Today marks the thirteenth year I’ve been married.
I am not the same girl I used to be. The one who thought dressing in a beautiful white gown and a borrowed veil meant an ending rather than a beginning. The girl who was walked down the aisle by her father at a small wedding thinking that the hardest work was over, now that she’d found her Prince Charming at last.
That girl was a bit of a fool. (And I say that in the kindest way possible.)
The hardest part in life is not finding your true love, although that can be pretty damn difficult. It’s choosing to remain in love once you have discovered that Prince Charming has faults, unwanted opinions, and bad habits. And knowing that he is realizing the same things about you.
During my thirteen years of marriage, I have argued, disagreed, and shouted at my husband. He has reciprocated in kind. There has been sex, and better than that there has been intimacy. There have been highs and lows and all sort of in betweens. There have been new houses and three children and career changes, everyone of them a fresh start.
I am not the same girl who got married thirteen years ago. Much of the shiny has been rubbed off me. I’ve grown up and I’ve learned things, most often the hard way. I’ve created life and I’ve watched death. And all those things change you. Change your marriage.
But there are things that do not change. The weight of his hand in mine continues to be what centers me, makes me feel safe. I can reach out in the middle of the night, in the dark, and reach him every time. Because he is always there, beside me, after everything that has happened.
Still, after thirteen years.