Celebrating my Anniversary - 13 Years of Marriage

In the next week, my husband and I will celebrate thirteen years of marriage. I don't feel like it's been an especially long time, but it hasn't been short either. When I think about us both at age twenty-three on our wedding day, and now, I realize that together we have achieved a lot, and overcome a lot, and we have built a household that thrives on laughter and uncontrived happiness.

We've been married thirteen years, but he'd known me for almost 7 years before he contracted himself to me by law (I was 16 when he met me). He knew what he was getting into on our wedding day. The day we got married, I was literally an illegal immigrant in this country, unable to work and no longer eligible for school. As if that already doesn't sound like a great bet to take, he knew everything else too - that I can be an exhibitionist, that I am mischievous as hell, crass, a bad cook and a worse driver. He knew my neatness bordered on pathological, that I was both rebellious and ambitious, stubborn and determined, driven toward what I wanted but not duty bound. He knew I was marrying him because I wanted to and not for any other reason, and that I would have done so at any cost. And in all of this, in thirteen years since then, he has not tried to change me. He has not tried to tame me, make me settle down, shame me into being more refined, or make me feel bad about my imperfections. He has let me be myself, and that is the rarest and greatest part of any good relationship. I have thrived in this.

If anything, he's probably happy as hell I've stayed employed and out of jail!

That is not to say there haven't been times when I've seen horror on his face at my behavior. During Thanksgiving of 2016, the last full family meal we had while my dad was still alive, I was talking to my sister across the table and it was loud. I was having to raise my voice fairly loud to be heard and just when I started saying something really vulgar and distasteful, the table went silent. My husband and my dad looked at one another. My dad said, "She's your problem now!" And my husband just shook his head at me, half amused.

We have had our lows, the primary one being our experience with my infertility. There are so many components to dealing with infertility. My feelings of being a failure at being a woman. The mutual rising and falling of our hope. The medical visits. And nothing will put you less in the mood than a sex schedule. For years this was the background noise of our busy lives, but rather than turn to heartache, we built a happy life around it. We built new dreams, found peace, and in the years since we live without regrets or bitterness - we cherish the different turns that our lives have taken instead.

He and I are polar opposite people. Type A versus type B. He will go out of his way to avoid a scene, I "like to watch the world burn" a little. He reflective, sensitive, thoughtful, and kind in every way, and when I put it that way, I wonder what the hell he sees in me.

I married a truly good man, a truly kind man, a man that everyday makes me proud of him - possibly the best human on the earth. The world may deem me unworthy, but he disagrees with that. Even dear friends sometimes give me a nudge of disapproval, but all my husband gives me is his support. On the rare occasion I see fit to ask his consent to do something he will say, "Why are you asking my permission?" Marriage can be a confinement to some - the old ball and chain, etc - but mine is freedom. Freedom to love and be who we are individually, bringing our daily 100% to the table to build a happy life.

And at the end of the day, maybe that is what makes it work. We live in the day to day, secure but without any chains, supporting without conforming. To some extent he views me as his wild rebellious teenage romance that is taking him into middle age, and I still watch him out of the corner of my eye to catch him laugh and the brightness of his eyes. We are not perfect, and nothing about our marriage is especially traditional, but we live on the terms that make us happy.

So this week I am celebrating the good man that I was wise enough to say yes to and the happily imperfect, unconventional, weird, and hilarious life that we have together!

Comments

  1. Congrats to you both!

    Too cliche to say opposites attract?

    But what I know of both of you: You both compliment each other!

    ReplyDelete

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