Today was my fifteenth wedding anniversary.
Ian's at Ft McCoy.
For our tenth anniversary he was stationed in Iraq, so I prefer him just a few hours away, attending classes on military history instead of participating in it.
Back when Ian and I got married we were in a phase of life where most of our friends were getting married. I felt like I was constantly trying on bridesmaids' dresses and everyone was pairing up and settling down.
Now we are in a phase where it seems like more and more couples we know are coming apart. In the past week I've helped two different friends in the process of divorce move their things out of their former homes. I've watched as they've struggled with difficult emotions and tried to find new ways to do the best they can by their children. Both were couples we liked very much and never suspected they were troubled.
It's so strange putting other people's lives in boxes, labeling bits of their history for storage. It's sobering. And it can't help but make you reflect on your own life and the path you're on.
My friends' homes and possessions are strikingly similar to my own. I boxed art supplies and children's keepsakes and moved many books. If you'd asked me a year ago I wouldn't have guessed their marriages where much different from mine either. You just never know.
I can't fathom what it must feel like to have to ask permission from my husband to step foot into a home we made together and raised children in. I can't imagine not having him on my side anymore.
I don't know why after fifteen years my husband and I are still happily married. I love him more now than I ever have. I hate that he's away tonight. I was pleased he called me to tell me how his Army classes are going and I can't wait for him to come home. I feel like I'm biding my time somewhat while he's away. The kids and I are having a nice time together, but it's not complete without their dad in the picture. I can certainly get by on my own, but it feels off kilter. There are gaps in our family without Ian here. He helps me to be my best possible self. I like that he tells me I'm stuck with him.
Back when we first started dating over half our lives ago, we used to joke about giving our relationship another two weeks. That didn't seem like an overreach, so every Thursday on the anniversary of our first date we'd say to each other, "Another two weeks?" and decide to go for it. It used to just seem funny, but now I don't know at what length you can make such predictions.
Can I say for certain we'll last the next fifteen years? No. All I can say is I want to, and hope with all my heart we get to continue down this path I've enjoyed so much for the past fifteen.
(Ian? If you're reading this out there between Army classes, I love you. Another two weeks?)