I care for my husband. Even on the days I feel miles away from him.
On the days I cannot forgive him for having once again forgotten to take down the compost bin the only time I mentioned I might not have a chance to do it myself, hoping one of us will remember this week as I always do. Or for having forgotten to help with our daughter’s potty training or our son’s homework, for wasting the left overs in the fridge as always even if we said we will finish the following day, for often missing to tell me about a work engagement that forces me into babysitting duty last minute. Even on the days I feel so disconnected to him, to the point I don’t want him to look at me or touch me because I feel uncomfortable with myself and I might not even know why.
When I see something that he could enjoy or he needs I always check if I have enough money on my monthly budget and find an excuse to get it for him, more than I would get things for myself, or at least I am slowly learning to treat myself as well so there is a better balance now between things I get for myself and things I get for him. If I am in a codependent fase, he gets more little presents or surprises, if I am in a balanced place, we get just the same amount of treats.
I like trying every food he orders as he inspired my whole adult life tastes, since my parents gave me a terrible culinary education, letting me be picky and eat nearly nothing until I was aged 20. I thought I was born a fussy eater: by watching him eat with so much pleasure new dishes, it turned out that I could be very curious too on this front.
I know for sure that if it won’t work between us, if we separate, then it won’t work with any other man on this planet as I know he is the right one, he has everything to fit the role of my lifetime companion. I know it would just mean I am not capable to make a relationship with another human being last, not just with him. Constantly showing up in the boredom of family life routine, exhausted of raising two little ones will reward us when the kids will be older and we will remember why we got together in the first place.
I can see it every time (once a year or so) we have a weekend or a few days on our own without our children: there is not a single fight, we like doing the same things, or sitting next to each other doing each one our own thing, we enjoy each other’s company, we can stay in silence admiring a view without any awkwardness emerging between the 2 of us, all the opposite.
If he has a problem, I feel I have a problem. I learned that the healthy approach to his suffering is to detach with love, and I can do so more and more, however I still have a lot of empathy when he is going through some internal turmoil and I am always grateful when he shares his emotions with me. When he shows his vulnerability I never ever feel or think: ‘Oh not you and your problems again!’. As it is never a burden to hear them, I am more just sad that he is suffering, but it’s good to know where he is at in that moment and discuss together about solutions to alleviate his pain.
There is not a second of hesitation within me to speak up honestly if I have a problem too, even related directly to him, I never think he will let me down or judge me and so on. At the same time if I receive good news or something makes me very happy about my life or our family he is the first one I want to call and share it with. I plan our time off so we can spend beautiful holidays traveling and Sundays together in museums or new places in London as a family because staying with him and the kids is the thing I want most, despite the occasional practical arguments and the frequent challenges with the little ones.
I don’t know what love is at our age. I had a completely different idea, a distinct concept when I was a teenager: the perfect hero coming to rescue me, the man who would always understand me and protect me from everyone else. Today I feel love is not a whole unique feeling but instead it can actually have so many shades of colors, not just black and white. It can be a mixture of happiness and sadness at the same time, like the new core memories at the end of the cartoon Inside Out.
So if I learned that I am a unique human being and I will always be on a lonely journey as no one can share my body and soul for which I try to apply self love every day, I also know that I can walk on my path next to someone I genuinely like for taste and personality, going through amazing and awful moments, with inner peace or turmoil, each of us having our own thoughts and feelings but being able to touch each other’s soul time to time…
That is why today, after 14 years from our first date, I know that he is the closest that another human being will ever get to me.