Nine years ago we met on our second day in a new city to attend a university. Eight and a half years ago you told me “I think I like you.” Five years ago you got down on one knee and asked me to marry you. Four years ago you became my husband, I your wife.
Not everyone knows that when we met, we were both seeing other people. I remember you calling me for relationship advice when you just couldn’t figure out this other girl, and I gave it to you. For the length of our freshman year of college you really were just my best friend. I say “just”, but isn’t that the grandest thing?
I was weird back then. Sheltered from the world and experiences and scared to death of being on my own. I honestly hadn’t ever had a real relationship – you know, the he’s my boyfriend, she’s my girlfriend type. I hadn’t been to parties or done my own laundry or even said a curse word.
I grew up in a conservative town with a split family and a narrow view of the world. I was shy and didn’t think for myself and really just a lot of things I’m so glad I grew out of.
And a large – a very large – part of that – is due to you. You have loved me fully, and I have never had to question your dependability. But, you have also pushed me. Supported but challenged me. Not let me make excuses or settle for less than I can be or I can do. You have loved me in the greatest way, which is to say you have encouraged me to be the best version of myself…but always right beside me.
Marriage is hard. It’s a cliché, and it’s true. When you spend most of your life beside someone, it’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows. You will fight, you will bicker. You will need to get away from one another. But other times, you will spend 5 extra minutes lying in bed in the morning wondering how you got so lucky. How you got to do life with this person. How I get to do life with you.