My week began in melancholy nostalgia. Monday was my mother’s birthday. She’s been gone for 10 years.
I miss her most when I want to share something funny or something beautiful with her.
She was my best friend during my childhood. She understood me, listened to me–the me I didn’t show to the rest of the world, the hopes and dreams behind my words. She truly saw me when most of my peers, and hers, did not.
My best friend now, the one who fully sees me, even when the world does not, is my husband, my Swain. He sees me even when I cannot. He reminds me about who I am when I forget. My beloved is not only IN my corner, he IS my corner when the world is too much for me. He listens to me even when I’m not listening to myself. He is my mirror when the one on the wall lies to me. I have only to look into his eyes to see the truth. It is always there. He is my compass and my light in the darkness, shelter from the storms. My true love.
Cliche much? Yeah, I know how I sound, how WE as a couple sound to you, to everyone. We’ve always known that most people simply won’t believe that our love is THAT love, that storybook love.
To quote William Goldman’s classic storybook, The Princess Bride, “Not one couple in a century has that chance, no matter what the storybooks say.”
And yet, here we are, and we ARE that couple. We may be cliche, and we may seem like a fairy tale. But we are deliriously in love–even after 20 years of mawwiage …er… marriage. We don’t fight either. We do disagree sometimes, even argue a point or two, but we keep it civil and don’t yell at each other. We always listen to each other. We listen to the person beyond the words. And we think before we speak, and then, speak to the problem at hand, not the past or unrelated petty extras.
Our love, our marriage, is built on a solid foundation of trust, honesty, fairness and clear, open communication with compassion, empathy, and respect for each other.
We began our relationship with an open discussion about how we each wanted to be in our relationship. We promised to always listen to each other and to think carefully before ever answering in anger. To look deeper anything that might be causing a given conflict between us. We discussed how we would behave in disagreement, in hurt, anger or pain. We each promised to be in relationship according to those personal and mutual ground rules.
The bigger picture of our love has always been more important than the smaller, selfish moments of ego or unrest. We’ve always known that we are stronger together.
There are plenty of challenges we’ve faced and there will be more, I’m certain, but we’ll face each one just as we always have–together.
“ But how can you be sure?”
“ This is true love-you think this happens every day?”
For us, in this marriage, it does happen every day. This long week that began in melancholy, for me, will end in bliss as my husband and I celebrate our 20 years of marriage. We’re living our own happily ever after, madly in love.