When I was 15 I remember someone asking me what I hoped for in a husband. I said I wanted someone who would love me without conditions. I wanted to be with someone who would welcome and encourage my personal growth, and would be okay with my transformations. I wanted someone who would continually challenge me to be my best self and wouldn’t hinder me from evolving- perhaps into someone different than the person he married (albeit as long as that evolution did not involve me living in a halfway house smoking crack).
At 23 years old I met this man. Four months later we were engaged- hey he was 38 years old, his shelf life was very near his expiration date and he knew he had to finally make a move. Of course we didn’t get married right away- we shacked up in sin for a little over a year- of course only after he “put a ring on it”. My mother called him a Svengali– but always a lover of older men I was smitten. He was ready to share his life with me, on every level- and being with him felt like home.
That is not to say these past 20 years have been without several lamps being hurled, a few nights spent on a couch, and yes even a few times the D word has been uttered. But somehow- each time I felt on the brink and ready to dissolve our partnership, something about this man pulled me back in.
Really how can one quantify all the reasons we love the person we stay married to. I guess for me it’s his resolve to love me with abandon- to stick with me, when I can barely stand myself, to honor those vows we took 17 years ago- despite the days when it seems like it would be so much easier to just quit. And of course I think what really keeps me tethered to this man is that he is my best friend- and I could sit in a cardboard box with him (or four hours of traffic) and even after 17 years we still find some way to laugh and connect.
Happy ALMOST 58th birthday to this man I am blessed to call my husband- I love you with everything I have.