My beloved and I commemorate 16 years of marriage today.
My relationship with my husband has always felt like the strangest combination of well-worn and brand-new. We’ve been together for over 20 years now (TWENTY YEARS!), but I still get butterflies sometimes when he pulls up the driveway. There is a matter-of-factness about our being together that feels infinitely safe and comfortable, but I’m still left with a feeling of disbelief that this can actually be my life. We know each other’s vocabulary and sense of humor and tics and habits, but I know that we’re both often surprised by how easily we fit together; how we’ll wordlessly pick up where the other leaves off, or how we’ll step in to fill a gap or lend support without the other having to ask for it, as if we’re energetically connected and can know, without consciously knowing, what the other needs.
We have managed, thus far, to move though some really difficult phases – the loss of jobs (both his and mine), family deaths, fears and uncertainties – but never have those difficult parts been about us. I know a lot of couples who find themselves looking out and away from each other when they’re feeling challenged or threatened, but we’ve never done that. There’s a sort of intrinsic knowing that, regardless of what happens to us, nothing can intrude on the promises we’ve made to each other. In the end, our marriage is what’s most important to both of us, and everything else – even the hard stuff – is secondary to the knowledge that we’ve got each other.
For all of that, I never take a moment of my life with this man for granted. Though I know that he’s there, unquestioning and unconditionally, I never take that knowledge lightly. I’m grateful, every day, that he chose me and I work, every day, to honor him with my own devotion, commitment, and love.