Last night at dinner Harry said, “Tell me this is forever.” And I hesitated. I could tell it was not the response he was expecting. We were sitting in a booth at our restaurant. The one where we met after 25 years in person for the first time. The one where we had our first kiss. Where we celebrated our first anniversary. And memories of this place came back to me from the past two years. The memories were mixed like items in a hope chest. Some of them made me weak with love and others reminded me of difficult times. But all of them were cherished.
I’ve only said “forever” with one other person. My ex who I was with for 23 years not 2. I made so many mistakes in that relationship that I don’t want to make in this one. Even with my ex I know the only reason why I gave up was because he already had. I fought for a year and a half even after I realized it. I knew what needed to be fixed and was ready and willing to do the hard work to get us close again. But he found someone new instead. My ex chose something other than forever.
I’ve been thinking about this concept of forever since last night.
Maybe I hesitated out of fear, but I don’t think so. I think it’s humility. Failing humbled me. Failing made me realize that we can say something is forever but it doesn’t mean it will be. And even though my first two years with Harry have been better than my first two years with my ex…I’m still not arrogant enough to think that we are impervious to complications. As great and easy as this is with Harry, I’m hesitant to declare victory.
Not because I think we’re doomed. But because I’d rather look at each step along the way that we are taking in every moment than declare a victory that might escape us if we don’t. I don’t want to become complacent. I really WANT this to last forever.
They say pride comes before a fall. And resting on your laurels distracts or numbs you from dealing with maintaining your standing. I don’t want to lose ground with Harry.
– BUT –
I guess you can take it too far and become paranoid too. The other day Harry got home after a long day at work and I greeted him with a kiss, like I always do, and was happy to have him home. We sat on the couch and as I was talking to him he turned on the television. It sent me into an utter panic that left me apologizing to him later. But rushing through my mind in that moment were all the evenings I spent with my ex while he watched television without a conversation. All the evenings where once we finally went up to bed he fell asleep as I talked. I remembered how lonely and boring that was and Harry and I have always been such good talkers. One night, sent me into a tailspin, thinking that we were somehow slipping into an unhealthy pattern.
Seeing that I don’t want to make any mistakes, I think in this case I was being hypersensitive. Because the next night after a great day at work for Harry I suggested we go out to celebrate. We sat for an hour and half at our table talking about everything under the sun just like always. And went onto to have one of our quintessentially fun and happy nights.
I’m so paranoid that normal will bring with it seeds of discontent I need to mindful that my overreaction can in and of itself breed reality for my fears.
Okay, so lesson learned. And I told him so.
It’s crazy the fears I’ve been dealing with since getting married. All of them have to do with routine, and patterns. It’s like I’m afraid Harry is going to turn into my ex.
I know that I am Harry’s happy place. But I also know that some days all he wants to do is chill for a while and after a day alone in my house when I’m excited to see him…sometimes the very best thing to do is just let him chill. Because that is what he needs in order to get through his day. Harry is not my ex. He does not want to escape from me. I have to remember that.
No Harry is the guy who tells me multiple times a day how much he loves me, he never ignores me. Harry is the guy who takes the bull by the horns, he’s not one to become complacent . Harry is the guy who asks ME if he can be my forever.
So again, I’m going to strive for balance. Forever for me is choosing to love Harry with the same kind of love every day. The love that strives to build him up and the love that is other focused. If he or I ever go a day where we purposefully choose anything else….that is when our forever is in jeopardy. And I for one never ever want that to happen. So I will keep choosing forever everyday.