A few months ago, my husband Trey and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. I know that doesn’t sound like such hot shit to a lot of you, but for someone who never imagined herself married at all (or at least not to someone who wasn’t a billionaire octogenarian), it’s a big fucking deal.
So yeah, I was married before. It sucked. My ex-husband and I were both far too young, we married to get more financial aid, and we both had our own escapism issues to deal with. We made shitty spouses at the time, and it ended badly. How badly, you ask? Well, at one point during the divorce proceedings, in the presence of lawyers, my ex demanded custody of our cats, citing my miscarriage as evidence that God Himself didn’t think I was fit to care for another living being. Yeah. That badly.
But by the time I met Trey, I had gotten my life together and was more than ready to settle down with a decent guy and do the whole stability thing. The fact that he showed up when he did is one of my chief reasons for not being able to totally deny the workings of a benevolent divine being.
I am not an unattractive woman, and up until that point, the majority of my relationships had been carnal, to say the least. The fact that Trey didn’t even try to kiss me until our fourth date made an even bigger impression on me than the superb Italian meals he’d been cooking me. (He later confessed that not staring at my tits during our first date was a Herculean effort, and the fact that he made that effort charmed the ever-loving hell out of me. When you’ve had a DD-cup since the age of fourteen, you are very much attuned to the eye-contact issue, and don’t think I didn’t notice that he was actually looking at my face.)
But enough about the courtship. This is supposed to be about him. Him. My husband. The absolute, schmaltzy, Harlequin-paperback-worthy love of my life.
My husband rocks. I have a great vocabulary, and I can’t even begin to come up with enough adjectives to describe his awesomeness. Every night when he comes home from work I bury my face in the hair at the back of his neck and breathe in as deep as I can, and it’s better than Xanax. It’s better than heroin. It makes everything that went wrong during the day, during my whole fucked-up life, go away. In my head, I know it’s pheromones, but in my heart, it feels like magic, the kind of magic I thought I’d stopped believing in by junior high.
We’ve never had a fight that lasted for more than two hours, because he’s fucking impossible to stay mad at. Not because he can manipulate an altercation, but because he’s just that damn mellow and logical. He can take me at my absolute drunken raging hormonal worst and talk me back from that edge where I’m about to say things I can never take back, and what’s more, he never holds it against me afterwards. By myself, I am an irrational, vindictive, petty bitch, but with him… I know it sounds corny as fuck, but he brings out in me a person I never thought I could be. With him, I am something more pure, and stronger, and saner. Some people turn to Jesus to be better people; I turn to my husband.
He wakes up at 4 in the morning to bust his ass 50-60 hours a week at a job he hates so that I can stay home to raise our daughter. He complains about the job, but never about its necessity. He never bitches about the house being a mess, or having to call Pizza Shuttle to deliver dinner because I’m too damn lazy to cook. He listens with patience and interest to me rambling on about inane shit I know he doesn’t give a flying fuck about. He holds me when I cry and can’t even explain why I’m doing so. He drives an ’81 Honda with no heater, lives in a crappy apartment in the ‘hood, and pirates his video games off the ‘Net so that we don’t have to turn my daughter Penny over to strangers forty hours a week and I don’t have to live in a constant state of low-grade nervous breakdown dealing with the outside world. He doesn’t make me feel guilty for not feeling like sex, goes out of his way to make sure I don’t get jealous over petty shit like trading Magic cards online with hot teenage chicks from Singapore, and looks at me like I’m Chasey Lane even when I’m twenty pounds overweight and poxy with post-adolescent acne.
The sex. Don’t even get me started about the sex. Married people shouldn’t have the sex life we do. And we don’t even have to get kinky with it; just the physical fact of each other naked and willing is like some sort of super-high-powered-CIA-engineered Spanish fly. One look, and we’re chasing each other up the stairs toward the bedroom like teenagers whose parents are out of town. In my sordid past, I’ve done fetishes, I’ve done toys, I’ve done swinging and role-playing and nearly everything imaginable, but that sturdy, furry man naked in my bed is… well, I’ve already said too much. Sorry, TerryMum, you didn’t want to read that. But the point is, the thought of even touching someone who isn’t Trey in “that way” makes me sick to my stomach. That’s something I never thought my perverted horny self would ever feel.
To cut a long story short, this whole thing is about how very much I love my husband, how he’s given me not just a life I never imagined I deserved, but a version of myself I never thought was possible, not in this life, anyway. The fact that this incredible, amazing man thought, and still thinks, I’m worthy to spend a lifetime with… it just blows my mind. It makes me believe that I’m not my past, I’m not the sum of my darkest corners, I’m not the stupid, self-centered, corrupted piece of shit I used to think I was. If it’s not too Hallmark-y to say, he makes me believe that I am indeed a worthy person. That he thinks I’m worthy of his love is a greater gift than anything else he could ever give me.
And yeah, Trey, that means you’re off the hook for a Valentine’s Day gift. Going to sleep every night by your side is gift enough for any woman, much less me.
I love you.