I was talking to one of my friends the other night about how hard marriage is. I think my biggest challenge as a married person is balancing the intrinsically possessive nature of marriage with my internal longing for freedom. When you fall in love, you make a choice about the commitment you want to give to that person, and you must ask your partner to choose freely to be possessed. That’s simple. You get married, you become partners forever. When you only have one life, it means a lot to promise to share it with one person forever. Forever means more than we can understand.
And you never know when “The Forever” will begin.
Thanksgiving weekend 2005 was when we first met. I saw you across the room and my jaw dropped. I actually gasped. I remember the exact thought that went through my head: “I would die happy if that guy would ever just be my friend.” Then I had less PG-rated thoughts. I fell in love at first sight and after that night, I never went another day in my life without wishing you would be mine forever.
I don’t understand how I fell in love with you and I don’t understand how I trusted my intuition completely on the night when it really mattered. Six years later, the list of things you have done to help and support me has become immeasurable. But I want to begin one.
- Thank you for supporting my dream. Thank you for telling me that what I want is possible, and thank you for all the sacrifices you have made to see me reach my goals.
- Thank you for washing our sheets.
- Thank you for teaching me about the things you love and being enthusiastic about my interests too.
- Thank you for packing my lunch in a reusable lunchbox.
- Thank you for never pushing me into things I don’t want to do.
- Thank you for all the funny tweets you make.
- Thank you for helping me try new foods.
- Thank you for understanding that not all people have to be the same.
- Thank you for my baby.
- Thank you for making sure I get to sleep in on the weekends. Thank you for understanding how hard I work and for appreciating the value of my work to our family.
- Thank you for coming home from work every time I called you and told you I couldn’t take it anymore.
- Thank you for bringing me flowers stuck in a bottle of water from the grocery store.
- Thank you for setting an example for Alice by pursuing your hobbies with passion.
- Thank you for making Alice’s dinner every day. She will be a better person for having eaten homemade Indian food, dairy-free pancakes, and lentil tempeh every day instead of the cereal and pizza that rounds out the list of stuff I know how to make.
- Thank you for teaching me how to drive your car.
- Thank you for letting me drive your car 50 miles to college every day and biking to work so I could use it.
- Thank you for going to Chicago on the week of your Organic Chemistry final so I could propose marriage to you as I had planned.
- Thank you for being secure enough with yourself to not put people down just for being who they are.
- Thank you for loving me no matter how I look.
- Thank you for reading Alice a bedtime story every day.
- Thank you for all the times you have run out to the car to watch Alice when I drive by your office and stop to use the bathroom because I can’t hold it long enough to make it home.
- Thank you for teaching me about peanut butter chocolate soy ice cream.
- Thank you for not being afraid to tell me “no.”
- Thank you for never telling me “I told you so.”
- Thank you for being my friend.
- Thank you for considering me a worthy companion for your Forever.
At that party, even though we didn’t really speak, I knew a few things about you already. I could see that you liked to dress up. I could tell that you were funny. I could tell that you were confident, holding conversations and laughing with all kinds of people. But most importantly, I could tell that you were kind. I thank you most for your kindness, your compassion, and your patience. You are the only man I could love forever.
There is so little I understand about life and I am not in a hurry to make sense of everything. I have no need to figure it all out. Getting a kiss from you every morning when you wake up is like a silent wink from the universe that I am on the right track. I understand enough.
I am so glad you became my friend.