Today is Heather and my 7th wedding anniversary. It seems like we’ve been married much longer than that. It’s probably because we’ve done a lot of crazy things since 2006. Peace Corps, Europe, moving to Washington state, getting a dog, buying a house; we’ve stuffed quite a bit of experience into our relationship. There have been many more ups than downs (the ups being quite a bit higher than the downs have been deep). To show you how cheesy we can be, we waited until midnight to go to bed last night just so we could say “I love you” at the start of our day.
We’ve known each other since 1998 when we met at KLVX PBS 10. Fifteen years of experience, friendship and love. As I mentioned before, our relationship has mellowed over time. However, I feel just as passionate now as when we met. There was something about her; maybe it was the red hair, or her kindness, or that small glint of mischievousness in the corner of her eye. I still can’t put my finger on it, but there is a feeling you get when your heart attaches to another person. Through different relationships and jobs and life choices I can honestly say I was always in love with Heather.
And I got to marry the girl who got away.
So now people are asking me about the “7 year itch.” Apparently, this is supposed to mark a low period in the satisfaction of married life. Men and women are supposed to feel “itchy” to get out and renew romance and sexual adventure after becoming bored in the daily routine. I’ll have to ask Heather at dinner tonight, but I feel very satisfied in our marriage. Yes, it’s time to spice things up in the sex department. It’s also very healthy to reevaluate roles and behaviors in any relationship over a period of time. That’s what a relationship is. But I am not going to use some stupid phrase as an excuse to lapse on my commitment to my wife.
I recently learned through an NPR article about a website called ashleymadison.com; a networking website for married people looking for affairs. There are a number of studies about the reasons people cheat. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’ve been a cheater in my past. I’ve also been cheated on. I have no good reason for why I did it; sometimes it was for the thrill of doing something forbidden, sometimes it was just plain opportunity. There is no good reason; I was a selfish, immature dick.
However, Heather inspires me to be a better man than that. She inspires me to want to be the best partner to her that I can be. I fail constantly; many times I put other things at a higher priority than her, whether it’s playing computer games or watching TV. Honestly, I get lazy. Whatever the cause, it’s stupidity on my part. On our anniversary today, I’m reminded that she is the most important relationship I have in my life. This comes with the responsibility to NOT take her for granted.
Heather has given me seven years of her life and it has been filled with amazing adventures. She is well worth the time and effort of my full attention, affection and love. All I can do today is ask her forgiveness for the times I have not been the best man I could be; to trust that I will continue to become a better partner with her; and to believe in a future, years from now, where we will look back on our 7 year anniversary and know that my promises were fulfilled.