After 15 Years, He Still Likes Me

At 22, I arrived at my first job fresh out of college with a degree, cheap clothes, big dreams, and little else. Happy to have work as a feature writer at a small daily newspaper, I settled into what I thought real-world living was. I found my own apartment in a dingy area of town, made my own meals, paid my bills, and still had a taste for fun and freedom. I figured if I got married, I’d be 30.

The serious dark-haired reporter who covered the cops and courts beat changed that. His deep voice carried across the newsroom. He didn’t have time to goof off. He was always on deadline or rushing to crime scenes or court.

Four months after I started my job, we were engaged. We had become fast friends. It wasn’t a storybook romance. It was more like we saw each other at a party from across the room and thought, “There you are. I’ve been looking for you all my life. Let’s get out of here.”

We just knew. It wasn’t that I couldn’t imagine the rest of my life without him; it was that I could only imagine the rest of my life with him.

Fifteen years later, here we are, a boring couple with two kids living in the suburbs. He works. I stay home. We live the American dream. We’ve had little drama. Frankly, I think it’s a good life. We laugh, we wrestle, we get on each other’s nerves, we ignore each other, we taunt each other, we get each other.

For fifteen winters he has put up with two pairs of socks on my feet, ugly flannel pajamas, and a sticky plastic strip across my stuffy nose to help me breathe. Nostrils flared, I look like a proud pig coming to bed but he doesn’t say anything, though he does roll the other way.

He puts up with the used tissues I leave all over the house year-round and the fact that I make him clean the unidentifiable objects from the back of the fridge. I suffer with the fact that he refuses to throw certain clothing away when it is so riddled with holes a moth wouldn’t touch it. I made a pact with him early in our marriage that I would never throw his things out without asking. And I don’t. I did not, however, say I wouldn’t nag about those items—or his box collection in the garage.

We’ve been through times when I wondered if we’d ever be the same happy couple again. Nights when our young son wouldn’t sleep, my word, there were hundreds of nights. But somehow when the sun came up, we always saw things differently.

When you’re young and stupid and you’re mumbling those wedding vows in utter fear, you know you mean them, but after fifteen years you understand them with all your heart. The honeymoon ended long ago, awkwardness replaced with being too comfortable in human skin. If something itches, you scratch it. My husband has held my hair for me while I puked, put ice packs on my head to ease migraines. He’s helped me through stomach disorders that I never wanted him to witness. He probably saw things during childbirth that I don’t want to know about.

That’s when you know you’ve got it good. Between all of that and those sticky nose strips, he loves me anyway.

We’ve been married fifteen years this month and he’s still that young reporter who invited me to his house to do my laundry and cook dinner for me sixteen years ago. And he still does my laundry and cooks dinner for me.

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33 Comments

Filed under Everyday Life

33 responses to “After 15 Years, He Still Likes Me

  1. This made me cry with joy for you both! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. This is so sweet. Happy Anniversary! You have a beautiful love story.

    ~FringeGirl

  3. Happy Anniversary! What a great story of real love.

  4. singlemamalife

    Happy Anniversary!!

  5. What an inspiring love story. Congratulations to both of you. Reading a story such as yours makes me smile knowing love can last despite of the trials in life.

  6. You are a very lucky girl. Sounds like he’s lucky, too. Congratulations on finding “the one” and the fact that he retained the title.

  7. K. Eley

    So sweet! Happy Anniversary!!!

  8. Aw that’s really lovely! Congratulations to you both – here’s to many more years of ‘getting’ each other :)

  9. Congratulations, what a lovely tale. It proves you can be happy and live a full life with right person.

  10. What a beautiful story, told with your poignant style. Definitely made me tear up. Happy Anniversary!

  11. JWo

    Congrats!! I laughed out loud a couple of times but I could tell how much you two love each other. I think it’s the “strips” that helps keeps things together. I wear then and you know how much I love Tammy. haha…

    • It’s good to have a sense of humor. If you wear them, you know how glamorous those strips are. They’re even better in the morning when one side is sticking straight out.

  12. Hugging my hubby a little tighter tonight after reading your lovely story. Just the happy I needed tonight! Thank you for sharing your journey and your clear, strong writing voice with us. And Happy Anniversary!

  13. lisa

    Gag, gag. Congratulations, he’s put up with you for 15 years. I know it’s been tough!

  14. Aw! What a super-sweet post. We’ve got you only by a year or two, but you’re right. The comfort level in growing old together — you pegged it. Holding your ponytail while you puked, that’s the best, though I’m still amazed at how any man can witness the horrors of childbirth and still build up enough gumption to make another baby. Pure, unadulterated MACHISMO.

    Happy anniversary. And many, many more, Karen! :)

  15. This is so sweet. We just had our 7 year anniversary and some how through it all we have grown together. I wish you many more years of happiness and love!

  16. Karen B.

    Awwww……… That make me smile. :)

  17. after reading this the first words that came out of my mouth were “that is so sweet…” and i truly mean them wish you many more happy years together, and as for your husband “thanks for setting good examples for your kids keep it up”.

  18. This is the best kind of love story and beautifully told.

  19. Such a special post, very sweet and after reading this I was nice to my own Sexgod all day :) Throughout all life’s ups and downs its real love when you can turn to your soulmate an know you wouldn’t have it anyother way.
    Beautiful Post, Brilliant Blog
    Happy Anniversary xx
    Victoria xx

    • Yeah, the kind of man who will sit and watch a romantic comedy with you while you stuff your face with Doritos is the one who is going to stick around. There is nothing glamorous about this life!

      • Hahaha so true !! I think your sister or friend commented on it too an you put something like “well Ive had to put up with you for 25 years” was a very funny come back :)
        Great Blog an very special love story :)
        Victoria xx

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