I could cry. I could sit down as I write and weep with gratitude.
My marriage is far from idyllic. My husband and I are two flawed people. Each of us has a ton of issues on our own that we have acquired through the course of our lives. And fourteen years ago today we decided to bring our brokenness together. For life.
Sometimes I wonder if there is a link between being in love and being insane.
He married a cheerleader. I only wore the uniform for a year in jr. high and a year in high school, but it’s more who I am than what I wear. I encourage. I cheer.
But something happened after we got married. All of the sudden, my husband became an extension of me. I think it’s pretty common. And while I cheered everyone else on, I picked myself apart. I focused on my imperfections and criticized. So I started to do that to him, too.
I didn’t mean to. I was just working out my issues. And unfortunately he paid the price. I don’t think he could have put into words what was happening, but I know he (and our marriage) felt the effects.
But he was patient with me. He hung in there with me. He gave me time. He gave me space. He gave me love. It didn’t always look pretty, but that was in fact what happened. He stayed with me.
And a few years ago, when I really broke down, there wasn’t much he could do to help me. But he gave me understanding and compassion. He gave me time and resources and support to get myself the help I needed.
And I am so humbled to have chosen him fourteen years ago when I was insane with being in love.
Don’t get me wrong; he’s had his own demons to fight along the way, too. No one is perfect. Happily ever after doesn’t exist.
But to have been given the gift of commitment is immense. A gift of an imperfect marriage that has space and room and freedom for each of us to grow and change. Together.
I still remember my wedding day. It could not have been better. I stood there in my beautiful white dress next to my handsome knight in shining armor with people saying, “Congratulations!” And I also remember saying, “Today is the easy part. Congratulate us 50 years from now. Then we will have done something special.”
Fourteen is a far cry from fifty, but we are making our way there. We are growing. We are changing. We are learning how to be a team. We are doing the impossible job of raising a family together.
And I can sit down and weep. Because the hard and the pain and the joy and the imperfect come together with love and commitment to make something so incredibly beautiful that I stand back and shed tear after tear after tear of gratitude for this man and all he has given me.