July 22, 2010 at 12:12 am

I do not pretend to know everything about love. If anything, I know less than most. To me the great love of my life is the person that I know everything about, and still want to be around. It is the man that I have told everything about me, even the things that I most ashamed of or scared of, and he is still the one that I am most comfortable with. The great love in my life is that person that I have trusted with all of my secrets and when I see him, my stomach does a flip and my throat feels funny. My great love is the one that sits on the couch waiting for me to get ready to leave, patiently, and when we are about to walk out the door—I look at him and am amazed that he chose me, again and again. This is love to me. This is my husband and my best friend. Marriage is not easy, is it? With everything I feel in the first part, time is intertwined with heartbreak, sadness, and anger. We have both said things, done things, and felt things that were negative to the love that we share. Every relationship goes through it at some point, and it is difficult. When we were younger I think we both wanted to still be so independent, and think independently — it got in the way at times with what should have been partnership type planning. Arguments were stupid after the time passed and we realized that the struggles between the two of us were over things that did not matter. As we got older, and our children grew and left, we were just two. That left us to be independent again at times when we had adjusted to be a team….again this was a learning curve for us both. Safety in numbers, the number two, is what marriage is at certain times. You know you love the person next to you. You have survived the good and bad together. So forging ahead, in a group of two, feels safer than jumping in alone. Marriage is good for growth of a person, I am convinced of that. Not only do you learn about a person but you learn about yourself along the way. You are tested and given a gift of companionship, love, friendship, and you learn tolerance, tenacity, trust and partnership. You are there to hold each other up when the other is falling down. You are there for each other if you both fall, to rebuild and live again. That is where my marriage is at. It is the longest relationship I have ever had besides with my mother and my brother. It is the one constant that I can rely on and know that I am depended on. He is the one love of my life that I have fallen in love with thousands of times in my life and been mad as hell at. He is someone that I have cherished, and also been scared he was someone that I was going to lose. My marriage is my safe haven, my number one. It is where it all began. Together we have grown from immature young adults to where we are now. Maybe not always mature in thought or action, but mature in age, and still a couple. Time has tested our marriage in many ways, always coming out on top and together. Can it survive this test? Can we hold each other up through this? Why in the world is it suddenly so difficult for us to talk to each other about what is going on? Or maybe it is just me having the difficulty talking. What is a couple to do when one of their own children is gone? A piece of each of us, gone. These days are difficult and it is like starting over in ways. Each of us on an island, inside a cave, looking out into darkness and only seeing a dense fog, leaving no clear path for either of us. Both of us, trying to build an intricate bridge, made of feathers, from one side to the other, and falling through when taking that first step.