I haven’t always believed in forever. Not really, anyways.
All the best stories make it seem like a given. You know how it goes: Boy meets girl. Boy sweeps girl off her feet and they’re together for the rest of eternity—blah, blah, blah—just like that.
But that wasn’t my experience growing up. My parents separated when I was young, and most of my friends’ parents were divorced by the time we graduated high school.
In my mind, the forever part of marriage was an illusion. It was a nice thought, but it didn’t actually happen very often. People grew apart. One person in the relationship was always more invested. Certain mistakes were unforgivable. Relationships were hard work—too hard to actually succeed.
I still wanted to get married someday, but I was skeptical it could last an entire lifetime.
Then you came along.
I fell hard and fast, and I think you did, too. We were two kids who didn’t know much except for the way we felt about each other. You stirred something in me I’d never felt before, but in the back of my mind, I still had doubts.
Because love didn’t last—it ran its course and then dissolved. I’d watched it play out like that a million times.
Since that very first summer, you have shown me time and time again you’re not going anywhere. You’ve seen uglier sides of me than I even knew existed, but somehow you’ve loved me through them all.
When I’m moody and take every little frustration out on you, you meet me with compassion (seriously, you have the patience of a saint).
When I get mad over the little things—like leaving your clothes next to the hamper or getting home five minutes late—you don’t tell me I’m being ridiculous.
When I push you away, you pull me closer.
When I feel resentful for circumstances out of your control, you work to fix the issues you didn’t cause in the first place.
When I snap at you and say ugly things and slam cupboard doors and stomp my feet . . . you meet me with a loving calmness.
You tell me again and again and again that you are in this no matter what. Always. Even when it’s hard. Even when we don’t like each other. Even when we make mistakes and say and do things we aren’t proud of.
Even then. Especially then.
Sweet husband, your unwavering grace amazes me. You have loved me so well—so unconditionally—and somewhere along the way I stopped doubting. I learned to put my trust in you. In us. In this life we’re building every single day.
Now when we sit on the back porch and talk about things that will happen next week, next year, five, ten, 50 years down the road—I see it.
I know in my heart we’ll be together at the end of this, when we’re old and gray and have had the privilege of watching our babies’ babies grow up.
With you forever doesn’t just seem possible—it seems certain.
I know no matter what life brings us, you’ll carry me through my weakness and dance with me in my strength. What a gift I’ve been given in you.
My dear, sweet husband—I’ll never be able to express how lucky I feel that you’re mine. It’s because of you that I believe in forever.