My husband and I recently visited Bend, Oregon for our 11th wedding anniversary. It is quite possibly The Coolest City in the world, we've decided. But, regardless of where we were, we were there alone. Our in-laws took care of our children for the three day getaway. During the trip, we were able to focus on each other, reconnect emotionally, and we were reminded that we are on the same team, after all. Before we left, we were both so focused on ourselves, we didn't have much time for each other let alone energy to express our concern for the well being of one another.
One morning my husband took me mountain biking. He loves mountain biking, possibly more than any other hobby. I used to love mountain biking too. (I went at least two or three times a week during college, whether or not someone could go with me. I pined to go everyday and would gaze out the windows up at the mountains. I would ride my bike everywhere, on campus and off, always looking for a staircase to bombard down or a steep grass or dirt hill to fly down. My goodness, what happened to that girl??) Following my husband in Bend, I found myself cautiously walking my bike down a steep hill with jutting rocks almost immediately after our bike tires left the pavement. It was a rewarding ride, exhausting and completely exhilarating. The scenery was absolutely amazing.
I was reminded that my relationship with my husband is the most valuable relationship that I have or will ever have. My parents, siblings and friends have all found someone to share their lives with, as will my own children someday. I love my husband. I love being married to him. A few weeks ago my husband told me he told a friend that he sincerely feels like our marriage is still in the honeymoon stage. (Um, is that possible when you have four children?) But, I often feel the same way, or at least that we are constantly working towards a "perfect relationship". And I don't just love the idea of our marriage. I also love it enough to work for it. But, sometimes life gets in the way, and I forget to. I think if I can remember to put my husband's needs above those of my own and if he will do the same for me, hopefully we will continue to have the "almost perfect relationship". Because I doubt it could ever be absolutely perfect. It also helped when we take time for each other, like we did in Bend. Then, the moments come, the ones that feel totally perfect. Like during our mountain bike ride, when my husband stopped to rest and I pulled up next to him. He looked at me - and I'm sure I blushed - when he said, "You are my favorite mountain biking partner."