There’s a sort of ‘settling in’ that occurs after a time in a marriage. My husband and I will have been married for ten years this coming November, however our beginning was much like the deep end of a swimming pool after someone had nonchalantly pushed us in. We discovered a week or so after the wedding that I was pregnant. Tradition fled, and whatever we gently knew of each other would have to suffice. Life got real. No time to take our time with the honeymoon year, to discover the depths or truly enjoy us; our research had to tread water as my belly grew. We were resigned to the fact that one hand from each had to hold the pool side to keep us from sinking. We could not fully embrace our coupledom.
The years that followed could have any number of adjectives used to describe them: Fraught, tense, strained, closed-off, angry, bitter, wedge-filled, distant…really, I could go on and on. We were less about love and more about trying to keep ourselves as a unit in the face of financial hardship and forced decisions.
Something in the years of resistance fell away recently. Possibly due to the worry lifted from our lives or the slow upward turn we feel we are making. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, not some false star provided by others or a mirage that beckons before beating a scornful retreat. No, this is all our doing. A plan in place, a desire to stand alone together.
As the opposition falls, humor and a lightness of being have come to take its place. Humor has always been a major shard of our backbone, like the bottom of that swimming pool, is still, solid and dependable. The surface may curl and whip in turmoil for many years but that basin of laughter holds steady. It keeps us grounded with knowledge that we are family and that without each other, we are incomplete.
So, when my husband shoots me a look because he has to exit the shower to grab the face wash that I left on the bathroom sink, my kneejerk reaction is a chortle instead of an exasperated eyeroll. Of course it’s not all wine and roses; there are flashes of irritation and bickering. But after almost twelve years of togetherness and having sunk down to the depths of despair, touched the blackness, turned and bobbed back up to the top, it really is about smooshing our asses into the comfy seat, holding hands and appreciating all that we are creating.
And, I will always continue to make him laugh.