This week marks my three-year anniversary with my boyfriend. It’s hard to believe. When we met on a blind date, I never thought that this blind date might turn into something more. In fact, I was thinking the opposite: that I should take my time, play the field, not commit so soon after my separation. But he was kind and funny and thoughtful. He wasn’t like anyone I’d ever met. I was sure I was unlikely to meet anyone like him. So I told him to cancel his other dates and he did. I took a risk, went with my gut, leapt in, and fell head over heels.
I probably haven’t made it easy on him over the years. I’ve brought a lot of baggage into the relationship with me. I can be insecure. I like to have a plan and to know what’s next. I’m constantly in a rush to move to the next level, no matter what that is. I feel guilty when my kids are difficult and don’t behave. I worry that if we continue on together, I will saddle him with another 12+ years of two boys who fight and whine and cling to me. I tell him we should break up, not because I want to, but because I want to liberate him from the realities of my fears and worries and insecurities.
But he’s refused to go. He’s stayed the course. He’s taught me how to work through issues in a healthy way. There’s no yelling or name calling or saying things we’ll regret. Just a lot of thoughtful conversation, attempts to hear the other person and to make things better through earnest effort. We aren’t married, but to me, that’s commitment. That’s what a marriage is supposed to be about. I guess I’m learning that now for the first time even though I’m divorced.
He sees the best in me, supports my goals, and wants me to succeed. We leave parties at the same time and go home together, we hold hands, he cooks for me, eats what I cook for him, plays with my kids, and he lets me play with his. I never thought I’d be lucky enough to find a partner. After my divorce, I never thought I’d be worthy of love. I never thought I’d let my guard down enough to find out.
Yet here we are, three years later, and somehow this milestone is magical. I suppose I should thank the universe for allowing the pieces to fall into place. And my boyfriend for refusing to let me destroy it. It’s not natural to believe you can find lasting happiness after divorce. Somehow, right now, I have it, and I’m going to grab it, run with it, and never let it go.