Marriage has no guarantees. If that’s what you’re looking for, go live with a car battery. – Erma Bombeck
I remember the exact moment I felt safe and deeply in love with my husband. I had been in labor for 34 hours (yep 34, count ’em) with my darling Megan Elizabeth. I was exhausted, Roger was exhausted, my back was killing me, my contractions were coming every 1.5 minutes but I was so tired between them that I fell into a deep sleep. As the next contraction progressed, I looked up fearfully and told the nurse that I had to push. She looked at me like I was crazy, that there was no way I was ready because it had only been an hour since they broke my water. Roger looked at the nurse and said, “Just check her, she’s exhausted.” So the nurse begrudgingly did, and wonder of wonders I was dilated t0 10 centimeters and Meg was crowning. The nurse, my mom and Roger freaked out! The doctor wasn’t even in the hospital yet, because she’d gone to lunch or the gym or something. Hell I couldn’t focus I was having a baby and I just didn’t care! After my contraction I was about to fall asleep again, I looked at Roger and said, “Are you proud of me?” And he said, “More than you will ever know”. Right then and there, in all that chaos, with my mom crying, the nurse screaming for an intern into the intercom, and Roger holding my hand, I felt peace and love envelop me.
I was so young when Roger and I got married. I was 21 and he was 31. He was ready for a baby, I wasn’t sure. But I knew that because he was older than me, we’d better get to steppin’. Plus I love babies. Always have, and I always will. There’s nothing like the sweet smell of a newborn baby’s head. I think it’s one step away from Heaven….. But that’s fodder for another post…..
What I really want to talk about is marriage. First of all we’ve got to love our partner. I do, as you can tell by my story above. But it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. I’ve had times where I’ve wanted to leave, where I’ve wanted to be free. Be my own woman, and stand on my own two feet. I’m sure there’s been times when Roger has wanted to push me out the door and tell me not to let it hit me in the ass on my way out.
We’ve been through a lot, he and I. I’ve been kind of a disaster during our marriage. He’s not been the best at communication. And when he gets mad at me it still scares me shitless.
We both turned to food when we were sad instead of turning to each other. We got really fat. We were the happy, jolly fat couple that everyone has in their circle of friends. Unfortunately we weren’t happy. At least I wasn’t. And because I wasn’t, he wasn’t. Then I started drinking. I was sad over my lost youth, my children not needing me as much, my husband not being interested in me. I didn’t seem to understand that Roger was going through the same damn thing! How shitty of me not to notice his pain.
Then last March Roger said he was going to change his life. He was going to get healthy. He wanted me to do it too. I told him I would but I didn’t know if I could. We went on a regimented diet, started walking and getting active. I’m not saying getting healthy hasn’t put more obstacles in our way. I came home from a friends about 4 months ago and told Roger I didn’t know if I wanted to be married anymore. He was devastated. I was devastated too. But instead of him crying and being sad about me wanting to leave, he asked me how much my take home pay was. He wanted to make sure that I could live on my own. Here I am, breaking the man’s heart and he’s thinking about me and how I will live. The man has the biggest heart and I was breaking it. God I felt like shit!
Since we’ve gotten healthy and changed our lives for the better, we’ve gotten happier, talk a lot more, and really care for one another. I’m in therapy, AGAIN! But hey if it helps, then I’ll keep going. I know that as I write this some of our friends don’t understand our relationship. We don’t cling to each other like a lot of couples do. We give each other wings, but we make sure to come back together, share our lives, our happiness, fears, sadness. We get each other. We had a great conversation last night about it. We’ve decided we need to be passionate about each other again, and we are. I LOVE when he looks at me across a room, winks at me and shares a secret grin. I LOVE IT.
Would I get married to Roger if I had to do it all again? Yes, but I would have waited a few more years till I did. I know he is the right man for me. Of course if I waited any longer to be with him, I wouldn’t have my Megan and Adam…. Roger is my center, my moral compass, my barometer, my lover, my friend, my confidant, and my biggest supporter. He is my everything…
And to those couples just starting down this path, first off I’d say live together first. Second I’d say don’t get married UNTIL every couple can get married. I’m all for marriage equality! Thirdly, you better have something to talk about, because the passionate fires die down. I’m not saying that sex dies. It doesn’t if you work at it. What’s cool about it is it reawakens at just the right time… And fourth, communicate, communicate, communicate, communicate, and COMMUNICATE!!!!!