It’s no secret that my favorite fairy tale is Cinderella. My dream was to be Cindy, meet a prince, get married and live happily ever after. When you are 5yo, “happily ever after” seems easy, and very attainable.
Who am I kidding, when I was 5yo, I equated “happily ever after” to wearing a huge white dress, with a veil, carrying a bouquet of beautiful flowers and walking down the aisle to the tune of “Here Comes the Bride.”
Marriage = Wedding = Happily Ever After
Hysterical right? How naïve can one person be????
I met the husband a week before I turned 25 (which I thought was “middle-aged”). It was a blind date (orchestrated by our mothers) and we went to dinner and drinks in Hoboken.
The Husband was 30 and I had no idea what the hell he would want to go to dinner with a 24yo for (again naïve). There were no sparks that first night but we continued to casually date all through the summer.
A year later we were engaged and I immediately started planning the wedding. For 2 years, I was consumed with thoughts of tablecloths, bridal registries, table centerpieces and whether or not the bridesmaids should wear open toed shoes (in my defense it was the late 1990s).
The wedding took place in July 2000 and it was lovely. Yes, there were some snags (lead singer of the band was sick and my veil ripped) but I loved my wedding gown and I was FINALLY married. From this point forward I would always have a date, someone to watch tv with and take to the movies. I would never be bored again and life would be one big fairy tale.
That was 12 years ago and I can honestly tell you, that I was 100 percent, completely and utterly wrong on that!!
Looking back I had no right to marry anyone when I did. I was 25 and still living at home when the husband and I met. My “life experience” consisted of college and my “bills” consisted of college loans and a car payment on my 1995 Dodge Neon.
I was self-absorbed, selfish and had no clue what a marriage entailed. Much to my surprise, marriage was NOT about the wedding. The wedding was a celebration - THE MARRIAGE was for real. It was 2 people living together, combining 2 lives, sharing responsibility as well as a bed and bathroom.
The husband and I have had our share of good times, bad times and all that comes in between. It is not always easy and not always happy. There is stress over financial obligations, the kids, work and the house. Arguments over laundry, who does more and who is right.
There is also laughter over how nuts our families are, pride in how much our kids have grown and a sense of comfort in having been with the same person for 15 years.
A couple of years ago, the husband and I had hit a rough patch and decided to give marriage counseling a try. We were both ambivalent but felt like we had to do something, especially with there being 4 kids involved.
I researched counselors, determined NOT to find someone who would give us “homework” or make us share our feelings in a journal. The day of our fist appointment with Dr. P was tension filled, similar to how you feel before getting blood work or a root canal.
Our appointment was during lunch and Dr. P ushered us into her tiny office and told us to “make ourselves comfortable” on the couch. We sat down (about 10 feet apart) and both stared at the wall in utter disbelief that we had gotten to this point. Dr. P explained that her patient was “the marriage” and that what she was there to “help” us work on it. (you can imagine all the sarcastic comments going through my head at this time).
I am not going to tell you that counseling has been magical and the husband and I are now living happily ever after. Hardly. It is a lot of work and compromise but we are in an ok-place for now.
This morning the husband was emptying the dishwasher and told me he had a ticket for the Big Game lottery. I forgot the actual amount but it is something like $100,000,000.00.
What would we do if we won? he asked, putting away the silverware. Split the money and go our separate ways! we both said simultaneously with a chuckle.
Hey, at least we both agreed right?
Seriously, I have no idea what the future has in store for us and our family. We may break up at some point or wind up being married another 50 years. I guess only God knows for sure.
I have grown up A LOT in the past 15 years and it’s safe to say that I am not the same person I was when we met. The same can be said of the husband too. In some ways we have grown together and matured and in others we have grown apart.
Some may think this is bad but I think it is a normal and good thing. You should be able to grow and change over time. What fun would life be if we just stayed exactly the same our whole lives??
ps – If we win the Big Game I promise to do an update