He has been contractually obligated to love me for 19 years. And I him.
Half my life. My entire adulthood tied up in another person. And his in me.
There are times past and will be times future when duty must override feeling. The selfish whims, the natural drift, the impulse to escape and countless other sleep-deprived, frustrated, overwhelmed miseries life inevitably brings. We hash out problems and overcome obstacles and treat each other well because we must. Because there is no other option we’ll consider.
Which is more romantic than it sounds.
Although we are tethered by both legal documents and sacred vows, these are not what keeps us together in the long run. It’s the things we choose to share. The jokes, the plans, the goals, the memories, the passions, the understandings, even the troubles.
I’m my own person. He’s his own person. But there’s an overlap, an US, that makes life so much more than it would be otherwise.
He’s different from the man I married at 19. God knows, I’m different than the optimistic kid he married. Somehow we’ve managed to grow and change ourselves without compromising US. People ask us about it – what’s the secret to a long, happy marriage – and I’m never sure of an answer. Maybe there isn’t just one. There’s no magical compatibility like in the movies. There’s no process or technique that guarantees success. There’s just two human beings doing the best they can, and praying it’s enough.
We date. We talk. We fight. We hide under the covers and wish the morning away. We debate. We make love. We tease. We laugh. A lot.
At first we “fell” in love and it was easy. Then we “vowed” to love forever and it was expensive. Now we “live” our love every single day and it is the best and hardest thing to do.
I have been in love with him for 19 years. And he with me.
The best part of my life is OUR life.
So here’s us.