Good Morning ! It's my anniversary! My 9th anniversary! I've been married 4 times, but this is the first to go beyond 4 years. Now many people feel that "if it doesn't work out the first time, I'm not doing it again!" To me, that's a sad philosophy. What if you had taken that attitude about reading? Or riding a bike? Or driving a car..? These everyday things are much less important than a lifetime commitment and a person to share EVERTHING with. Well, ok, maybe not less than some of them, but equally as important.
If I had taken that stand, I wouldn't be the person I am today, and I pretty much like me :) From each of the relationships I've had, I learned something - actually many things. and I'm sure that if you consider your past relationships in an objective light, you'll see that you have, too. I didn't always like the lessons, and they weren't always kind.
My first husband was controlling and abusive, I was 17 when we married, and I allowed him to be those things. I can't say I didn't know better, I did. The thing is, with this type of man, they have the ability to be every bit as kind, loving and sweet as they are hateful, nasty and mean. They apologize with (I think) false sincerity in their eyes, and we (women in this situation) want so badly to believe it can be good all the time, that we buy it. Over & over. IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! I just took a while to figure that out, as well as how to do something about it... I did figure it out, and I left, I felt it was more important for my children NOT to see their mother abused than it was for them to have 2 full time parents, married to each other. I didn't want to teach my daughter that it was acceptable to be abused, and I didn't want to teach my son that it is ok to hurt people to get what you want. It was hard, I won't go into details here & now, I'm sure you've all heard similar stories.
My second husband ...well, that's kinda an odd thing. I'm not sure why we ever married. We really didn't have much in common. The night I tried to explain to him how my mind worked, that I thought in several "layers" at one time, and he told me (with all sincerity, I believe) that I was insane, was the night I decided it was over. It was also the night he threw a lamp at me...the first sign of violence. Again, I left.
My third husband, well, my third husband was a LEO. For anyone who knows, that should sum it up *grin*. He wasn't abusive...although if I hadn't become the person I was at that time, willing to fight back toe to toe...he would have been. (He always thought he could take me in a fight, and he never could.) You see, he had a need to be the center of the universe, his problems were the only problems on the planet, his needs the only needs that should be fulfilled, his wants the top priority. But that was in HIS world, not OURS. His parents (whom I loved dearly) had fostered this. Although a middle child, he was treated as if he were the baby of the family, always getting what he wanted when he wanted it. They also had a philosophy about children I disagreed with - if one gets something, they all get something. On birthdays, EVERYBODY got gifts, not just the person celebrating. The world doesn't work that way, and I think that's why he had a lot of the opinions/attitudes he had. He also had a tendency to "wander", if you know what I mean. But thanks to that, I met my best friend (heh, I typed fiend there...). I stuck it out as long as I could, but when I walked into a bar to find him with another woman, I was done. He wanted to "talk about it in the morning"....By the time morning came I was in another state (with his gins and leathers, by the way - hateful bi*ch, ain't I..*eg*).
Then there was Mark. He wasn't my typical "type". He was clean cut, handsome, soft-spoken, and LARGE (he's about 6'1' or so). He had a job, which he had had for a while. He had a house. He was kind. He slept in the same bed with me TWICE and all we did was snuggle...
Right after I met him, my mother died unexpectedly, and shortly thereafter, one of my friend's had her 2 year old daughter murdered by her boyfriend. My life got a little weird for a while, and we lost touch. When he finally once again entered my sphere of awareness, I was hooked. We spent a weekend in Evansville, visiting my sister & her family, and that night, we did more than snuggle *BIG grin* From that point on, with a few minor bumps at the very beginning, we were US. We got married on April 16, 1999. We were going to go to the courthouse in cut-offs & tank tops ( we had both done the whole dress-up and spend lots of money thing, only to have the relationships fail), but the weather interfered, so we wore holey jeans & leather jackets. I've never regretted it, not once, not for a second. He's not perfect - neither am I - but he's perfect for me!
I have a good life. It's not all sunshine and singing, but I have a caring, considerate, intelligent, respectful husband I can have discussions with. We do disagree, but usually in a normal tone of voice (no mistake, we have had some doosey fights, but not recently). I listen to his opinion, he listens to mine, then we come to a compromise we can live with. I don't always LIKE it, neither does he, but we can live with it. He remembers birthdays, anniversaries, etc. (I'm fairly certain there will be a dozen white roses waiting for me at work). He notices the clean house I spent all day on, as well as actually occasionally thanking me for things like laundry.
He also does housework (he's actually better at it than me), including cooking and dishes, running the vacuum. He doesn't do laundry, or grocery shopping, but I'm not greedy :) Our life isn't perfect, but nobody's is, and from what I see, it's better than the relationships of most of the people we know.
We have a beautiful, intelligent, (usually) sweet (monster) boy. He can be maddeningly frustrating at times, but then can't all children? I wouldn't trade him for the world, nor the man who fathered him after so many disappointments in that area (another story).
If I had given up, 'cuz it "didn't work the first time" I wouldn't have any of these things. But I didn't GIVE UP, and I am eternally grateful for that.
Happy Anniversary to me!
*Added 04/18/08* BTW, I did get my flowers - here they are!