Anniversary Post Part 1

So, apparently it’s been 366 days since Andreas and I got married.  Like with everything else, it seems like it was a much shorter time ago…and much longer.  The past year has seen a series of highs and lows, and by the looks of things, the next year will be more difficult, if anything.

But despite all of the visa issues, the six big moves, two months spent apart, and more mood swings than I care to admit, we are more in love than we were a year ago.  I always thought that was just…something that people say, a cliché that you feel obliged to announce every few years, but suddenly, I get it.  I loved Andreas on our wedding day, as much as I could love him.  But now, after a year of tests, trials, and getting through them all together, I know that I can trust him to stand by me through times when almost nothing is easy.  I know we can find ways to comfort each other when things start to fall apart, and that while we wait for a home to call our own, wherever we are together is home for now.

Andreas and I had a long-distance relationship for almost three years, and people used to comment on how difficult that must be.  To tell the truth, it was difficult, but I wouldn’t say it was very difficult.  We both knew what we were holding out for, and since I was in school, I was so busy I hardly had time to miss Andreas.

The truth is that even though school was stressful, balancing classes, work, and a social life (yup, it’s true, I once had one of those!), the year after I graduated was far more stressful.   I am just so grateful that we could be together through everything, and so happy that we’ve learned even more about each other in the past year.  Andreas has witnessed me at my worst and still managed encouraging words.  I’ve learned how happy just doing small favors for someone else can make me.  We’ve learned together how important compromise is, and how to get through a thousand “we’ll see”s without losing all of our patience.

I wouldn’t wish an international relationship on anyone, really.  It’s been really difficult, scary at times, and the most frustrating thing I’ve dealt with.  However, I also know that the difficulties have made us more determined as a couple, and when we’ve gotten through them and finally get to be settled, we will appreciate it more and have a stronger relationship as a couple after everything we’ve been through together.

Even though we’re still in the middle of the up-hill road towards being a comfortably settled family, I try to remember that I have what I had wanted every day that we were apart.  I get to see Andreas at the end of every day, even if it is only a few hours after work before he has to go to bed.  I never sleep alone. As taxing as the waiting and guessing can be, I can always be sure that love is the one thing I’ll never be left waiting for.

This post is one of the most difficult things I’ve written, and is definitely not one of the best.  I’m finding it harder than I imagined to seek out the right words, the right phrases, to say everything I want to say without sounding too treacly.  I’ve learned so much in the past year, and despite many things being difficult, I’m glad I got to experience it, and wouldn’t want to do it with or for anyone but Andreas.  I know our challenging days are far from over, and I am just constantly grateful that I have Andreas to help me face them.

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9 thoughts on “Anniversary Post Part 1

  1. This post rings so true with me (coming from a similar situation as yourself). I too wouldn’t wish an international relationship on my worst enemy. My fiance and I met while studying abroad in Spain and unlike most of the other “Erasmus relationships” we survived and continued to be together while I returned to the U.S. to finish my bachelor’s and he returned to Brazil to start working. After a year of separation, we are now living together in Brazil and soon to be married. The move is a difficult one, becoming an expat is more difficult than people can imagine and while these international relationships are so, so trying mentally and emotionally, they’re so worth it in the end. Congrats on your year! Here’s to many more (sane and insane, ups and downs, happy and miserable) years abroad with your husband 🙂

    • Thanks so much, and I wish you all the luck in the world with your upcoming marriage, and just dealing with day-to-day expat life! I think anyone who moves to a foreign country needs a little extra support and love, and I think it’s neat that we can all connect through blogs and online and support each other from far away!

  2. What beautiful photos of your wedding. You both look so starry-eyed. I agree with you about how difficult yet how worth it an international relationship is. It’s HARD WORK. But so is any relationship, really…there’s always something. 🙂

    • 😀 There’s definitely always something. It’s just comforting to now that if we can get through this stressful time, we’re more prepared for the next one!

  3. Pingback: Long-Distance | An American Hermit Crab in Denmark

  4. I was very touched by your post. I’m also in a similar situation, I met my Danish boyfriend while I was studying abroad and we are one year into our long distance relationship. We still have a long road of complications ahead of us but it’s wonderful to see your relationship blossom into what I hope to have one day. 🙂

    • It’s always good to have a sneak-peek at the light at the end of the tunnel. And the years apart, and all the visa stuff, was totally, definitely worth it in the end (obviously). I hope you’re managing to get through the hard part okay!

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