Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nine years...

There comes a point in any marriage when you feel a touch of panic.

If you've got a bad marriage, it's maybe more than a touch. It's maybe a full-blown attack of what the hell did I get myself into and more importantly, how the hell can I get myself out of it with my dignity (and wallet) intact?

But even a great marriage, like mine, isn't immune from occasional jolts of panic. The first ones come right early, actually: I can't possibly be doing enough around here or there's no way she cares that much about me! Later on, when you've progressed to the point where your every thought is somehow broadcast direct to your spouse before it enters your own brain, that brings with it a wee bit of unease. If your spouse happens to be the sort of person who bores easily, you can just as easily find yourself wondering when she'll get bored with you, now that she seems to know things about you that you don't know yourself.

I can't imagine ever becoming bored with my wife. That'd be like having the world--no, the galaxy--at your disposal and feeling nothing more than a vague urge to twiddle your thumbs. In the ten years I've been with Eva and the nine years we've been married, I feel as if I've only established a colony or two: there's so much more to explore. But if I'm honest with myself, I do worry on occasion that she's conquered every horizon of my little moonlet and still yearns for more.

We have a relationship, Eva and I, that puzzles people looking at it from the outside. My love enjoys life most when she is in control of it. She was taught from a young age how to take and keep control, and so her self-reliance is extraordinary. Me, I cloistered myself as a kid, scared of the world outside my window and just as scared of the future. When I left home and found myself at the controls of my own life and future, I promptly ran off the road and over the cliff of solvency. I spent years wandering around, aimless and confused, trying to find someone to take control for me. The few potential candidates weren't willing. I don't blame them. I'd made a right mess of myself.

This is where you're probably expecting me to tell how I met and moved in with Eva, ceding all control to her and happy to do so. Indeed, that was how I viewed the situation prior to my premarital counselling--an exercise I had viewed with intense skepticism before I went through it. I now think that any marrying couple really ought to have that experience, even if they don't think they need it. Perhaps especially if they don't think they need it.

One of the many things that course made me realize is that no matter how naturally dominant Eva is or how naturally submissive I am, I'm actually in control of far more than I'd thought. One of the uncountable blessings Eva has given me is the feeling, never for a minute in doubt, that we are a team. Eva may most often be our team's public face, and she might set the overall direction of travel, but never without duly considering my thoughts. Eva might lead; I'm far from a blind follower.

I've written often about my wife's effortless ability to see every side of an issue, broadening my often narrow mind in the process. I haven't maybe said enough about her willingness to let me by myself. Many times I've heard people say their wives are out to change them...Eva's always and forever out to grow me. And growing with her is never painful, the way I imagine it would be with somebody else, the way I know it would be if I were alone. I hope she feels the same way about me. She says she does, and Eva doesn't lie (nor is she often mistaken...) but even after nine years, a part of me sometimes worries.

But we have grown, and we continue to grow, together rather than apart.
We've been through some very good times and some very bad times, even within the first couple of years, and withstood everything the world has thrown at us. Pretty solid team, my wife and I, if I do say so myself. And here we are.

Nine years.

Sometimes it seems longer. A former colleague of mine would say "so, you've been married nine years, but it's twenty three with the wind chill factor, right?" (But then, scant months after meeting Eva, it already felt as if we'd been together a lifetime or two). The Chinese word for "nine" is the same as the world for "long-lasting".
Sometimes, it seems like those nine years have gone by in an eyeblink, especially when I imagine them in context to the many years ahead. Nine is a divine number in the Hindu faith, symbolizing the end of a cycle (which, for reasons I will get into over the coming weeks, is very much apropros to us).

To my love, happy ninth anniversary. I love you more now than I did the day I married you...and someday I'll look back through this blog, stumble upon this entry and think to myself that's nothing to how I love you now.


Russel Trojan said...

Congratulations on 9 years. Your posts about Eva are always worth the read. Thanks for sharing.

Rocketstar said...


Rocketstar said...

Congrats on fighting the unnatural pair bonding experience that us humans execute, it's not easy.