...at least I think that I am.
The other night the family bundled up and got on the light rail system here to go see 'Enchanted'. Great movie, by the way. Total classic, and I rank it right up there with 'The Princess Bride' in terms of great fairy tale movies. But I'm digressing already...
We watched this lovely fairy tale about the jaded divorce lawyer whose wife had left him years earlier with their child who ended up falling in love with the fairy tale princess and having their own Happily Ever After. Later that night in the shower I heard Edwin McCain's "I'll Be" on the radio, and remembering that I'd heard it recently during a wedding scene on a television show, I got to thinking.
Thinking can sometimes be dangerous in the shower. I ended up going downstairs and asking DH a very strange question. I asked him if he was happy. First he replied that it would be nice if he had a job, until I hit him with "No, happy with *me*".
Thankfully, the answer was yes (and that's a scary question to ask, by the way). I didn't really doubt that it would be, but I felt compelled to explain why I was asking, and I'll tell you now too. I realized that while growing up I had no good examples of happy relationships, other than what I saw in movies and on television. No real life examples. Those people who call themselves my parents sniped at each other, showed no affection to each other, and the one called "Mom" constantly talked about the one called "Dad" behind his back. And said not very nice things, and things that she really should not have been saying to her teenage daughter. Sometimes I think divorce would have been a good idea for them.
Same goes for my maternal grandparents. They were constantly fighting and calling each other names. The only time I ever saw my grandfather show any care for my grandmother was after she died and he was crying at the funeral. I never saw the relationship between my paternal grandparents - my grandfather on that side died when I was 3, and I have just a whisp of a memory of him left.
The few friends I had in school - their parents were divorcing, or fathers were dying (because they were much older than their wives) and the wives were happy to be released from being a sick nurse. Only one relationship of a friend's parents seemed stable enough, but the father was more in love with his bottle of scotch than his wife, and the wife was staying and happy because "he's such a wonderful man when he's sober". *sigh*
I didn't grow up in a bad town, or bad part of town. I went to a Catholic school my whole life. You'd think I'd find at least *one* healthy relationship. Heck, even the relationship I was while in high school was dysfunctional. If you could even really call it a relationship. Same goes for college - the first guy was wonderful and we were rushing to some sort of finish line, but he kowtowed to his mother's wishes to dump me or lose the roof over his head (I just wasn't good enough for her musical prodigy only son - and yes, he was a musical genius). The second guy admits now that he didn't treat our relationship like an adult would have, and he recognizes that I did treat it that seriously. I knew it then that he didn't treat it that seriously, and still I couldn't let it go.
Then I gave up. Completely gave up. No men, no dating, no nothing. That was going to be the rule for my junior year in college, and that's when DH shows up to move his sister into our dorm room. And the rest is history. I had no good role models for relationships, and there I was dropped into the most important one of my life.
And I'm still here. And he's still here. And it's 16 years later, almost 13 years of marriage and two healthy happy daughters to show for it. I don't know if I should say that it's luck, providence, or just good sense. Or knowing what *not* to do was more important than seeing people who knew the right things to do? I guess that could be considered an 'upside' - I knew how *not* to behave in a relationship. I don't think that it matters, to tell you the truth. All I know is that I'm still here, and so is he, and we're happy together.
I have to be beating some sort of odds with this, right? Or did I have to go through the bad stuff in order for the good stuff to find me? I doubt I'll ever have that question answered, and I don't know that it's that important...
...because the important stuff I already know in my heart and my head.