08_07AMy husband and I aren’t perfect.  We are always smiling in photos and beam at the mention of our boys, but underneath it all we are two imperfect, exhausted and a sometimes estranged, yet perfectly compatible couple.

Seven years ago Jason and I became new parents – reluctant parents.  We almost didn’t make it.  But when the smoke cleared, surprisingly, we found that we had.  I was ashamed that I hadn’t done more with my life.  Jason wasn’t ready to let go of the freedoms of youth.  We were both drowning.  But when the boat actually did sink we found each other to hang on to, and we survived.  We built a new boat, a better boat, and sailed on.

We became estranged because we were working on the same project but concentrating on entirely different tasks.  For five years Jason concentrated on the business, spending four or five days straight at work, while I stayed behind for therapy and doctors appointments with the kids.  I wanted Jay to miss me more and he wanted me to nag him less.

Only in the past few years have I felt that I’ve finally come into my own.  I love the person I’ve become and I am who I always wanted to be, and hallelujah, maybe even more.

Jason and I will celebrate our 10th anniversary in September, a bet I actually lost.  I doubt I’m the only one.  No one is more surprised than I that I could temper my constant need for change and my stubborn, opinionated nature, long enough to finally learn to appreciate those who mirror those qualities and also those who bring an entirely new perspective to the table.

I am about to embark on another new chapter of my life and Jason stands behind me 100%.  We talked this weekend like two people who haven’t talked in ages yet knew each other more intimately than a mother and child.  We shared tears, laughter, excitement, a big dose of honesty, but most of all, the reassurances that we were still there for each other, after a decade, and always would be, no matter what.

Marriage is hard.  Especially when two people, unbelievably head strong, opinionated, unstoppable and unable to sit still for too long find their way to each other.  The compromises become contests and we sometimes forget that both of us can win.

Jason and I have fought, incredibly hard, for almost ten years and I’ve never felt more like a winner.