A year ago this week, Will and I were in the Caribbean on our Honeymoon. We had been given the trip by Will’s parents and it was amazing.
Will and I have been married for a year and a month, and it has been a beautiful journey that I have waited for my whole life. When I was 24 I was almost engaged and when that broke off, my heart was wounded in a way I never thought it could be, nor did I ever think it would recover. I waited 10 years, failed relationship after failed relationship and had just about given up when I met Will. It was not my plan to get married at 34. I was “supposed to” get married at 24 like my mom. But when 24 came, and my heart was broken, life sort of went on pause. I still traveled, lived all over the states and traveled to many countries, but my heart was empty. So many people told me that if I just prayed hard enough, if I just had faith, “God’s perfect timing would bring or not bring a man into my life.” Well, I now think all that was crazy, and that sometimes life just happens and we don’t get our way not just because God has other plans but because we are busy becoming who we need to be so when we meet that other person we are ready to embark on our new set challenge. Will and I know for a fact that if we had met at any other time in our lives we would never have been into each other. 34 seemed 10 years too late, but it has been 10 years of pain and sorrow and joy and growth that made me into the woman that now is able to love Will with everything I have in me. I hate to say that everything happens for a reason, because it makes trauma seem trivial, but with Will and myself, life happened just as it needed to.
The fear of never being loved is often what we hear about. The fear of being loved is the mystery that rages within some of us. The fear that the chaos could stop, that the anxiety could go, that stability does in fact exist. It is so easy to sit in anxiety when it is all you’ve ever known. Stability is the unknown, not chaos. It is so hard for Will to understand what I mean when I tell him what I have just written above. “Wouldn’t you want to get out of chaos?” he asks often. What he doesn’t understand is that our marriage IS stability for me. When I wake up to his cooking, when I come home to his cooking, when we pass moments in complete silence just holding each other, or tend to different chores while together in the apartment, he is my stability. I have to say that I am a bit sappy and I find that even after we hug good night and roll to our sides of the bed I get homesick for his arms. The thought of us being apart for more than a night, takes the wind out of my sails and I tear up. To have my default become happy, positive, joyful without feeling the rug will fall out from under me is so new and amazing. To not fight, but to talk out all our thoughts and differences without doors being slammed or glasses being broken, this is new. To be so in love that I can honestly say, “getting married was the best decision of my life,” makes me smile. And yes, the naysayers comment like, “oh, just wait 7, 10, 30 years….you will be wanting a break from him,” but for now, 10.5 months into marriage I am so happy to tear up at the thought of not spending a night next to my love, to not waking up to his beautiful face, to not having our morning coffee chats for 3 mornings…I am gonna let myself tear up. I was waiting for 34 years to find my William Parry, and now he is mine, my handsome and loving husband who puts me first and cares for my every need. I do not want to take for granted a single hour, minute, second being with him. So, Memorial Day 2016…enjoy my husband, but he is mine! lol!
I have thought long and hard about this post….what I would say….how I would say it? I think being married brings about a revolution to my identity. For 33 years I dated in hopes of finding “The One!” I dated casually one summer, but other than that I have been in serious relationships that have ended with, “It’s not you, it’s me,” stated by the guy turning his back and walking away. I am not saying I am a victim or a martyr. I have played an active role in placing too much emphasis on the “we” of my old relationships and not establishing a “me” throughout the duration of each relationship. I BECAME each relationship, instead of maintaining healthy boundaries and seeing myself as important as the guy who was sitting across the table from me on date after date. After being dumped by eHarmony boyfriend of 2 years, where I gave more of myself than I thought possible, I gave up on dating for a whole year. I traveled to London to visit close family friends. I traveled to Oregon to spend time with my Uncle and cousins in Washington state. I went to NY to visit my Mom and Dad and when my final year in my occupational therapy assistant program began, I threw myself into my studies, achieving honors in all my classes and was picked to be the key note speaker at my graduation. I went to therapy to figure out what the heck was the matter with me that I gave almost all of myself for the approval of the men I dated. Then I gave online dating a second chance, met Will and with all the knowledge I had obtained in my year of “Me” I was able to balance falling in love with having healthy boundaries, keeping me from worshiping Will and making him run away like ALL the others before him.
So, now we are here. 9 months into marriage and I am insanely in love with William A. Parry. Only this time, I find myself maintaining this state of, “Me vs We.” When we discuss our future and our dreams I use the word, “me” almost without blinking, and I find that he is always catching himself saying, “I” and “me” and apologizing as he corrects himself to, “us” and “we.” I am always amazed by this, and after over a year in relationship land with Will, I am starting to let my walls come down. I will say, “When I go out west to visit my cousin…” he will jump in and say, “when WE go out went to visit your cousin.” Or he will start off saying, “my parents were wondering…..I mean OUR parents were wondering…” These little corrections which include me into his passions and dreams, these little corrections which break down my defensive walls, make my heart feel safe and special. I am not a “me” so much now as I am a “we” and I am okay with that. The wildly independent, single women in me that was made that way after years of breakups and rejections, is starting to see that there is no need to be afraid of “we.” I have not lost myself because I choose to become Mrs. Parry and use “we” instead of “me.” There no longer needs to be a war between “me vs we.” Will and I are married, our dreams have become united as we choose to put each other first throughout every morning, every day, every week and so on. I think one day soon I will stop being surprised when he corrects my “me” talk and turns it into “we” talk. Until then, I will revel in the scripture verse that says, “I am my beloved’s and he is mine.” I do not feel threatened to be a “we” like I thought I would be. Instead I feel covered and loved, like I finally belong.
Once upon a time there were two very independent people who decided to give dating just one more chance. Both hated the bar scene as one was an extreme extrovert who scared guys away with her loud laugh and excited babble, and one was an extreme introvert who found it difficult to start up a conversation out of thin air. One line dating, you say? Well…..
Hi! My name is Melissa, and in this picture above you can see that my husband and I can be a little silly. Let me take that back….I can be A LOT silly and on our wedding day it was I and I alone that decided to shove the cake into his face. I am sure he saw it coming, as I am sure he sees most of my antics coming from a mile away, but he loves me all the more for it, despite having to clean icing out of his nostrils with immediate family and our bridal party watching.
The day I met Will, after planning our first date from two different continents, I was not sure about him. He didn’t look like his Match.com profile pic, but he wore Eco shoes, a button down shirt, slacks and walked me to my car afterwards. His voice was so deep and he was a gentleman. Unfortunately for him, I was three days back from my internship in Ecuador and I was sick as a dog. I ordered chamomile tea and was praying from the depths of my soul that I would not vomit into his black bean soup. Later on I would find out from him that he thought I was mesmerized with him, and he felt a little strange with the attention I placed on him. I was able to quickly remedy this first impression with one sentence, “Lovey, I was focusing on your mouth so I had something to concentrate on to keep from expelling all the contents of my stomach into your soup.” Clarification was accomplished and the rest…well, it’s always an adventure with us.