Oftentimes, people wonder how different their lives would be if they hadn’t met a certain someone. If they hadn’t gotten married. Hadn’t had children.
I, however, often wonder what kind of person I would have been today had I not met my husband.
It’s going to sound cliché and probably make some eyes roll, but in brutal truth: he made me a better person.
I grew up with a narcissistic mother. My childhood was high-strung, with a lot of pressure, stress, and anger. A lot of confusion, depression, and darkness. It had more dark moments than it had light.
As I became a teenager, realizing that something just wasn’t right in my relationship with my mom and still under the impression that it must be my fault somehow, I began to rebel. I’d never be good enough for her anyway, and I was done trying so hard to receive her love.
Little did I know that I was so groomed, that I was a lot like her.
I couldn’t let things go. I was dead set on proving that I was right—all the time. I was a perfectionist, pushy, and demanding.
Looking back, I really wasn’t becoming a nice person.
I was becoming more and more the person I didn’t want to be: my mother.
I was 18 when I met my husband. He has seen the many fights and arguments that defined my relationship with my mother.
But he also saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. He saw me.
He knew exactly what I needed from him and when. Even if it would absolutely infuriate me, he’d stick to it.
He grounded my lost soul. He helped the confused child in me who was starving for my mother’s love, realizing that it wasn’t my fault. I was not undeserving of her love.
I wasn’t a bad person. The ways I picked up weren’t mine. They were hers.
And he helped me to get off of that slippery slope. He was my rock when I was trying to find my own way.
When I couldn’t yet see which road I wanted to be on, my husband was there. Never pushing, always guiding.
I’m so incredibly grateful to him for sticking with me. When my mother screamed insults at him, when I wasn’t the easiest person to be with—through it all, he never left me. He has seen me at my absolute worst, in all possible ways, and he still loves me.
He encouraged me to reconnect with God.
He praises me, he tells me things I’ve never heard before, things so opposite to what I was made to believe about myself growing up. He helped me change into someone I can face in the mirror.
He has filled so much of the void my mother left.
I’m now a wife and a mother. I used to be so heartbroken that I’d never have a relationship with my own mother that I could ask her advice, go to her for support, shop together, or just have a grandma to spoil my kids.
But my husband has been my voice of reason. When I stray off into the darkness of the what-ifs, he gently shines a light and helps me see the reality of what is, instead of what if. And I’m reminded of what I’m protecting myself and my children from.
I’m reminded that I’m doing the right thing, even as hard as it is. I’m a better person because he saw in me, what I couldn’t see in myself. And for that, I am so grateful!