If asked in life whether I have many regrets, no would be my answer. I’m lucky enough to know that even my mistakes have helped shape me into the person I am today. I’ve learnt from them, grown from them.
There’s things I should regret, things I’m not proud of, things I would do differently if given half a chance. Our marriage would be one.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not me admitting that I wish I hadn’t married you, I don’t!
I was 24 at the time I said my vows, and although I completely meant them, the promises I made meant very little. I’d no experience of what ‘love, honour and obey’ would actually entail.
Like every little girl, I had dreams of the fairytale ending. I’d pictured you as my Prince Charming, my expectations of you were unrealistic from the start. Maybe this was because of the whirlwind of a relationship we’d endured to begin. I’d never meant to fall in love with you, I wasn’t looking to achieve long term goals. Though, there was something about you that I just couldn’t resist.
You were kind, considerate, loving and romantic. I had my barriers up having been intensely hurt before but you were patient, you swore you’d break them down.
Eventually, I weakened and you hurt me more than I ever knew possible.
The day you proposed to me, out 1st anniversary together, you made me the happiest I think I’ve ever been. Looking back, I wonder whether you meant it or if you just got caught up in the romance of the occasion? It meant something to me, I was dedicated to forging a secure future together.
Then, two weeks before we were due to be wed, you told me you didn’t love me. I knew, I’d known for a while beforehand too. The romance had stopped, you no longer looked at me with admiration, I irritated you. I gave you nothing.
Our marriage felt tainted from the start. I entered it knowing that my love was no longer requited, knowing that your decision to stay was based on not wanting to let people down. So, your leaving two weeks later came as no surprise. I’d been waiting nearly a month for you to do the right thing. I can’t say it broke my heart, that had happened those two weeks prior to our wedding.
When you came back to me, I wanted it to be for love. I wanted it to be because you couldn’t live without me. I wanted it to be because I was enough but I always felt that I wasn’t. You could never tell me why you loved me, always struggled to say why you’d returned.
And yet, I allowed five years to pass. Never told you how I was feeling, never forgave you for the mess you’d made. Never gave my mended heart back to you wholly.
Along the way, we had children (maybe it was fate, maybe it was stupidity). Finally, I saw what I’d been missing, the ‘you’ who had been there for all that time. I saw that you’ve loved me throughout it all. I’d just been blinded by my own stubbornness and fear. I realised that I have been enough, even though I’ve made it hard for you.
Our children showed me that our marriage was meant to be. Throughout all the hurt, the arguments and the doubt, they are the reason why we are surviving, the reason why I know we won’t give up without fighting as much as we can.