As today is Valentine's Day, I sit thinking about where I have come from and where I am going. My wife tells me I am too serious and technical with my writing voice, so this is my attempt at working on being more like me (whatever that means)! Now that I think about it, my wife tells me a lot of things. She gives me a lot of advice too, whether I ask for it or not.
While I'm on the subject, we have been married for twenty-six years now and she truly is my partner and my equal. We are so complimentary it is difficult to tell the two of us apart. I spent many of those years trying to figure out our roles and positions in this legally binding contract we signed to be recognized as husband and wife. How wrong was I?!?!
My attitude nearly cost me the only true human relationship I have ever experienced. I have since learned marriage is more about a covenant relationship with an equal partner set and determined to solve problems, enjoy life, raise young adults, and give back to society.
Let me be as clear as I can, my wife is not subservient, subjugated, subject to, or less than I, No! She is, in fact, co-equal, complimentary, my compeer, my confidante, my friend (tested and true), she is my intimate mate, my life, my everything.
When she speaks to me her words cut through my very thoughts, my sinew, my bone, right to my soul. I am afraid of no human being save one... my wife! For her approval launches me to the highest heights, her disapproval slams me through the earth to the depths of the ancient deep. She has more influence over me than the most respectable leaders, more sway than my very own thoughts, greater impact than public opinion.
I tell people she is the only person I fear, but, I believe most folks misunderstand my meaning. I fear her because I can't abide her disappointment. I fear her because I respect her above myself and to see her happy is to glimpse the face of God. I fear her because the depth of love I have for her could quite literally destroy me. I have finally surrendered myself, my past, my future to her fulfillment, everything to her happiness, all of me to her future.
I hear folks say they are "all in" with a sports team, athlete, or famous person, how absurd, how ridiculous, how unfruitful. I'm all in with the person who is there when I'm at my worst. I'm all in with the girl that gave up her life to make one with me. I'm all in with my spouse, my wife.
You may be thinking I've lost my mind, or I'm being uber cheesy. Maybe I should tell you a little of my story.
You see, I grew up with little self worth and joined the Marine Corps to feel better about who I was as a person. The Marine Corps failed to change the way I saw myself, for that's not the Marine Corps function. I got out after a career in the Marine Corps and had a rough time transitioning to civilian life and it took years of focus and healing to be at a better place. I learn everything the hardest way possible, always have been stubborn like that.
But, you see, my wife and I were married at seventeen and eighteen years old respectively. In other words, she has been there through it ALL, so how could I not be ALL IN?!?! I am not the easiest person to live with, never have been particularly nice. I have struggled through alcohol addiction, Marine Corps addiction, thinking I was more important than i am, mental health challenges, and all this while trying to be the husband and father I should be. These are the challenges my wife has taken on and faces everyday.
So I say all of this to say "Happy Valentine's Day" to my beautiful, funny, intelligent, awesome wife!