This is going to be combination post. You see, this is not only Thanksgiving week, but today is my Anniversary. My husband and I were married 11 years ago today, November 22nd. 11 Years. Wow. And I want to tell you how that came about.
My husband and I met when we were kids. Well, I was a kid. He was this weird teenage boy in the background that his sister and I ignored. Boys? YUCK!
Fast forward ten years. We meet again. He’s CUTE! Tall, dark, handsome, with a little bit of bad-boy, and a whole lot of charm. I fell in love. Hard. Fast. Permanently.
We dated off and on for over ten years. When we weren’t dating, we were friends. Best friends. And, yes, now that we’re married all of those secrets we shared as friends can sometimes be Too Much Information. Lol. But, in a way, that same sharing in friendship is the ONLY reason we’re married. And that is the story behind the story.
We’ve both been in other relationships, of course. But in those ten years of off-an-on some of those other people weren’t just “Other People.” They were Bad People. Some times bad for us, sometimes just bad period. In my case, they were both. See, I’m not the best judge of character when it comes to men. A couple of them (okay, most of them) were mean to me. Not physically, because that I could have walked away from. No, they were emotionally and mentally abusive. Those types are more insidious. They sneak up on you. At first, you say, “He’s just having a bad day.” Then, you start to believe him sometimes when he says, “It’s your fault that I’m mad.” Then, you believe you just don’t deserve anything better. Then, you don’t believe you deserve anything at all.
If you’re lucky, you get out. I was lucky.
Then, I hit the jackpot. The Million Dollar, Once In A Lifetime, Jackpot. My husband asked me out. We dated. He fell in love with me again. I had never fallen OUT of love with him. I had just repressed it to get on with my life. When he asked me to marry him, I said “YES” and rushed him to the alter before he could change his mind.
But, there were still problems. My problems that became his problems. Those past relationships, the ones I mentioned above, well, they left scars. Not healed little white scars you have to look for to find. In fact, they weren’t really even scars. They were more like gaping, bloody, infected wounds that I had covered with band-aids and hoped would go away. They didn’t.
J. got to play doctor (and not the fun kind of “doctor” game girls and boys play). He got to deal with all of those trust issues, and incompetency feelings, and depressive withdrawal from him. Our first — and worst — fight was over Christmas lights. Seriously, it was over Christmas lights. He asked me what kind I wanted to buy for the house. Icicle lights or colored lights or just plain white string lights? I said I didn’t care. HE said (and I can still remember it to this day), “I asked you. When I ask for your opinion on something I. Want. Your. Opinion. I do NOT want to hear ‘I don’t care.’ Do you understand me.” And, no, that last was NOT a question. All of this was said in a tone of voice barely above a whisper, so no one else in Wally World heard him. And that made it even more . . . impressive.
And that friendship I told you helped? Well, see, I had watched him go through other relationships, also. Not only did I know what HE had been through, I had seen how he reacted to THEIR behavior. I KNEW I could trust him. Not an I-know-in-my-heart-I-can-trust-him type of trust. I knew because I had SEEN him go through the worst and I had SEEN how he reacted. I had proof. I trusted because he had already proved I could trust him.
He saved me. He saved me from myself. He saved me from my past. He saved me from my wounds. I had loved him for years, I love him now, and I will love him forever. He is my savior, my heart, my soul-mate, and my world. Unless you have that, you can’t understand that kind of love.
It’s an old-fashioned, all-the-way-to-the-bone love. If (God Forbid!) I lost him tomorrow, a very large part of me would die. I know that. When I even think about things like that, I feel part of my heart and part of my soul shrink backward in fear. This is the fairy tale love that I believed in as a little girl and scoffed at as an young adult. Real Love Does Exist. I found it.
He’s not perfect. He snores. He gets cranky. He snores. He misunderstands me sometimes. He snores. He drives like an old man sometimes — sloooooowly. And, did I mention he snores? He’s not perfect. But he is Perfect For Me.
He is a wonderful husband. He’s an unbelievably good father. He helps me clean house. He vacuums and mops because it hurts my back. He works long hours to make enough money to take care of me and the kids. He is patient. He is kind. He has a great sense of humor. He is a gentleman.
I don’t deserve him. I never have, and I never will. I treat him badly sometimes. But he makes me strive to be better, to be more deserving of him.
He is Mine. And I give Thanks to God Every Day for my husband.
I Love You, J. More than you know, more than you can imagine, and more than I ever thought I was capable of. Happy Anniversary, Honey. Eleven years……and hopefully, another fifty or sixty.