Sunday, February 26, 2017

A letter: A little space

My soon to be husband,

We spend a lot of time together, my love.  We spend so much time together, in fact, that I rarely have a moment to sit back and reflect on us, our relationship, and how much my heart has changed since I've met you. I used to write all the time and I find myself doing that very infrequently now.  Every time I try to make time for it, I realize that I'm doing something else instead: I'm talking to you.  Instead of recording all of my thoughts, feelings, and fears, I'm saying them out loud to you. I tell you all of my secrets.  Everything in my head, even when I think you don't want to hear them.  Even when they take you to a dark place.  Especially when I'm stuck in a dark place.
I don't think I've made it a secret that I felt the idea of love and relationships were lost on me. I claimed to be a romantic that didn't buy the story anymore. I thought my heart would never truly heal and love the real way ever again because I didn't believe it really had ever existed. I had convinced myself that I had been fooled all of these years.  I wanted to believe that I had exactly one chance to fall madly in love and when it ended and nearly killed me, I had promised myself that it would never happen again. When my daughter was 2 she told me that mommy's heart had broken into a million pieces and now it is hard as a diamond and will never be broken again. And I believed her. I had hardened myself against that possibility and made plenty of mistakes because of it. And then you came along.
I spent a long time trying not to let you in. I felt that I could have sex with someone and care for them and still keep them at a distance. Adding my children in and yours as well was difficult, but I seemed to manage it.  We would argue and I would remind myself that relationships don't work and love doesn't really exist outside of a parent/child relationship, so I didn't need to bother with being really upset about something that was imaginary. I told you. I told everyone. 
I have spend hours upon hours praying to God to fix this thing that is wrong with me. To restore my faith in love and marriage. I wanted to believe in it more than anything and I just couldn't do it. I couldn't let myself really feel all of those things. I had no idea how God would heal a heart that perhaps didn't want to be healed. How does He change a mind that doesn't want to take the risk again? I had no answers, but I continued to pray. 
And you have been so stubborn. I have always been impressed by how you believe it. You fight for us. You never give up. Even when it is terrible, you find a way to make it back to me and shake me into submission. It scares me to death. The idea of loving someone so much that my heart would give out and the man I loved would look at me and ask me to not die and not really mean it scared me beyond anything I can describe.  Why would I want to do that again? Why would anyone want to be laying on a table ready to die of a broken heart and ask for that punishment again? Had I not learned my lesson? Apparently not.
A little over a year ago I went to visit my sister in PA and took the kids. I remember being annoyed with you for loving me the way you did. I thought it was silly the way you missed me.  I brushed it off as silly infatuation and told myself that you didn't really miss me, but maybe you were just used to me or didn't want to be alone. I think it scared me to see someone be in love who had not been hurt the way I had before.  I remember coming home from that trip and starting to feel differently. I tried to tell you several times over the past year that my mind had started change after February of last year and I wasn't sure why. Maybe I was finally ready to admit to myself that I missed you.  Maybe the way our family came together affected me. I couldn't shake seeing the six of us together going on walks, having dinner, going to the park and to church. It was the family I had always wanted. But was I going to risk it all for that? I still wasn't sure.
You asked me to marry you on July 31 and I said yes and I cried. I cried a lot. I didn't want to tell anyone because I was scared.  Scared of what people would think of me getting engaged again, scared of what being married would mean to me when it was with someone that I saw the potential to really lose my heart to.  But I still said yes and continued to pray to God to help me recover.  I have long since left the hospital, but the wounds had never really left my heart.
I have let you see the worst of me.  The crying, the depression, the glass smashing mess that I can be. I have yelled and screamed at you. Threatened you and called you names. I have been embarrassed and ashamed of my actions and still managed to let you to love me when i felt I didn't deserve it. I have listened to you apologize when it was my fault because you cared more about us than anything that has happened. I told myself through clenched teeth not to believe it.  That I was a phase and it wouldn't last.  That you would lose weight, reestablish your career, find your stride taking care of your kids, then leave me.  Because who loves a stepping stone?  Nobody. But you haven't left. Everyone told me that you met me when I was broken and you liked taking care of me and then when I would recover you would not like the strong woman that I am supposed to be.  That you would turn on me and resent me and take your love from me when I wasn't what you thought I was.  But you didn't.
And now nearly two years later, here we are. You took your children to FL to take care of your family and the scariest thing that could've possibly happened to me has happened: my blood pressure dropped and I nearly fainted last night. I didn't want to tell you and scare you. I'm not even sure you would know what that meant, but I know what it means. It means I love you the real way. The way that has the potential to kill me.  The way that moves from my heart to my brain and takes over who I am because the reality of being without you makes me sad enough to impact my health.  
Now I'm not sitting here crying all day and night. I'm going out and seeing friends and having fun, but I can't sleep. I miss your voice and your hands and the way that you look at me. I have no desire to live without you. In fact, the idea of you not being with me scares me now.  Our family of 6 is real. It's mine. Just like you are mine.  And I'm not used to wanting to lay claim on anyone.  I'm all for sexy pictures and lots of sex and food and fun.  I didn't really ever mean to get my heart so wrapped up in all of it.  Am I really sitting here smelling your pillow? I thought I wasn't supposed to need or miss anyone. I was wrong.  I have been wrong about a lot of things, getting one chance to be in love the real way is at the top of that list and nobody is more surprised than me that I could ever feel this way again, but even stronger than before.  
There is a constant battle in my head between logic, fear, and love.  Logic tells me to get a prenup. Fear tells me you should have a vasectomy. Love tells me to get married. I joke with you that I hope every woman you've been with thinks you're an ugly loser who sucks in bed.  That's love talking. I don't care what anyone thinks about you but me.  I loved you broke and I love you making money. I loved you at your heaviest and I love you losing weight. I loved you in jeans and t-shirts and I love you in your cargo shorts and polos. I have watched people's opinions change from asking why I was with you to calling you handsome, kind, a family man, and telling me how lucky I am to have you. It would be fear that would make me cling to anyone else's opinions, so I try not to, even though it is nice to hear now.  While you've been gone, I feel that it's been love that's taken over my senses.  Me stopping to think about you never coming home sent a rush of sadness through me that nearly brought me to my knees. It scared me pretty badly.  
I'm not interested in dying of a broken heart, my love.  I know I have asked you to sign that stupid prenup and get a vasectomy, but I am not planning for a divorce.  I am planning to love you with everything I've got for as long as we are both on this planet together. I don't know if that's going to be 4 years or 40, but my heart is there.  I don't want to share you with anyone. I want you to be with me every day. I want to tell you all of the things on my mind, even if they make us crazy.  I want to be stronger like you to try and fix things when we fight. I promise that I'm not going to imagine my life without you ever again.  When we get married, I promise to mean it forever. I will treat you like an equal and permanent member of this family because it doesn't work without you anymore. I barely think I work without you anymore. And yes, it scares me to death.  But I am going to put my faith in you and in God and love.  
We will probably not write our own wedding vows and that's ok. I don't mind if the whole world doesn't know exactly how I feel. I just need to make sure that you do.  So if you ever doubt my heart or my commitment, you have this. And i hope that counts for something. I hope you wake up to this and smile knowing I'm sitting here waiting for you to come home to me because I'm crazy in love with you, whether I wanted to be or not. And my heart, as damaged or broken as it may have been through the years, is very much yours.

Love always,