Saturday, July 6, 2013
I did, I do and I will
Mr. and Mrs. Right on our wedding day in 2002.
When I met Mr. Right in 2000, I was glad he was meeting me 20 pounds lighter than I was months before. My self-esteem was so in the toilet, I needed any boost I could get in that department. Although I didn’t have much confidence in myself, I did feel good about the recent weight loss regardless of the unhealthy manner in which it came to be. (I was also extremely adept at faking my lack of confidence with lots of jokes and a broad smile.) I had no real explanation at that point for what went so horrifically wrong with my back or what these strange periodic breakouts were on my hands, but I wasn’t having the problem for the moment and figured the back issue was a fluke one-time thing. I was, for the moment, feeling better physically, and knew the emotional end of things would work themselves out eventually. I was seeing a counselor to deal with my grief, throwing myself into my social work career, and considering what I might do relationship wise with Mr. Right.
A few months after Mr. Right and I began dating, I was struggling in the relationship. I couldn’t put a finger on it, but it felt as though something was missing from the relationships. At the time, I genuinely thought Mr. Right was a nice guy, but I wasn’t feeling that “soul mate” kind of spark. I remember clearly having a conversation with a friend regarding the future of my relationship with Mr. Right. I remember quite vividly stating I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep dating him. The look on her face confused me as she looked at me like I was a complete and total idiot. She looked at me and said, “So, exactly what is missing?” I remember stumbling and faltering because I couldn’t find the words to articulate what it was. Then she began to point a few things out to me. She asked if what was missing was being abused. She asked if being cheated on might be it. She asked if just being treated like crap in general was the thing that would get the old spark going. It was in that instant, that very precise moment, I realized I was doing exactly what I had always done before. I was looking for a reason to leave the nice guy who didn’t need saving so I could go find a jerk who did.
It was an “aha moment” like none I’d ever experienced before in my life. Wow. Had I really sunk that low? Was it possible I was really going to sabotage a perfectly healthy relationship because I didn’t feel I deserved to be treated like a human being? Sad, but it’s really where I was. I had grown so accustomed to abusive relationships that I couldn’t even function in a normal one. I know I’m not the only one guilty of this. Women are the masters of being subservient to people whom they should never let wield such power. What a wicked contradiction we let ourselves fall prey to.
Long story even longer, I didn’t break up with Mr. Right. Instead, I got smart and agreed to be his wife when he proposed several months later. It became official about a year and a half later when we became Mr. and Mrs. Right in my dream wedding. I’d never been so happy about Mr. Wrong and I eloping as I was the day I said “I do” to Mr. Right. It was a beautiful day with my family and friends with all the colors of spring in front a Southern antebellum mansion with a gorgeous spray bouquet and a man who I knew, without a doubt, was no mistake. I felt many emotions that day. I laughed, I cried, I had my freak out moments when things weren’t going as planned. One thing I never did was doubt or worry about who I was marrying. I never believed for a second that Mr. Right would willingly ever do anything he thought would bring me harm. I knew Mr. Right would take care of me. I just didn’t know then how much I was going to need that unconditional love.
Trials and tribulations are so much easier to withstand when you have a strong person by your side. The beauty of that day has never faded in my mind, but it has grown farther away as the days and years have passed. There have been ups and down, good times and bad times, sickness and health, and Mr. Right’s love and commitment would never waiver. Despite the challenges I would face in the days and years ahead, for as much as was reasonably possible, I never felt alone.