18 years ago Donnie and I got married. We had been together for a few years but I wasn’t 100% confident that we’d be able to find work in the same town after college (we didn’t, he started in Atlanta) and so we waiting until we were settled into the same city and I was certain he knew what hew as getting into marrying a single Mom. He did. And I laugh at that now considering the major challenges life has thrown at us the last 18 years…me having a kid was a big fat nothing burger.
I don’t know what wisdom I could ever share about finding a partner or marriage or anything because honestly? I don’t think there’s any way to know how an uncharted future will affect a relationship. I would not have judged us for being two completely different people that were no longer compatible after all of the curveballs life has thrown us. And yet…here we are. Some say, “It’s because you work at it, marriage takes work…” but I hate that shit because I’ve known plenty of people who put plenty of work into their marriage only to still find themselves irreconcilably incompatible at a certain moment in time.
I am not the same woman my husband married. I am happily fat after years of various type of disordered eating behaviors. (On the day we got married I had been popping Max Alerts from the gas station for a year to try to suppress my appetite. They are now illegal because they were used to make meth.) He’s been supportive of the entire journey and even started to change the way he handled his relationship with food/fitness based on things I have learned along the way. I’m also obnoxiously politically aware and considering how little we talked about politics during our courtship…I’m very happy that as my political identity shaped is fit with is. Honestly, the things I think about daily today probably only line up about 5% with the things I focused on back when we got married. You just can’t predict if all of those changes are going to line up in a marriage.
But this has been a hell year and in an assortment of ways I’ve never even discussed here…but he still asks me how work is going and still laughs at my jokes and holds me when I cry. I don’t think there’s any way of planning or living that can guarantee a long marriage, I’m just happy somehow we’re still together and making it work.