Thursday, March 08, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #68

A Year of Gratitude #68: A Strong Marriage

Our wedding: July 8, 2006

When I was in my early 20s, I was living with my ex. He and I started dating when I turned 15 and dated for ten years before we got married. In those ten years, I grew and changed, he grew and changed, and the whole time we stayed together because we had been together for so long. I'll call it what it really was, convenience. 

He and I were kids, put simply. We never should have gotten married, and never should have stayed together for as long as we did. I vividly remember trying to break up with him quite a few times, and for whatever reason, he wouldn't "allow" it. So we stayed together. We were as different as two people can be.

I was overly outgoing and he was incredibly shy. I loved to go out and go dancing and go to parties, while he preferred staying home and watching movies. He loathed dancing and refused to go to a dance club. When you're just turning 21, you WANT to go out... you FINALLY can!! I went to college and he did not. I think this might have been the BIGGEST difference between us.

So anyway, when I was working for my Uncle Daryl at the "foot doctor's office" (Steve that was purposely done for you), I remember having a conversation with some of the ladies (including my fabulous Aunt Margie) about how things change when you get married. I begged to differ. How much more different could it get?? I mean I was already living with him and felt committed... nothing would change.

When we got married, it honestly didn't feel like anything had changed. In fact, it seemed EXACTLY the same. And I guess, that should have been the biggest red flag that something was wrong... because marriage IS different.

Obviously, the rest of that story ends with a divorce... but when I met Steve, it WAS different. It was different in so many ways, and on so many levels. It was almost like the prior relationship-marriage was me as a kid, and with Steve, I had grown into an adult.

So when I was thinking about how we've been together for eight years already, it made me really grateful that I have him in my life, but also that we have such a solid relationship. 

I value our marriage and the openness that we share. I am grateful that when I want to talk about something with him he listens and we talk it out. While our marriage isn't perfect, it's close. I've never known anyone who understands me like Steve does. He can read my cues, whether I mean to send them or not, and he knows just what to say and do to let me know he cares.

I'm grateful to have someone who is ALWAYS in my corner and is my biggest fan. I have a marriage that I'm proud of, and one that many people can only dream about. 

I thank God for allowing me the opportunity to marry my ex... and for going through that starter marriage. While statistically, being divorced makes any consecutive marriage at a higher risk for failure, I feel like it prepared me for Steve. It showed me what matters, what's important, and most importantly, what NOT to do.

I'm grateful for my husband, my son, and my marriage being stronger than ever before.


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