Friday, August 9, 2013

An open letter to my husband on our 5th anniversary

Dear Matt,

Holy moly. We made it through the better part of our 20s and we’re still here: childless, dual-income and together (on a wing and a prayer, baby).

We. Frickin’. Rock.

I’m so grateful for all the naive but ultimately life-altering decisions we’ve made since we met:
    2005, on our "first" date.
  • When I expressed my feelings for you right before graduation and you agreed that we should date long-distance; 
  • When you asked me to marry you on Flagstaff Hill (you were almost 23 and I was 21); 
  • When you suggested we go to couples’ counseling “as a precaution” (we were still there 4 years later); 
  • When I moved out of our shared apartment for a time out of fear that I would never get to live alone (and a host of other fears and wishes I’d been swallowing up); 
  • When we each decided to leave high-paying jobs to see what else was out there for us; 
  • And a number of other decisions, tiny and immense, that have defined our last 8 years together, 5 of them as a married couple. 
2008, during our first dance.
When I got married, I had absolutely no plan for how the being married part would go. Nobody tells you how weird being married gets. How, if you have not worked on yourself and confronted your demons, you may start confusing your partner for other people in your life: your brother, your father, that asshole that hurt you earlier on. That, at best, you will start taking out your latent aggression towards these other men on your partner. (At worst, you start to silently resent him for things he’s never or rarely done himself.)

All of this is to say, if you’re getting married young (and we did), and you are imperfect (and everyone is), it’s going to be a hard couple years (and it has been).

Hard, and worth it. I’m so proud of us for doing the work. I’m so proud we’ve been able to push each other to become stronger and happier and more alive. You inspire me, and I love you, and I love the life we are making together.

There’s more work to be done. All our work is never over, but the road is before us and we’re in it together. In the words of the Whitman poem that my aunt Kathy read during our ceremony:

Camerado, I give you my hand! 
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?


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