Today marks 9-years of marriage for my husband and I. And if that amount of time doesn’t make your eye twitch, in July it will be 15-years from when we first started dating.
That’s almost half my life.
When I was 19, this man drove up in an 80’s blue CJ5. I was working over college break for the town’s Parks ‘n Rec department. That summer I was busy doing my thing, parties, beach, overall just having fun and not looking for love. I was happy just being me (probably for the first time in my life). And then he showed up. He came around a few times (to “visit his brother”) and we eventually got to know each other.
He asked questions in a way boys my age didn’t ask. The short of it? He was real.
I’d like to say that the rest was history but this isn’t a fairy tale. The real life things never are. Our whole first year together was nothing but arguments. Friends would even question why we were still together. I couldn’t explain it but I knew they wouldn’t understand anyway.
Basically, we were getting all our crap out on the table – right out of the gate.
We didn’t waste time showing each other who we were and what was important to us. Including, what was non-negotiable and thus, a deal breaker. We argued passionately over minimal things. These things we would never bicker about now but at the time, these arguments had to take place. They were turning points in our relationship where we didn’t have map.
I remember feeling the pressure of these crossroads and knowing that how I responded would dictate the rest of our lives together.
I always chose the path that was truest to myself and the life I wanted. And I was fortunate to find someone who did the same. Our crossroads were NEVER easy but they allowed us to sort through what we wanted out of life (and each other) and grow closer. Let me tell you, we’ve had throw-down arguments that ended with me running my frustrations out in the rain and him… driving behind me with the flashers on.
No question. THAT is love.
Last night, we were talking about our coming anniversary and we couldn’t wrap our minds around how long we’ve been together.
“Um. 15 years? That’s a long time.”
“I know. How did that happen?”
“I have no idea.”
We laughed because we realized how fast it all happened and how it seems the only thing that’s been consistent for me is him. It’s one of those “between the eyes” jokes. It’s the raw truth. My passions run the full spectrum. I can’t help it. The learning curve thrills me. I enjoy researching new areas and changing how I view things by learning more about them.
Having a husband that understands this is the greatest gift.
I cannot express what it’s like having someone who not only understands the hell out of me but, allows me to fully be in my skin – no matter how I feel, think, or look that day. I found it’s so commonplace in my world that I have to remember not everyone has this.* I thought about this for a while.
The only consistent thing in my life is my husband. Theonlyconsistentthinginmylifeismyhusband.
I figured out, if the only consistent thing in my life has been my husband (and children), I am completely OK with it. Why wouldn’t I be? I may adore change. Change of interests, change of scenery, change of whatever keeps life interesting. My commitment to my husband should never change… otherwise who would I share all these experiences with? Who else would allow me to endlessly taunt him while he’s trying to go to sleep?
I have found that love IS all the gritty parts. It’s not in the glossy, sunshine photo with big, perfect smiles and perfect scenery.
Love is in the dirty trenches of life, throwing grenades alongside the person who wholeheartedly accepts every fiber of your being and then looks you in the eye and says, “you wanna throw this one or shall I?”
*If you are one of these people, don’t tell me it’s not out there for you – it is.
Photo taken while taking an impromptu walk on the beach with my honey… no idea who made it or placed it there but it was the symbol of our day together.