Sometimes I can hardly believe it. Every day I get to wake up and be with you. I get to spend my days with someone who wants to actually be with me. A best friend that I’m also attracted to. Someone who laughs with me at the dumb shared private jokes we tell back and forth. Who knows things about me that I don’t remember telling you.
Sometimes I have a hard time really accepting that after everything that has happened. After all the heartbreak and the struggle. After the poor times, the abuse, the heartache… that I’ve finally gotten what I wanted out of life.
It wasn’t as easy as the movies made it out to be. That’s for damn sure. Decades of sobbing, sleepless nights, feeling like I was going to vomit because I had no idea what was coming next, let alone how I’d weather it.
It wasn’t easy at all. But it happened. And for a long while, I didn’t think it would.
I can remember watching my parents when I was growing up. They were comfortable with one another. Had their routines. But they never seemed to like each other, not really. In fact, there were many moments when they seemed to despise one another. They found one another extremely annoying, more often than not.
They were visibly unhappy most of the time. And yet they stayed together. Even after we children grew up and moved out.
I saw them growing up, and I can remember saying to myself, “I do not want a marriage like this. I do not want a life like this.”
And in making that promise to myself, I envisioned a life alone. On my own. I was wrong… twice, actually. I was married once before. It wasn’t right. I could feel us drifting into those same patterns my parents were in, where we were less like friends, lovers, and partners — and more like roommates who tolerated one another because we didn’t want things to change.
Sometimes I think back on that marriage, and I’m glad that things got even worse, to the point where it had to end. Because if they didn’t, I could see myself following in my parents’ footsteps, staying in something that didn’t make either person really happy.
But it did get worse. The divorce was painful but worth it. Because now I have you. And we have our life. Where we’re married and actually like one another.
I remember when we first got together. A lot of people said, “Give it time. You’ll come to feel the same way after a couple of years. You don’t get to be with someone you actively like for very long.” But here we are a decade later — and I like you more than ever.
I did not want to be married to someone I didn’t like. Thankfully, I don’t have to be.