?"

Self-fulfilling prophecy. Self-sabotage. But you both have overcome it. Happy Anniversary, indeed.

Agatha | 9:18 AM

Thank you Rebecca. I think this post may just get me through today, & tomorrow & then the weekend, & then perhaps things will be okay.

HAppy Anniversary, & congratulations on falling in love. Again.

ImpostorMom | 10:38 AM

happy anniversary!

We'll have four years in May and sometimes I too am amazed that we've made it. It is definitely hard. I can't imagine throwing a child in to that first year as well.

We are still knee deep in that "adjustment" period after having a baby and sometimes I question our resolve. But then, there will be moments here and there that will remind me that there is more to us than the bitching and moaning and lack of sleep and I know this too shall pass.

Thanks for reminding me that it's work and you can come out the other side even better.

Candice | 11:39 AM

I have to tell you that I have been a faithful reader for 2 years but never comment. I have stopped reading all other "mommy" blogs now that my son is 27 months and just don't have the time (and they kinda bore me) but I can't not check GGC daily. It is because of posts like these that are so raw, you put yourself so out there and make us all reflect on our own lifes. I can not wait to read your book and for you to come to Vancouver so that I can meet you.

Happy Anniversary

Anonymous | 4:23 PM

thanks. sometimes i disagree with you. sometimes i think you are the most brilliant woman alive. but most of the time i am just comforted knowing that i am not alone. ~jjlibra

when's the book tour hitting ny?

Becca | 4:27 PM

I don't know why this post made me tear up so much. Maybe because this is such an amazing revelation that you shared, and you were so honest about it. You are wonderful.

Wishful Mommy | 7:11 PM

Happy, happy anniversary! I'm so happy for you two. 3 years is a major milestone, especially with a baby in the mix so soon.

Thank you so much for your honest writing. It inspires me.

I'm in the middle of the 7-year-itch anniversary of marriage so I appreciate hearing a positive story.

Any news on the book tour?

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 8:55 PM

Thanks, guys. You're all awesome. Book Tour news to come. Thus far: Los Angeles: Book Soup April 5th (launch party)
Seattle: April 26th: Elliot Bay Bookstore
Vancouver, SF/Bay area and Portland sometime in/around there. (end of April)... East Coast mid-end of May and that's all the deets I got for now. Am building my book/author website now which should have all that fun news... site should be up within the next two weeks. Obviously will keep you all posted and thank you so much, again!

Oh and NYC prob just after Mother's Day. :)

The Mommy | 8:11 AM

Congrats on 3 years! We're at 6.5 now and there have definitely been times when I wasn't sure it would happen. It's damn hard work but worth it when it all comes together.

Please oh please tell me Mpls is being added to the list and we can rock the house at Nye's!

EW | 9:01 AM

Are you heading down to your hometown for your tour? I sure hope so, as I'm a north county girl and have been waiting for you book!!!

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 9:20 AM

Yes. SD fo sho. Most likely two locations. Once in April and another later on in May. (B&N on El Camino close? That's my old stomp'n ground so will for sure be there, probably in April. Will keep you posted!)

the weirdgirl | 3:23 PM

Congrats to you both! On your marriage, your pilot, on everything. Sounds like you're in a great place.

Just Janice | 6:50 PM

Congrats! I'm a fellow Vegas Bride too!

Suzy | 9:30 PM

"No one has held up a mirror to my flaws quite like my husband has and living with that reflection can make things tumultuous"

This is the very definition of the soul mate. People always mistake the soul mate as the one who brings all the love and cookies. In actuality, the soul mate mirrors the truth about oneself.

It is the most painful and the most rewarding experience of one's life.

I think you're lucky to have found each other. I have to go now. I have cookies to eat.

Miguelina. | 9:53 AM

Congratulations you crazy kids.

*smooches*

Let me know when you come to Boston.

Marce | 12:44 PM

I was with my partner for 8 years (since we were 18) before we had our now 8 month old and there is nothing more trialing on a relationship than having a new born baby screaming bloody murder - we have never argued and sniped at each other like we have this past year. At the same time we have grown together like never before.

I love your blog, so relatable!

Oz | 1:14 PM

Beautiful post. Happy anniversary!

Marriage-101 | 2:08 PM

This? Was awesome. Actually, "fucking rad" is more appropriate. Congrats! Here's to many more!

Anonymous | 4:58 PM

Yes, I've noticed you're self-centered, but that is how you are able to write about your own experiences, and why it's interesting to read! I think as we grow older we get less self-centered, but don't let go about writing about your own experience! It's not an easy thing to do!