Also, in just a few days, The Hero and I will celebrate nine years of marriage. Being married and surrounded by so much divorce sometimes has its advantages. I think it has given me a good barometer of what is worth fighting about and what is better to just let go. The Hero and I also are a great balance for one another's personalities.
My father use to be fond of saying that when most of the struggle is gone out of a marriage, most of the fun is as well. That resonates for me. The first real fight The Hero and I had, he was terrified that I would call it quits. After the situation had mellowed and we had asked for one another's forgiveness, we acknowledged that if we were going to get gray together, another disagreement was bound to occur. And we were worth fighting for, as long as we were respectful and didn't mistake passion for being personal. If the last nine years had been sunshine and roses and The Hero rode home from work on a white horse, I would still love him. But it has been watching him and struggling through the hard times with him that have deepened my respect and love for him. We know so much more about one another because there have been hard times and we are more confident than ever that we are worth fighting for.
While the world throws so much temptation our way and is consistently reminding us that I will never look like a supermodel and The Hero and I are exhausted from work, kids and bills at the end of every day. Sometimes we take the bait. We debate about buying something we don't need, just because it's cool or we believe for an instant that we "need" it. I struggle with my self-esteem on days when I remember I'm not the size I was nine years ago. We grumble as we hit the couch after an entire day of not seeing each other and barely touching. But when we steal kisses and our kids gag, when he brews my favorite pot of coffee or when I hear a client describe a horribly abusive marriage, I am reminded that we are living a fairy tale. I don't think Cinderella had a mortgage on her castle, but for us a house with a mortgage means we are blessed to be working and two kids at soccer means they are healthy enough for sports. And curling up together at the end of a long day is a reminder that after nine years, it isn't always bliss, but it is most definitely a fairy tale.