I mentioned in my last post that staying married has been my greatest accomplishment in my life so far. I also said I'd explain that comment, so here goes.
Ya'll already know my background so it isn't really a surprise when I say that the only way I really knew how to relate with men was either not at all or sexually. The day I married Hubby was the day everything was going to be all better for me. I had the unconditional love of an amazing man and I didn't need anything else. We escaped to our hotel after the wedding and I locked myself in the bathroom with the guise of needing a bubble bath to help relax me because I was a little nervous. Though I'd had sex and Hubby had had sex before, we hadn't had sex with each other so I really was a little nervous on my wedding night.
I took a really long bath, trying to avoid the inevitable. I remember thinking "Oh my God. I have to have sex with the same person for the rest of my life. I don't know if I can do this." I couldn't "relax" enough to do anything that night, I actually just cried. Romantic night, huh, holding your new bride while she sobs in your arms instead of finally caressing the body you have spent years waiting for. The next morning the same thoughts hit me. And then this one, "Well, we haven't had sex yet so I could still get this annulled and then not break his heart by not being able to stay true."
Rational? No. Legitimately what I thought? Yes. I had no idea how I was ever going to make it. I was sure I didn't have what it took to be married, especially to such a great guy. I spent years knowing I couldn't love him as much as he loved me. I knew early on that if anything happened to me his world would stop but if anything happened to him I'd be sad and then move on. I really wanted to feel like my world would stop if something happened to him but I couldn't. I spent years wondering if he was going to get tired of loving more than he was loved and leave me.
In our first few months of marriage, my first test came along. Hubby's boss. Something about him sparked my interest. In retrospect, I think I enjoyed his company and his sense of humor and didn't know how to respond to him in another way besides desire. He had told us of the girl he had made out with who was someone's fiance. I knew that if he could make out with his friend's fiance, he could make out with me, his friend's wife. He didn't have that boundary in his head that would make me off limits. My mind started concentrating on him a lot. I desired him and knew that he wouldn't mind crossing that line and figured it could be a secret.
Here is where I realized that I did really love my Hubby not just loved that he loved me. I would play in my mind having to tell him I had slept with his boss and could see how heartbroken he would have been. I never wanted to be responsible for breaking his heart. I held on to that fiercely. It was my proof that I really loved him. At least I loved him as much as I was capable of loving him. I was pretty broken. I worked in the same building as he did at the time. I quit my job to avoid seeing and feeling for Hubby's boss on a daily basis. I walked away from my greatest temptation because I didn't want to hurt Hubby.
I spent the first 3 years of our marriage waiting for the day when he would tire of my broken capacity for loving him and leave for a woman who had a whole heart to love him with. During our infertility years I even told him if he wanted to leave me for a woman who could have his children that I would understand. He still refers to that conversation as the only time he has ever been absolutely furious with me. I knew that I loved him as much as I could, but I wondered if I would ever love him as much as he loved me, as much as he deserved to be loved.
I finally confessed all of this to him a couple of months ago. Of course, he already knew, but it was nice to finally talk about it. He wondered when we got married if I loved him or if I loved how he made me feel. Did I love him or did I love being loved? Did I love him or feeling safe? Did I love him or that he would do anything to make me smile? Did I love him or did I love that I didn't have to answer to my parents anymore?
Did I love him or that I was the center of someone's world finally? He didn't know. How could he, I didn't know.
I would repeatedly find myself avoiding situations because I didn't want to have to tell him I'd been with another man. Not wanting to hurt him was the proof of loving him that I clung too. For far too long, it was all I had to assure myself that I loved him as much as I could. As the years have passed, our friendship has deepened. Our love has grown. My love for him is genuine and deep now. My world would stop if something happened to him. I no longer need to cling to the fear of hurting him to prove to myself and him that I do love him. It just flows naturally from every fiber of my being.
We've known each other since I was 18 and I enjoy his company more than I even realized was possible back then. Though I've been tempted in the past to step outside of our marriage, I no longer need the fear of telling him to be the thing that keeps me faithful. I don't want to be with anyone else. I don't think of other men in sexual terms anymore. Hubby is my only lover and the only one I want to love for the rest of my life. And I'm really thankful that he could see into my heart and love me even when I didn't know how to love him in return.