Being married is an eye-opening experience.
And not just because I was naive and an ingenue.
I've always been of romantic mind. What girl doesn't dream of her prince riding up and sweeping her away and she lives happily ever after with stars in her eyes?
That lasted until the next morning when it was pouring down rain and he was wondering if he really could take care of me like he promised and I was worried about him because he was worried.
We coasted along the first five years learning each other's quirks and preferences. Arguments were polite: "...but sweetie, that's not what I want to do."
The next five years found us a little more comfortable with each other. "Sometimes I don't like you, but I love you..."
The next five years, I thought I might be able to relax a little, I knew him inside and out, I'd grown up a little; now I could settle back and just enjoy being married.
The rules changed. Fifteen years later, DH lets me know that all these years, he's been elevating me as his queen, and not really saying how he really feels.
He's changed. I've changed.
We aren't the young, naive kids we were. We've grown up, gotten knocked around by life, grown up and matured a bit. Perceptions about a lot of things have shifted.
The man I'm married to today isn't as quick to let things "roll off". Frankly, neither am I. I've become much more independent and less of a "clinging vine". He has strong opinions and I can match that strength with the opposite viewpoint.
It was time to scrap what we had.
Next question...walk away? I mean, this was hard. We weren't the same people we had married in the beginning. If life was going to be this full of sparks, flying this often, I wasn't sure I was up to this for another 30 or more years.
For better or for worse, in sickness and in health...
People break promises everyday.
But I couldn't.
Besides, what kind of friend drops a friend when times are tough and they don't like them or agree with them anymore?
Also, we had experienced one of the biggest miracles that could ever happen to us. We created a child. I feel so strongly that our girl would benefit from both of her parents raising her, that I just couldn't leave--and I didn't want him to leave either.
I would think back over our history. How we met. How in love we were. I longed and prayed for that again. I prayed a lot during the past five years. I couldn't imagine that God would lead me to this man then allow me to be miserable for the rest of my marriage. (Much of the misery is probably due to our own making, I admit)
We've been through a lot. Ups. Downs. Mistakes. Victories. Life.
As I look back over the past 22(!) years we've been married, I'm filled with gratefulness. Gratefulness for a man who is consistent. He knows what he believes and stands by his convictions. He loves me steadily, through good, bad and ugly. He loves me well and although sometimes his love is clumsy, I can trust him. He is a fine man, gallant, courteous, protective.
He is my husband.