Friday, February 20, 2009

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes...

My husband and I have been married for nearly three years, and we've been together for nearly eight. For most of our relationship, we've been that couple to our friends - we have a great relationship, we compliment each other, we respect each other, and perhaps most importantly, we really like each other. Our relationship, and now our marriage, is one of things of which I'm most proud. I was (am?) a fiercely independent person, very strong-willed, and entirely capable of taking care of myself. My husband I are opposites in that regard - not that he can't take care of himself, certainly, but in that he's such a people-person, so ingrained in his family unit, in his friendships - he is a star in many orbits. He said I intimidated him when we first met in grad school, and I can see how that happened. I wasn't exactly shy in grad class - I went back to school for intellectual stimulation, and I wasn't missing out on any opportunities. My husband was quiet, but it was so obvious that he was kind, gentle - a curious but exact fit with the rough edges of my exterior. It didn't take us long after starting to date to realize that our relationship would become permanent.
My relationship and then marriage has been an interesting exercise in dualities for me. In many ways I still am fiercely independent, but I save that mostly for my professional life, as I no longer have that desire, or need, to be independent in my home life. Sharing myself, opening myself up to my husband is one of the best things I've ever done for myself. Quite unintentionally, we set up a bit of a continuum - I calmed down a lot after I fell in love with my husband, I became friendlier and funnier (my husband is hilarious and it rubbed off a bit) and he says I made him think more. My analytic nature and habit of looking at all sides of every issue gained on him, so in some ways, he became more independent as a result of our relationship, even if that independence mostly manifests in independent thought.
So I'm proud of our marriage, and while we're not exactly newlyweds any more, we're only a few years into the adventure as well. Our most amazing feat so far? Definitely our daughter, Marisa. She's nine months now, and every day she becomes more and more her own person.
We are no longer just a couple, we're a family. We take that really seriously, but of course that adds new dimensions to our relationship as well. We now have to learn to balance being husband and wife with being dad and mom - not that these are mutually exclusive things, to be sure.
It's a learning curve, though, as we realized when we went out to dinner for a belated Valentine's celebration this past week. It was only the second time we'd been out to dinner alone since we had the baby last May. The first was for my birthday in July, and we hadn't managed to carve out any other time for just ourselves since then. It was really nice to be just us- though of course we spent at least half the time discussing the baby, and well, missing her. So like I said, it's a learning curve, and a new duality to our marriage that I have every faith we'll figure out. Eventually.


  1. I've been married going on 13 years and I've been with my husband going on 20. I definitely understanding the difficulty in letting go and learning to depend on someone else, especially when you've been raised to be very strong and independent. But, I will admit, I love it. Sometimes I just want someone else to make the decisions for a change.

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