“Just wait until you’ve been married for thirty years, then see if you still feel this way.” Her exaggerated eye roll told me she no longer felt “this way” about her own husband, which may have explained her bare ring finger.
It was just waiting room small talk with the woman sitting next to me, but I thought about that comment long after I pulled out of the parking lot.
I hear this type of remark all the time; the kind that treats marriage like a ticking time bomb, ready to explode in a cloud of misery.
But the thing is—I’m not okay with that. I know marriages fall apart for many reasons, and no two situations are the same . . . but I don’t want that to be my story. Our story.
So, husband, there’s something I need you to know:
I’m in this for the long haul. You’re stuck with me.
When I look into my future, it’s you I see beside me.
A lot of life is going to happen through the years—I know that. I’m not naive enough to think it’s going to be smooth sailing from here on out.
There’s not always going to be a spark of passion between us. There will be seasons we’re more roommates than lovers, and nights when we go to bed so angry that we sleep in separate rooms. There will be times when I’m convinced I don’t even like you; moments that make me question everything.
But a day when I’m ready to throw in the towel and break the promises we made on our wedding day? Well, sweet husband, I just don’t see that happening.
There’s never going to come a day when I look your way and decide I’d be better off without you.
The two of us have so much life ahead. So much life to share.
We’ll raise our kids as a team. Side-by-side we’ll attend basketball games and band concerts, parent-teacher conferences and graduations. Together we’ll help pack their belongings into boxes and move them on to the next phase of their lives. I’ll cry on your shoulder the whole drive home.
We’ll dance at wedding receptions and reminisce about the day I wore a white dress and you met me at the end of the aisle.
We’ll dig fingernails into each other’s hands at funerals and lean on one another through our grief.
We’ll delight in the precious gift of our grandchildren. I’ll smile adoringly as you bounce them on your knee and tell them stories about when their parents were young.
We’ll get those matching tattoos on your 90th birthday like we always joke about (except I’m actually not joking).
We’ll make mistakes (so many mistakes) and say things we regret, because we’re just two imperfect humans trying our best in an imperfect marriage.
And someday, we’ll hold hands as one of us takes our last breath on this side of Heaven.
Our path will be windy, and bumpy, and beautiful, and complicated—but through it all, I will have you, and you will have me.
It won’t be easy—no marriage is—but I’m committed to putting in the work because I believe in us more than I’ve ever believed in anything.
When we made our vows that rainy July afternoon, we didn’t say, “As long as we both shall feel like it,” or “As long as he keeps his socks picked up and she doesn’t leave the thermostat up too high.”
We said, “As long as we both shall live.” And I meant it.
I fully intend to see this thing through with you.
I don’t know what our future has in store, but I don’t want to grow old and grey if I don’t have you by my side.
You better believe it, babe . . . I’m in this for the long haul.
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