11 Years (And Counting)

It’s not my anniversary yet but the ever epic @MrGeevie has made this August an anniversary MONTH rather than just concentrating on the day. He surprised me with a sparkly purple disco ball (Swarovski! Woot!) and then surprised me AGAIN with a crystal heart engraved with “11 Years, Still Married.”

If you met Steven 13 years ago there would have been one thing he would have made perfectly clear. He never intended to marry. He didn’t want kids, he didn’t want a wife – he wanted to be free and independent for the rest of his life. Part of it came from watching his parents divorce when he was a little boy, but maybe part of it too was a low self-esteem that he didn’t think he could actually be loved for a lifetime. He had already been burned by a past relationship where the first love of his life cheated on him with his best friend. This added baggage to his sense of abandonment from his dad and left him unwilling to try again past the casual relationship.

He liked to play and had pretty much given up on doing anything more than he absolutely had to.

He had no idea killing time in an AOL chat room would change his life forever. There he met someone funny and smart and willing to accept him as is. He didn’t want complications, but neither did she. Though she didn’t know at the time she needed it, he brought the fun back into her life. She had married and had a family young so the idea of just goofing off was a foreign concept to her. She had worked really hard to provide for her kids and pull herself up by her bootstraps whenever life had knocked her own, and it had knocked her down plenty. There were many times she wondered if happiness would always remain just out of her reach.

She had no idea that God had a greater plan.

They came together so easily it was like they were made for each other. It sounds cliche, sure, but when it comes to personality they are almost perfectly matched. Whereas he was free spirited, she was intense. She knew how to get things done and he knew how to inspire her for the greatness she feared. Eventually their instant light and easy friendship caught fire and by the end of that year they were living together; she disentangled from her old obligations and he about to jump feet first into his own.

Though she had kids and an estranged husband, and though his own family thought twice about his taking on a relationship with so much baggage, he never faltered. He was in it for the long haul even before he could admit to himself he was. Somewhere along the line he fell in love for the second time in his life. Not only did he decide to marry but he left his home for a strange new land called Texas to try and grow up past the guy getting paid minimum wage at Blockbuster.

Together they grew through good times and through hard times. They struggled but rarely fought, always managing to find the good humor in life despite all the challenges. They grew in mutual respect. They pushed each other, encouraged each other and even managed to figuratively kick each other in the ass to keep going upward and onward. They never looked back.

They raised a family, which was pretty incredible considering he had never wanted kids. But he couldn’t love the ones he picked up raising at 9 and 6 anymore than if they had been born of his own blood. He was there 100% even though it meant growing up fast and losing all the fun stuff he used to do. He even survived the teen years with just a few gray hairs to show for it. He worked tirelessly to make his family happy, something he continues to do to this day. He’s patient and level headed, dedicated and resilient. He’s rewarded with passion and fire and intensity and a devotion that he never truly believed he deserved.

It’s a devotion I bestow all my significant relationships, but never more so than the man who stood up before God to promise me a lifetime of love and loyalty and devotion all his own.

We’re so happy and so strong that it really kind of befuddles me when I hear that others are spreading nasty rumors about me wanting or pursuing anyone else, particularly anyone who could not give to me what my incredible husband has. It’s so petty and juvenile and completely unfounded, as anyone who actually KNOWS us will attest. Fortunately these rational, mature and decent human beings outnumber the other kind significantly.

But I guess there are some who are bound and determined to mistake online branding and networking for something that it just clearly isn’t. There’s no evidence anywhere it’s even MARGINALLY the same thing except in rumor and conjecture. If anyone tells you anything about me that doesn’t fit with “happily married to Steven” I would urge you to require proof other than hearsay, especially from people with a proven track record of being less than honest, secretive and spreading gossip about other people behind others’ backs.

As always, consider the source.

Most of the time this comes from people who are bitter, lonely, jealous or pissed off. They’re not happy that their lives aren’t where they want it to be so they have to crap all over everyone else. People who are the happiest and most positive are lightning rods for this kind of thing. But it’s all a mental game of three card monte. By being preoccupied with what I might be hiding that you will miss entirely what I have, which is a much better story anyway. All this other stuff is just a big fat game best left in works of fiction, because that’s all it is. I’m not looking for my happily ever after, I found it. His name is Steven and the wedding ring on my finger is the answer to any and all question to rid anyone of doubt. I didn’t just get married because I had nothing to do. I made a commitment… a covenant… because I found the man who restitched my heart and brought me to life again. He’s more a part of me than anyone ever has been or ever could be.

You’re not just slandering me you are attacking my marriage, which is not OK. As you can see from my history with Steven I’m really proud of the life I’ve built with him. I work really hard to keep my marriage strong, just like I worked really hard to raise good kids and start my career. And everyone with an ounce of sense in their heads recognizes this and respects me for it. I’m an open book. Just read the pages. It’s not complicated.

Honestly, I feel kind of sorry for these other folks. How bout… stop worrying about how I may or may not be living my life and concentrating your own? You’re the one chasing paper dragons. Even if you manage, by some quirk of fate, to shut down 10% of my life, I still have a kickass 90% to keep me happy and successful. Can YOU say that? Shouldn’t you be able to? Grow up.

No one knows how lucky I am to have found my wonderful husband more than me. I am so thankful every day for being so blessed. I actually met the one who would give to me everything I give to them and more. Do you realize what a miracle that is? So I work very hard to maintain that treasured relationship and I spoil him rotten so he never has to wonder if he made the right choice.

Eleven years and still married may not be much of an accomplishment for some who have made it to 15 years, 20 years or more. But for a guy who never thought he’d ever walk own the aisle, every year is a pretty epic achievement.

And I’m lucky enough to call him mine.

So to my darling Steven, I love you even more every day of my life. Thank you for being my rock, my lighthouse and my inspiration. In your eyes I am a queen, and that’s the only opinion that matters in the end. <3<3<3


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