I can't believe that 6 months ago, I was eating breakfast and preparing for my wedding ceremony at this time. I actually feel like a lot more time has passed then 6 months (is that bad?) :).
Growing up, my parents did not have the happiest of marriages. I truly think that my mom and dad were among the couples who got married for the wrong reason. My dad told me a few times the first time I was engaged that I needed to make sure I knew the person I was marrying. I think, he felt that he didn't know my mom well enough when they got married. And she would probably say the same thing. A common theme seemed to be that each of them thought the other changed after they got married, but really, it was that they were seeing the "true" personality of the person they had married that they had not had a chance to see before. The "true" person was not really someone they were compatible with, and therefore, they had a hard time accepting and relating to each other.
Not to say that my parents didn't care for each other, or love one another, but I don't believe they were in love with each other. This meant that they were often doing their own thing, and sometimes this meant they fought. They did not display affection often in front of my sister and I - not even by holding hands, or small touches. I do not fault them, as I believe they tried hard to make their marriage work, and believe me, it wasn't easy with my mom's illness, among other things.
Their relationship made me wonder how I would ever know if I found the right person. I was scared that I would marry the wrong one and end up trapped and unhappy in a marriage. This did not mean that I didn't want to get married - my dream was actually to get married young, and then be a young mother. But there was always this question of how would I know?
I thought I knew when I was 17. I met a man, who was quite a bit older then me (25, but, as I have always been told, despite looking young, I'm actually quite mature for my age, so I've always dated older guys). He became my first serious boyfriend, and pretty much told me from the beginning that he wanted to marry me. We dated for 4 years, and he proposed. I was certain that he was the one for me. We were often referred to as an old married couple...I guess because we were so comfortable in our relationship. And it wasn't a bad relationship, just as he wasn't a bad guy. The summer before we got engaged, I moved 7 hours away to attend grad school. Things started to change for me then. I became more independent. I really liked having that independence. I tried new things I couldn't do when I was with him, and I had fun. Although I accepted his proposal, I believe I knew deep down that it wasn't the right thing. At 21, I was too young, and still needed to experience things in my life...and to actually find me. After my dad passed away, I struggled with many things, and eventually, we broke off our engagement. It was one of the hardest things to do...to feel like I was making him feel bitter, and what if he never found someone else? After almost 6 years together, and many experiences, we had a hard time letting go. But eventually, I moved on.
And eventually, I met B. I can't say what was different about B. But, I knew that we understood each other and made each other laugh. A lot. We had fun when we were together and we wanted a lot of the same things from life. We struggled through some difficult experiences and he still wanted to be with me even when I was at my darkest point. I could just "be" with him. We didn't have to talk or do things, just sitting with each other was enough. He loved me despite my independence and all my other flaws. And somehow I knew he was the one for me.
Since I walked down the aisle 6 months ago, I have fallen even more in love with my husband. I didn't know that was possible. We have continued to build ourselves a home, had our first holidays as a married couple, and made many memories. We have challenged each other to grow and also to change for the better. We have set goals and work towards them together. We have learned to consider each other in important decisions, and celebrate when we accomplish great things. It hasn't always been smooth sailing either, but we have been challenged to work through our problems and concerns in the best possible ways, and have come out the better for it. I feel that we've been lucky in that it hasn't been hard to adjust to living with one another or sharing space, etc. I've learned that I really need to think about the other person that I am living with though, and to try and make his life easier. As much as I may hate cleaning, it isn't fair to ask him to do it when he works and I don't. I've really worked to make an effort to improve some of my more obvious flaws...
There is something very meaningful in knowing that someone loves you enough to commit to spend their lives with you. I think it creates a closer bond, and a deeper level of intimacy. I know that we will have many more challenges, successes and experiences ahead, but I look forward to all of them, and consider myself so lucky to have such a loving and wonderful husband.