I said yes. I moved across the country, and I gave up my identity. I became a wife, his partner. I became the homemaker, housekeeper (well not for long), I became the accountant and soon after I became the mother of his children.
During the past 24 years, I juggled my identity, our lives, the lives of our children and our marriage. I have managed to live in an unconventional marriage where being apart from each other is the norm and being together is unusual.
We have weathered in our distance, family divisiveness, disagreements, financial challenges, two miscarriages, illnesses, different homes and false accusations.
You see when you say I do, no one can actually tell you how it’s going to work out because each person is different. You can read as many books on marriage and relationships, but it isn’t until you get married and start doing life together that you come to understand what you really said I do to!
One critical decision we made in our marriage, no matter how difficult and painful the challenge we were facing..we would never walk away. No matter how much we hurt, we would sit still and hold on.
We have cried, forgiven and loved.
I often look at seasoned couples and think to myself, how much have they forgiven. How much have they given up? How much have they laid their lives down for the other partner so he or she could rise up? How much have they loved when love didn’t come easy?
In the past several years I have regained my identity. I still hold the role of wife, mom, partner, homemaker, accountant, business owner. With our years of experience and respect, I have come to understand the true meaning of “I do.”
I said I do to love, laughter, fear. I said I do to holding your hand when I didn’t want to. I said I do to sitting quietly when there are no words left to say. I said I do to our children, I said I do to the unpredictable journey. I said I do to accepting and walking through many valleys. I said I do to hopes and dreams deferred.
In saying I do to what didn’t seem familiar or comfortable for me, I found my voice. I found my identity. I found my purpose, I found my calling. I began to remember that young woman that dreamed. I remembered the woman that I was before the name change. She was always there. Just waiting for her turn…and it came.
To her I say, I do.
Don’t lose yourself. Hold on to the person YOU fell in love with. Hold on to the person HE fell in love with. Keep your identity and always remember to hold hands.
*image was taken by our son Paul.