18 years ago I met my match at an office that was comprised of 98% women and, I’m not exaggerating, the 2% of the men there were gay or married – except for one of them. Needless to say, he was popular. After I got over my initial hesitancy (vanity) of being interested in a boy two years younger than me – I wanted to hang out with him too.
My past included two terribly heartbreaking relationships that took up the majority of my twenties and left me with a lot of doubt about my being able to ever land a husband. There was always hope due to an incredible set of parents who always had me believing I was the smartest, prettiest young lady on the planet who just intimidated lesser boys and a family that supported my moves from apartment to apartment, gig to gig insisting that I was always thisclose to making a huge impact on the world. There were also the two friends who didn’t have to love me like my family did – but seemed to anyway – and sealed it for me that I was worth loving.
Obviously, I was in the hunt for a husband when I met my husband and when I realized that I wanted him to be my husband (took me all the time it took to get to that first kiss) I chased him around that office while he insisted we be professional and keep our tryst secret. I then chased him across the country when he moved from the West Coast to the East Coast – I hurriedly and willingly left my amazing family and those two soulmate friends and then had the gall to tell my would-be husband that if he didn’t fill all those support beams that they had provided me, he was not a real man and would never be a man and that he would have to be happy knowing he left me a wispy/shell/ghost woman who was wrecked for life before her 30th birthday.
I was a desperate, rather relentless harpy – not what I would term as a ‘great catch.’ But for whatever reason, he chose to marry me.
And now, I look back at these 15 years and I wonder what was I thinking when I married him? To say I rushed into something (rather someone) that I had little idea of who they were is not an exaggeration. I never really thought of what kind of partner he would make or what kind of father. I never thought about ‘the hard times’ and how we might cope with lack of money or the loss of someone meaningful. I thought about the dress I was going to wear at our wedding and putting our china to use on our new dining table. I never thought if he would help with housework – which everyone who’s been to our house and sees my own housekeeping habits knows – I should have, or if he would support my pursuits in theater and writing. I never thought about his own ambitions and what kind of sacrifices that I may have to endure to see that he achieves them. I thought about the dog we brought home from the pound together and choosing what kennel would take care of him while we went to our destination wedding. Seriously, I’m not being self-deprecating – this is what I thought about when I contemplated my life with him.
Then, inevitably, life happened.
We’ve been through some great times: the births of our three children, the adoption of a second mutt, the adoption of a third and then a fourth mutt, buying our first and so far only house, having my parents come live with us, family weddings and soulmate friends becoming parents, watching our three kids make best friends and good choices, Randy Moss playing for our two teams – the Vikings and then the Patriots, Halloweens and Christmases, birthdays and accomplishments that were accompanied by a salary increase or a trophy, enough gloriously magical Disney vacations to ensure any one of our children has a fallback career as a thoroughly experienced Orlando area travel agent, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
We’ve gone through some uncertain times: the loss of an unborn baby girl, finding out I was pregnant seven weeks after giving birth to our eldest, the process of getting a spectrum diagnosis for one of our three children, the loss of that first beloved dog, the house never really having a full complement of working plumbing, having my parents come live with us, being far from family and friends when they too go through losses, employment drama or the lack of employment period, holidays on our own, Gary Anderson missing that kick, Disney switching their fastpass system, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
And there is a lot to do as a husband or wife when life happens to you. You read all the advice about what works to make a good marriage or how to work at being good partners but I look back at these 15 years and all that advice does not in the slightest apply to me. I simply lucked into the best marriage I know of and none of it looks or feels like work.
I say this after living through this last year of incredible uncertainty and sometimes seemingly unsurmountable sadness and fear. And I say this looking to the future and only having faith that at some point it will end but not knowing if this is just the beginning of the turmoil or if it’s perhaps blessedly close to the end. And I look for comfort. I read blogs about my energy and attitude and how it effects my outcomes. I focus on making my children happy so they don’t have to worry about grown-up things that they shouldn’t have to yet. I put on a brave face (mostly) in public and on Facebook and I stay positive that the same God who brought me everything good in my life will continue to bring me blessings as long as I stay good too.
But what I find the most comfort in is the person who has made all of that faith real to me. If I doubt the universe – I never doubt my husband loves me. And that is the greatest gift I could ever imagine. And I have it! I get to own it. And, I try to be worthy of his love, so I don’t walk around feeling guilty that I’m luckier than any other person alive, and that makes me a better person.
If that isn’t what a relationship is supposed to do for you, then I don’t know why The Universe made us so interested in relating to one another.