He is not my knight and shining armor.
He is not my prince charming.
He is not even my best friend.
He's not hearts and flowers and rainbows.
He's not my captor or my savior.
He is not my everything.
He isn't candy hearts and sweet nothings in my ear.
He is most definetly not my yes husband.
He isn't my better half or a fix to any daddy issues I might have.
But he is... my truth.
When I was a young woman trying to find who I was, he could see me. I mean honestly, truly see me. The hidden pieces, the secrets, the madness in my mind. He could see who I was pretending to be and who I was hiding. He could see me struggling to be what everyone else wanted while loosing myself in the process.
He could see me before I knew me.
And he loved me.
He looked at me and spoke softly, "I see who you are and who you could be. I love all of you. I love the light and the dark in you. If you never change, I will continue to love you. Either way, I am in."
I am starting to think I might feel lost my whole life. Looking and searching and rediscovering and redefining myself. I often feel adrift and wandering. I wonder if I will ever find my center, or peace in the process. My dreams shift and change and my passions are vast and wide. I carry the same struggles, never really letting go, always dragging my baggage a little behind me. I also live as a kid in a candy store, wanting all the things, loving all the things, wanting to try all the things. All the dreams, all the projects, all the ideas, all the music, all the art, all the books. It is impossibly hard to live with me.
He is the truth who keeps me grounded. He is the truth that speaks into my madness when I have lost my way. He is the truth that calls bull crap when I start to pretend to gain acceptance again. When I throw excuses at him, or try to lie, he calls me out and brings me back.
When I am lost or confused or stuck in unhealthy patterns, he is my true north.
He sees my brokenness and says, I love you.
He is in the thick of it with me when my weaknesses take the strength out of our life and says, I still have patience.
When I have given up on myself, he says, I'm not done believing in you.
When I pull the blanket over my head and want to stay in bed all day, he climbs in and says, I feel it too, but we are at least in this together.
We don't see each other as the polished and fancy versions that can be captured in photos and tag lines. We aren't sugar and spice and everything is perfect and nice people. We're kind of gritty, dirty, sarcastic, reality folks. The kind that can own our vast disfunction and say, Hey, we're doing the best we can.
Our version of romance looks like having the perfect way to snuggle on the couch so we can be touching from head to toe, but he can still reach his scotch on the table.
It looks like him scratching my back every night because he knows, HE KNOWS me and how it relaxes me and is my favorite thing at the end of the day.
It looks like him showing up every night to his family because he chooses us again every day.
It looks like each of us having "going out time with friends", because we both understand that we can't be everything to each other. We still need our tribe of individual and independent friendships.
Romance for us looks like hard truths, commitment, and even when we are excruciatingly annoyed with each other, which we can be often, it still says, "I don't like you right now, but I still choose you."
That is my truth.
He is my partner. He is my champion. He is my biggest advocate. He is my wise council. He is my listening ear. He is the one I have vowed to create a life with. To be together and create family together. He is the one I come home to, no matter where I have been. No matter how long I have been gone, he is my home.
He also doesn't understand all of me, but accepts me all the same. He knows on a very real level that I will always live in a bit of madness. That my issues at this point might never be overcome.
And yet... And yet... he stays. He loves. He gives me truth. He gives me home. He gives me space to be me and wrestle with myself. He doesn't give up.
We have this intense partnership that involves honest conversations, hard truths, accountability and lots of passion. We love big and we fight big. We don't agree on much and have very different opinions about things. Our marriage is a meeting of two driven, powerfully spirited people with lots of thoughts, deep emotions, and a million ideas. This was never a "you complete me" kind of thing. It's more a "Wow I think you are incredible and I would like to know you and love you for the entirety of my life" kind of thing. A choice to stay and build on the life and love we had when we started out.
We are what I like to call "full folks". We are full of it. All of it. All the time. Drive. Passion. Commitment. Ideas. Love. Anger. Wonder. Fear. Regret. Hope. We got it all.
Both of us. It's a very full relationship over here.
Much of our life feels steeped in a battle. We fight for peace in our neighborhood. We fight for open communication and healthy relationships with our children. We fight for our marriage. We battle for contentment while pushing hard towards dreams. We battle to find truth in politics, art, religion and culture. We battle to be true to ourselves and to each other.
Which is why him being my true north, my steadfast one, is the best version of romance I can come by.
So to my sweet and opinionated and passionate husband, I love you. Thank you for choosing me. Every. Day.
Happy 14th Anniversary.