Marcus

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My husband and I only had 3 things in common – and that was all it took

I remember friends staring at me in awe when I told them I was getting married. At 21. To a guy none of them had even had the time to meet yet. Most of them didn’t even know I had a boyfriend. And then the sigh, or scoff. They didn’t think they’d ever find someone they’d want to tie that tight of a knot with. How could I have found my special someone so fast? A best friend whom I loved more than anyone else and with whom I was positive I wanted to spend the rest of my existence.

Well, I guess it all depends on what you’re looking for. A best friend? That’s always a good pointer. What does that mean though?

Can I admit something? I’m not sure a lot of people know this. I mean really know this.

Marcus and I don’t have tons of things in common.
Seriously. We don’t. We don’t really listen to the same kind of music. We don’t always think the same movies are funny. He likes trying new flavors, I stick to chocolate (always). He’s more trendy, I’m more classic. He likes big crowds, I prefer small groups. He likes to sleep in, I like an early start. We’re actually very different people. Well, especially when we first met.

It took a while for me to really warm up to Marcus. Our first week dating I remember being worried that I was wasting my time with a guy that I clearly didn’t have enough in common with. He was a wonderful guy and I loved talking and being with him, but I just couldn’t see how we’d become the couple sitting in the couch laughing our heads off at an inside joke on a Tuesday night just because we had each other.
I remember one night in particular. We had gone for a walk together and had ended up sitting in the sand by a lake on an evening in July. I especially remember the insane amount of mosquitos. Anyway, I was feeling guilty and ended up admitting to Marcus my worries. I held my breath. Instead of freaking out or getting sad he told me that he’d had the same thoughts. Immediately I felt relieved but hung my head because I was worried that this was it. And so I braced myself for a break-up talk.
It didn’t come. Instead, Marcus picked up a twig and started drawing lines in the sand. He explained to me that he’d made up a sort of score board, and that only three things mattered to him:

Friendship – Did I seem like the type of girl he could be best friends with. And not just now in our 20s but for life. Could we still be best friends in 50, 60, 100 years? Did he enjoy my company that much? Could he talk to me about anything at all? Did he want to talk to me about anything at all? Did he feel like I really listened to him? Did he enjoy really listening to me? Did he like me enough to learn to love me in the future?

Aspiration – Did we see ourselves in a similar situation in 10 years? Did we want the same kind of family? Did we want the same kind of life for our family? Did we share the same faith? Was that faith as big a part of each of our lives? Did we want to build our family on the same sort of principles and values? Did we have similar ambitious goals for our future family? Did he like the idea of the life and family we could potentially have together?

Attraction – Did he find me attractive? Inward and outward. Did he want to be with me? Did he actually want to make our relationship work? Was he willing to make sacrifices for it?

He looked up. He said that I got full marks on that score board. Of that he wasn’t in doubt at all. And that everything else could fall into place later. After all, we had only just started dating.

About 9 months later we were married. It’s kind of a blur since everything happened so fast. But that night is one of the significant moments that I remember very well during our dating process. Because I knew he was right.
Sure, I could’ve probably said nope and gone out and found some other guy who liked chocolate cake and Harry Potter as much as I do. Or at least more than Marcus. But man, if I’m dead honest – no grey areas or second thoughts – I think I’d have to look for many many years to find another guy who spot on wanted the same life and family as I want. And even made me more excited about my own hopes and dreams than I was in the first place!

I’ll admit it. I kept dating Marcus because I was blindly in love with the life we would have together and the father he would some day be. But now that we are actually living that life, we laugh at tons of inside jokes every day, and I can watch my daughter crawl eagerly to the front door when he gets home from work, I am so happy I didn’t go find a new relationship to base on a meaningless crush.

So no, I don’t think you need to have tons of things in common. Actually, in some ways I think differences can be a blessing. Because they give you so many opportunities to make sacrifices for each other and thereby to demonstrate your love for one another. Once Marcus brought home a 1000-piece puzzle and suggested we put on a movie and put it together after dinner. I’ve rarely felt that cherished and appreciated. Not just because I love doing puzzles, but because I know how much Marcus hates ding puzzles. And even though he could only stand it for 15 minutes and then left me to do the rest on my own, it absolutely meant the world to me.
I’m thankful today that I based my relationship to my husband on the right things, because everything else, sense of humor, hobbies, interests, inside jokes, telepathy, – it all came later. But it came. It doesn’t matter that you don’t have a ton of things in common, you just need to have the most important things in common.

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A simple golden ring

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On the occasion of our being married 23 months today I thought I’d share a little bit about my wedding ring. And my engagement ring. Because they’re the same ring.

I don’t know where you’re from, but here where I’m from using the same ring for engagement and for marriage is not traditional. But that’s the thing. If planning a wedding taught me anything, it is that I don’t care much for tradition. At least not some traditions.

We knew quite quickly that we wanted to marry each other. I loved him and he loved me. To us it was as simple as that. And we were too excited to start our lives together to wait around till we were engaged to start planning. When he asked me what kind of ring I wanted I told him I wanted a simple ring without big stones that I could accidentally knock out doing the dishes or working in the yard.

He said, surely I would want a fancy engagement ring. He would love to get me a simple wedding ring if I’d like and he wouldn’t think it was weird at all if I didn’t want to wear my engagement ring every day once we were married.

I told him, no thank you, and that I’d prefer just having one meaningful ring rather than having a very expensive ring stuffed away in a drawer the rest of my life. We both knew that we didn’t have a lot of money and what little we had I preferred we save and spend on something more useful.

In the end he agreed and I waited in excitement for the day he would pop the question. In the meantime we planned our wedding.

Then one day when I was in Stockholm visiting him, he took me upstairs to a secluded spot. He apologized for spoiling some of the surprise but that he needed to ask my opinion on something and that he didn’t think I’d mind. I gave my permission and he pulled out a small black velvet bag. He told me that he had recently been to visit his grandparents. They had asked about the proceedings of our relationship and especially about his upcoming proposal. Kindly, they had offered their own engagement rings for Marcus to take. Marcus opened the small bag and emptied the contents into the palm of his hand. The rings were perfect. Simple, smooth and glitteringly golden. I waved off Marcus’ remarks that I could still have a diamond ring if I wanted, and told him that this was the exact ring I wanted. I asked if I could try it on, but he wouldn’t let me. He told me I’d have to wait till he proposed. He only dragged that out for another couple of weeks.

The day after he put the ring on my finger we went to a local jeweler to have them resized and engraved. We already had a date. 23 March 2013.

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When great expectations come true

Marriage is something most little girls (maybe even boys) give a great deal of thought to, growing up. Personally, as a little girl I imagined myself and my future husband when watching romantic Disney movies. I’d draw pictures and play house with my Barbie dolls seeing with my inner eye the pink pink PINK future I had ahead. When I became a teenager that fairytale picture for real became a pattern after which I measured boys around me, taking note to what kind of husband I was looking for. – The song “Gaston” from Beauty and the Beast just started playing on my Spotify playlist…. Coincidence? – With time I grew tired of measuring and eagerly looked forward to the day when I had found him and my life could finally settled down. When I then found the guy, and especially after he asked me to marry him, my mere excitement was coupled with insatiable impatience to finally be wed.

A popular question after the wedding has been “How’s being married?”. Well it so happens that I’ve been thinking about it a bit lately so I’ll sketch it out for you in this post. (more…)

Introducing Marcus

Hey! I’d really like for you to meet my husband Marcus. So let’s make it happen!

When you meet Marcus, the very first thing you’ll notice (apart from his astonishingly good looks) is how incredibly friendly and easy-going he is. After shaking your hand he’ll instantly strike up an easy conversation, asking how you are and how you’re liking your day. If you ask about his hobbies, interests or simply what he does (be warned) the conversation will immediately turn to business. (more…)