Today, I’ve been married to this man I love with my whole heart for 17 years. 22 years ago, I asked him to our homecoming dance; we’d already known one another for 3 years. 25 years is a long time to know a person. It’s the longest any man has ever played a steady role in my life.
When we met, I had no idea what happy looked like. I didn’t really know what it felt like, not in a relationship. Hell, not even individually, really. I had an idea about how it might feel, but I had no idea how to attain that. But, I had hope. I always had hope.
It wasn’t love at first sight, but there was something about him that shook me from the start. He gripped me – he saw me like no one else had. There was something between us that left me off-balance and scared, honestly scared. From the moment we began dating, I was afraid I’d lose him. Part of that was my own insecurities and trust issues, worry that I’d push him away, that I wasn’t worthy, or that he’d think I was too much or too broken and walk away. But the thing that left me most scared was that I knew he was trustworthy. I wanted to truly trust him, and that scared the shit out of me.
And here I sit, 22 years later, happy and content. Happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life. There are things I’m working on as an individual, but I’m happy, because I can. I’m at a place where I’m accepting of my whole person, or I’m trying to be. I can, because of this amazing man sitting next to me reading ESPN. I trust him with all that I am. Curled up under this blanket in front of a fire, leaning into him, I’m happy, with him. We’re happy. Content. Wildly and passionately in love. Free. Safe.
Now I know what it looks like. Now I know how it feels.
And it feels amazing.