When I first met my future husband I had no idea that we would ever make it through the first month, let alone last 15 years later.
I had met him at a time in my life when I didn’t believe in love and relationships anymore. So I didn’t have high hopes and I was not going to be impressed by mere words.
There has never been two people with such different natures together before. Ours was not the typical love story or a storybook romance. I guess you really should never judge a book by its cover.
He was like no other person I had ever met or dated before, and that was a big reason why I was convinced to try. None of the other relationships had lasted or had the level of commitment that I had truly searched for.
Even at that time of my life I recognized the importance of love and commitment when planning a life together. Two people believing that life together is far better than being apart and never letting go.
Always believing in the future and beleiveing in each other.
I came to realize that the true level of love and commitment can only ever really be measured during the difficult and challenging times; and life gave us plenty of them.
Very early in our relationship many things came along to test us. More than any other relationship I had ever known. I truly didn’t think we would last. But we did!
Somehow we brought stability, hope and peace to each other. Even at the most difficult of times. The darkest of times.
In those early years I know that many people didn’t think we would last. People believed he was quieter and didn’t have a strong personality or life skills. Only time would tell if they were right. Every relationship takes time. Time, love and hard work.
You can’t ever know what lies inside a person until they are tested. Even what is inside ourselves.
I didn’t think we could face all the things that we have managed but I am so glad to be wrong.
Life tested us early on with financial struggles, personality differences, family problems, deaths and moving homes/cities. But with each challenge he never gave up. More and more his true personality and strength were slowly being revealed.
And then sickness came…
I honestly thought that this would be the one that broke us. It has nearly broken me many times.
Having lived through so many things it finally seemed like my illnesses were the cruelest blows of all.
After all that we had been through I felt sure that being in need of such help, compassion, empathy, kindness, devotion and a full time carer was much more than this man could manage. All my previous relationships had fallen apart under far less difficult problems, surely this would be the end?
I was wrong.
As I look back on the bookish, nerdy, geeky, introverted, quiet and awkward man I met all those years ago I can barely recognize the man he is today. Did life change him or did it simply release what was there? I guess I will never know for sure.
So many marriages don’t survive the stresses of a chronic illness and it is truly heartbreaking. We can’t know which ones will break and which ones will be molded together and evolve. We can only ever give it our best.
As a younger person I dreamed of a loving, stable, devoted, romantic and deeply feeling relationship. It seems ironic to me now that it took these illnesses to see how truly strong, devoted and loving a relationship can be.
It is because of these struggles that we can both look at each other and truly know that there is nothing in this life that is stronger and more powerful than our commitment to each other. Nothing.
And that is why he is the only hero I have ever known. Not because he isn’t human or doesn’t make mistakes, but because he doesn’t let these things stop him or stop us.
Even if many other men in life abandon, dismiss, disappoint or neglect, it really does only take one to restore faith again. One man can make all the difference in the world.
I had often read about special people who do extraordinary things but I will always be grateful that this life has allowed me to meet a real hero, let alone get to marry one.
Thank you D.