Twenty-five years

Twenty-five years ago, at a New Year’s Eve party in a city halfway across the country, I danced with the most amazing woman I’ve ever met. She was full of life, fun to be with, had a great sense of humor, and truly seemed to want to be around me.

Twenty-five years later, that amazing woman is still full of life. She still has a great sense of humor. She is still so much fun to be with. Unfortunately for me, however, I honestly don’t feel like she still truly wants to be around me. And that’s my fault, because twenty-five years of taking her for granted, of not always showing her and telling her how much I love her every single day, of not being flexible in my own thoughts to accommodate her wants and needs, twenty five years have sown a bitterness in her that is a horrible legacy of how I’ve mistreated her. The frustration, anger, and pain that I am only now beginning to recognize in her, but that I’ve caused for her, make me very sad. I would give anything to take back the tremendous hurt that I’ve caused her over the quarter-century that we’ve spent as a couple. I am working hard at trying to understand myself better so that I can be a better partner to her over the next quarter-century.

Coming to terms with myself, with my own quirky emotional syntax, with the way that I process thoughts and feelings, has been a remarkably difficult journey for me. Dissecting a lifetime’s worth of experience in a few short months of effort at unraveling the defensive cocoon that I’ve enshrouded myself inside has not been as simple or as painless as I had hoped. Nor have I made as much true progress on this journey as I would like, but it is a journey that I have begun, and as we venture into this next year, that is what gives me hope for us… hope for a life together that is full of joy, happiness, trust, love, and wonderful times together.

So Allie, will you join me this year, in carefully digging out the many weeds that have grown in our relationship? Will you help me in tending the garden of our love that I’ve neglected so much over the past years? Will you continue to love me, to support me emotionally and physically through  the inevitable low spots on my personal journey as I work to deconstruct the facades that I’ve built my life upon?

I will do my best to honor and cherish you, to love you with all my heart and soul, in sickness and health, in good times and bad, in all the ways I can, for ever and ever. I will do my best to respect your wants and needs. I will try my best to be nurturing to the light in your soul, rather than doing things that hide that light or risk extinguishing it all together. Because that light is often the only light I see, and I can’t imagine going on without some light in my life.

Will you be my partner, my love, my best friend, for the next twenty-five years?

All my love,

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