As we approach our 9th wedding anniversary this month, I keep feeling pulled to explore what my marriage means to me. Reading Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage had me thinking more on this topic as I enjoy stories of love, partnership and relationships.
“However much we describe and explain love, when we fall in love we are ashamed of our words.”
When I try to put words to why I love Sean, it feels impossible, because it is. I start to say, he’s awesome, he’s funny, I love hanging out with him, he gets me, he puts up with my antics…but that’s not why I love him. I love him because I just love him.
“He’s your lobster!”
– Phoebe from Friends
Sean and I had some kind of magnetic energy since our senior year of high school. Love at first sight, if you will. However, we didn’t know that feeling was love then, having never been in love. I feel somewhat certain that he and I have had past lives together and hopeful that the relationship will continue on and on in future lifetimes.
I feel compelled to share my love story because I believe love changes things. I believe love changes EVERYTHING actually.
“Love is the remedy.”
-Zac Brown Band
This man, I call my husband, became my best friend when we were still kids. We entered adulthood together, found our way together and discovered many layers of ourselves alongside each other.
Sean was deployed with the Air Force and I spent a semester abroad in college, so three separate times our relationship spanned the Atlantic Ocean and when your love is young, as ours was at that time, that is brutal. The few times we said goodbye to each other, knowing it would be months until we got to see each other again, I sobbed uncontrollably at the airports alone.
One particular deployment Sean was stationed near Frankfurt, Germany and I went to visit him for a week. We traveled all over in our rental car, flying down the audobon listening to European music we didn’t know having the time of our lives. We drove through snowstorms, had our car break down and discovered adventures waiting for us in Berlin.
One of the stops on this road trip was in the Medieval town of Rothenburg. Super cute town but the time of year we went it was dead. Nothing to do, nothing going on. Zilch. When you’re 24 and ready to party, that’s a bummer. There was an Italian pizza place across the street and we went there three nights in a row and drank loads of their house wine and ate pizza as if it was the place to be. It was better than the clubs.
I think we’ve had three chances to partner up in this lifetime and I’m happy the 3rd time worked out.
- We realized that both of our dads were in the same Roofer’s Union in Philadelphia and we both attended their holiday parties when we were kids. Too soon.
- Then when we were in high school, our worlds collided, but quickly divided when we went our separate ways to different colleges. Hit then miss.
- Finally, when we crossed paths again once Sean came home from a deployment in Cyprus, the time was then for us to be together. And we basically were ever since. Perfect timing.
I remember the day that my friend called me telling me he was really coming home from overseas. I was crossing Broad street in Philadelphia and I was on my cell phone and stopped in the middle of the street, nearly getting hit by a car. I was so excited and in complete shock.
It was in a driveway in Lawncrest later that night that he told me he’d basically drop whatever he had going on to be with me. Wait, what did he say??? It took more than a couple weeks for me to realize what had been said.
“Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer.”
Someone once told me that couples who make it through the years still argue about the same things they always have, they just change the way they argue. It is something that has always touched me as we transitioned into parenthood and now as our family grows.
So as Sean and I each journey on our own paths of self-awareness and even self-study I see that we have shifted the way in which we argue and it actually makes us stronger – disagreements and all.
“Then your heart changes your mind and it changes you.”
-Zac Brown Band
Gone are the wild days of driving around anywhere at anytime seeking all the adventure we could find. We did it all, I bet you have too. Often it was just us two finding fun at a Phillies game, out in Center City or going to Dorney Park. We’d drink a million beers talking about everything we could think of with Van Morrison in the background. We’d mention that strange feeling of love at first sight, or knowing there was just something different about the other one. We needed to be together.
“We were young and wild
They say nothing good’s
Gonna last forever
We were pedal to the metal
And always together
When I look back I just smile”
-Zac Brown Band
And together we were. I didn’t have a driver’s license for the first 10 years of our relationship – so we went nearly everywhere together. For TEN YEARS! Like everywhere. Then we both got sick of that. Haha.
Moving in together at 20 years old was fun yet challenging. Our friends were living in dorms or at home still and we were figuring out how to split the bills. The upside is that it gave us practice and by the time the wedding came, we had it somewhat figured out.
“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”
Sean has two hands together that hold me up in precisely the areas I need support. And I try to be that same support for him.
One time when I was going through a major transition, he didn’t recognize me but told me that he understood I was like a flower and I needed to grow. I didn’t think I could have loved him more than I did in that moment.
When I was feeling black and blue
I could always count on you
You always made me new
Always made me new
-Zac Brown Band
When we lived in Center City we would often wander the streets and go for long walks and talk for hours. We were bored and broke but we had each other. Those are some of my favorite memories.
Today walks are for carrying scooters and yelling “Wait at the corner!!!!” to the kids. Our exchanges are checklists of family to do’s and asking the kids to please SHHHSH so we can communicate. Often we only have the chance to talk for real when we are both exhausted and half asleep. Our lives are different now but we still have each other and every once in a while when we do get to spend meaningful time together, it’s just as fun as it’s always been.
I am continuously blown away by the forces and circumstance that united us. I have much gratitude in my heart for this, my most precious friendship and partnership in this lifetime. Nine years of marriage has shown me love,
compassion, patience, frustration, compromise and companionship.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our love story. I’d love to hear yours and consider featuring it on my blog. Email me at mslipbalm at gmail dot com.
I wanna get lost in some corner booth
I wanna dance to the static of an A.M. radio
I wanna wrap the moon around us and lay beside you skin on skin
Make love ’til the sun comes up, ’til the sun goes down again
‘Cause I need you
-Tim McGraw & Faith Hill