Will and I have been through a lot together.
- We were long distance (about two hours, give or take traffic) while dating, engaged and six months into marriage.
- We were longer distance when Will was away on "away rotations" - rotations during medical schools done at other hospitals for more training.
- He supported me as I realized all my hopes and dreams were no longer what I wanted, and as I moved forward without having a clear plan. He cheers me on in new jobs; first nannying, now teaching.
- I supported him through medical school, graduate school for clinical research, and now, into his emergency medicine residency.
- We were with each other through our first pregnancy, our first birth, our first baby, our first diagnosis, and now, our second pregnancy.
- We've moved three times, and lived in three very different regions.
- We've been together through funerals, births, and weddings; hurt feelings, pain, wonder, surprise and new happiness.
- We have driven literally thousands of miles together in the car and still enjoy each other's company (a feat, some say).
I say forever because Will and I do not believe divorce is possible in a marriage of true minds, bound together under the Catholic sacrament. We were 24 and 25 on our wedding day: the re-start button on our lives was pushed. No longer could we live for ourselves; we are responsible for what we have tamed. We are responsible for the roses in our heart. We must tend to others, as well as ourselves, and think of the seasons.
There is a beautiful sentiment I read in a short story once: a woman runs into her ex-husband, a man she was married to for 24 years. Hello, my life, she says. I was struck by that line. What? No life of mine, the ex-husband spat back. But this is not the case.
Our marriage is more than the love I feel for Will, the love I have for Will, the love I want for Will. Love is important. Love is everything. And past everything is the reality of trust.
Trust is an entirely different element of our relationship. I trust Will with my emotions - when we disagree, he does not belittle me. When I am upset, he comforts me. He trusts me to build him up and not tear him down.
We've been having a lot of discussions about money lately. We go over our finances and budget every single month. This kind of accountability shows each other that we respect our mutual funds. We both have "wish lists" and always put family needs first. This can be challenging when all I'd rather do (than clean or do laundry) is decorate our home, and buy better organizing pieces, or buy more frames to fill with pictures, or a can of paint for our dreary rental kitchen.
That being said, the kind of trust Will instills in me is empowering. When I was struggling over being the one who interacted with Grace every day, responsible for doing exercises and stretches with her, he reminded me that I am her mother, and I am the best thing for Grace. And this is true - even when we are playing, we are doing therapy, and having a wildly good time. I trust Will to be the best father to our littles. My heart exploded tonight when he came home; Grace saw him and immediately grinned and started waving wildly to her Dad.
|Late summer 2014|
Trust is earned every single day. I trust Will to do his best at his job, and he trusts me to do the same. We hold each other up, and are realistic about day-to-day happenings. Some days, he has to fold seven loads of laundry because I went laundry crazy and didn't stop to fold. He doesn't trust me to be efficient, but he asks me to be. Realism and reasonable expectations is another part of our marriage.
When looking for someone to marry, it is more than someone to love and be loved by - it is someone you can trust, and someone you can hold at a high standard to be the best partner to you. They should inspire you to be the best version of yourself too, and a better partner. Trust does not deceive, does not seek retribution or its own gain.
Trust is what makes marriages last, and what I am learning to really dive into without my safety net.