In Honor of Valentine’s Day.

Love is in the air folks! Though some of you are grimacing at all the lovey-dovey crap everywhere, and some are absolutely reveling in it, there’s one thing I’m sure we can all agree on; love is really something special.

I’m not going to lie, I have been in my fair share of relationships. I have had quite a few trial runs that would ultimately prepare me for my current (and hopefully, last) one. I’ve felt the sharp sting of rejection, the throbbing ache of heartbreak, the thrill of first kisses and the slow burn of desire. Honestly, my marriage to B has been my only truly happy relationship. I can chock it up to being young and reckless, too naïve to understand that you’ll faster kill yourself by staying in a poisonous relationship than you could with drugs.

I know now what it feels like to bicker over money, or because one of us is hungry, fights about laundry and dishes and the kids or whatever else us old married couples fight about. But you know, those arguments never matter. They don’t eat away at me at night, or give me ulcers, make me cry or damage me physically. We go to bed, we kiss each other and it’s over. I can honestly say that nothing could have ever prepared me for that. We just kiss, and THAT’S IT! I mean sure, we’ll probably have that same fight again the next week, but who cares?

I love my husband. In a horrible, heart bursting, gut flipping way. We’ve had a whirlwind romance, spent a very short amount of time dating and an even shorter amount of time engaged. But I mean, that’s us. We don’t do anything in order and I LOVE it. B is my best friend, he’s the yin to my yang, my supporter, everything. He makes me laugh uncontrollably (more often than I’d like to admit), he cheers me on, encourages me, loves me, annoys the shit out of me, tells me when I’m being an asshole, ALWAYS makes me decide where we’re going to eat, buys me cute underwear, and incredibly rad Christmas presents, and that’s our love. That’s how we have come to be in almost 3 insanely difficult years of marriage.

I wasn’t ready for this love. I was never prepared to be treated well, to be spoiled or to be shown affection in this way. All of my life I’ve been a victim of destructive relationships. Between my parents, from my own partners, and watching my siblings and their partners too. I’ve seen too many casualties at the hands of Cupid. He’s matched us with people who seemed to fit us so well, but his arrows were dipped in poison and once we’d been hit it was always just fear disguised as need. Abuse wearing the mask of insecurity, control masquerading as “I’m trying to protect you.”

When you live that life, being in toxic relationships with people who feel the desperate need to break you down, that’s all you think you deserve. When your own flesh and blood sees you flying farther than she ever did, and she pulls you down and snaps your wings, something inside of you changes. You believe that no one could ever love you the way you see in movies. You never see yourself getting married, or being happy. You cannot even imagine a future that doesn’t involve being a fucking shell of the person you maybe could’ve been. The possibility of something beautiful, taken place by a crumbling ruin.

So when someone comes into your life and shakes you awake with the adoration and sweet, gentle kind of love you’d been dreaming of- you’re just in awe. You fight it because, “how could anyone ever really love me?” But eventually, you stop asking yourself that question and you just believe that you deserve it. I believe that I deserve this.

So, in honor of Valentine’s Day; thank you B, for loving me. Especially when I did not love myself.

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