It was ten years ago this week that my husband asked me to marry him. It wasn’t an elaborate proposal. I helped choose out the ring. Although it was a surprise. He had gone and picked it up without my knowing and was planning a large surprise involving both of our kids. He and his daughter had come to stay with us during their spring break. I however, had to work that week. I arrived home from a particularly hard day at work, in tears and exhausted. He followed me up to my room and offered to get my favourite sweatshirt out of the closet for me. As he turned around he said “I was going to surprise you with this later, but it looks like you need it now more than ever. Will you marry me?”
He knew what my answer would be, we had already been talking about it for a while and had been out ring shopping together. It seemed back then that he always knew what I needed to hear, and he said all the right things. Although that could be my memory playing tricks on me. It tends to do that sometimes.
I can’t help but stop and think about what has changed with us in ten years. More pounds, a migration of hair, and having two teenagers rather than young children definitely has changed us. Our relationship has changed too. Our communication is much better than it was in the beginning (remind me to tell you about the Cadillac that showed up on a flatbed truck sometime).
But I am going to be honnest here, there are things I miss from those early days. I miss the spark, the romance… It was nice when we were still learning about each other rather than discussing the leak in the main front transmission gasket. Yes, we had that over dinner last week. There was still a need to impress each other, a desire to make the other person feel special. And that I miss.
I miss the way he used to look at me, the lengths he would go to make me happy, how unique and special he made me feel. Don’t get me wrong, I know that my husband loves me more than anything, I have no doubt in that. But things are different and there is no getting around that. Part of me accepts that, you know that logical understanding part that knows that you don’t need to keep your now 13 year-old’s baby clothes any longer. But that other part that is emotional and illogical, the one still holding on to 4 Rubbermaid bins of baby clothes, is having real difficulties with it.
I find it hard to address this with my husband. And that is where most of my challenges lie. He doesn’t share my view and he thinks things are great. When I address it gently I am told that things change, and relationships change and we grew up. The real reason I don’t have an answer, is fear. Fear of the answer, of what I will hear.
That I am the baggy pair of sweat pants that you love to put on when you get home from work. Comfortable. I used to be the favourite shirt that you wore for special occasions, but now that you work from home, there are no more special occasions. Just sweat pants. No high heels, no suit, no tie, just sweat pants all the time. You love those sweat pants and they feel great and you would be devastated if anything happened to them, but you never feel pretty in them, and you kinda forget what it was like to be a well dressed person.
Wow that analogy took me farther than I thought. After 10 years, I am still very much in love. I can’t imagine my life without my husband. But I miss turning his head. I miss that look. I miss being well dressed. I always feel like I am wearing sweat pants, even when I am dressed for the ball.