This weekend, my husband, Frankie, and I will celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. I am grateful to have reached this milestone, undeserving of the very big love he has for me, but so very blessed by it.
Anyone who knows him will agree, my husband is an unadulterated idealist. Glasses are half-full and moral quandaries come down to his simple life motto: “Do the right thing.”
While I’m a pretty principled person, too, when it comes to Frankie’s idealism, I’m definitely the ying to his yang. I wouldn’t call myself pessimistic, more like a realist.
I like to think this “realism” comes from my penchant for being pragmatic, but as I’ve learned from my husband over the last thirteen plus years, a lot of that so-called realism is/was really just self-protection.
Have you ever remembered an event in your life, certain it happened in a particular way — only to be told, years later, that actually, it was totally different from your memory? It’s jarring, to say the least.
Our minds can definitely play funny tricks on us; the stories that we tell ourselves have a way of wearing a groove into our psyches. Sometimes, we trust that familiar groove despite evidence to the contrary.
When Frankie and I were first dating, I issued him a dire warning: “I’m cursed. You may not want to get involved with me.”
“I’m cursed,” I answered, matter-of-factly. “My mom got divorced from my dad. Her mom got divorced from my grandfather. Her grandmother got divorced from my great-grandfather. See? I’m cursed.”
Frankie laughed off my forboding. “There’s no such thing as cursed, Mara. We’ll make our own future.”
“Haha, what a naive idealist,” I thought.
Turns out my optimistic husband was the true realist. From day one, he has been making our future, standing right next to me, every step of the way.
Even through our tough first year of marriage, when I feared that every argument (and there were many!) was proof positive of the ‘curse’, he never wavered. He was sure and steady enough for the both of us.
Over the years, we have thankfully started to rub off on each other.
He has finally stopped arguing with me when I say that the house is a mess (“You don’t know what a real mess is, Mara!” he used to say) and started picking up. (To this day, I’m not sure if that’s because my definition of a “mess” finally convinced him, or he just realized that arguing with me on that particular point was futile.)
More significantly, I have let go of my old truth — it had never served me very well anyway — and embraced his beautifully idealistic (or is it realistic?) view of our future: He’s my person, and I’m his. This is our future.
I married Frankie hoping I’d grow old with him. I’m celebrating the 13th anniversary of our wedding knowing that I will.
I love you, honey. Happy, happy anniversary. Thank you for being my person.