I am a hopeless romantic. I always have been. My favorite movies are epic love stories like Wuthering Heights or Titanic. I truly believe that it is possible to find a soulmate because I have done that. Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky to stumble upon my husband on an evening when I actually wanted to be someplace other than where I met him. It was surely a serendipitous encounter that lead me to a lifetime of happiness and fulfillment.
We did not need a dating service to analyze our likes and dislikes, or our interests and views on life to determine that we were and still are a very good match. It was happenstance and nature that brought us together and an instant kinship that has kept us that way for over fifty years. When all is said and done it was pure luck prompted by the occasion of a cousin’s birthdays that so unexpectedly helped us to find each other. We proved to have an uncanny sense of kinship from the very start.
That is not to say that we are alike in every way, nor do we agree on everything. He can watch sports programs all day long, while I lose interest in under fifteen minutes. While we enjoy watching television programs together, we still have personal preferences in viewing that do not overlap. I find myself catching up on episodes of shows that he would never watch. The same is true of all kinds of things. It’s not so much in how we are alike that our romance blooms, but in how we treat people, especially each other.
I am admittedly an exceedingly independent woman. I grew up in a home without a man as head of the household. I know how to take care of myself. I am a rather driven individual with goals that I am still in the process of achieving. My husband has been exceedingly supportive of my aims regardless of the cost or amount of time I have needed to fulfill them. He also encourages me to express myself honestly. He does not mind when we differ in beliefs. We’ve had some lively discussions about politics and life in general. His total respect for me has been empowering and the greatest sign of his love.
I think I would have suffocated in a relationship that required me to always be in tandem with my husband. Instead I have always felt free to be me. I know that I will love him and he will love me without one or the other of us being forced into a more subservient role. I would have run from such a relationship before even walking down the aisle.
My husband was very good to my mother even when she railed at him while in the throes of a manic episode. He welcomed her into our home with love. Now it is my turn to return his kindness by embracing his father as a member of our household. It has taught me how difficult it might have sometimes been for him to share our home with my mama for almost two years. Having one of our parents with us puts a strain on our privacy and limits our time alone. My husband handled such a situation with so much remarkable kindness and understanding that I am still in awe of how wonderful and patient as he was.
My father-in-law is a very sweet man. He is the consummate old fashioned gentleman. He was taught to care for women, to hold open doors, to have serious conversations with other men in another room so as not to worry the females. For many he would represent the best of a romantic man, but while I greatly admire his loving ways, I prefer to be more of an equal in my relationship with my husband. I realize how incredibly lucky I have been to be wedded to a man who is quite modern in his thinking about the roles of the different sexes. It makes me treasure my husband more than I ever have, because I have witnessed the difference between how men of the past valued women and how the more modern men like my husband demonstrate the same kind of devotion.
I have come to realize that for me true romance has been my husband supporting me in every possible way as I furthered my education and pursued my career. He has honored me by listening to my philosophies and encouraging me to live according to what works best for me. Together we raised two girls to become strong women who are unafraid to speak their minds. We are truly equal partners in life.
I spent much time with my husband’s mother before she died. We often sat together talking about being women. She was a brilliant soul who at one time had hoped to be a translator in a diplomatic setting. She saw herself at the United Nations or the Hague. Her life took a different turn and she ended up working as a bookkeeper for a family business and then at a church. She was happy with the way things turned out and was not one to regret, but she liked that women were becoming freer to be career oriented. She told me that she had purposely taught her son to value women just as they are and to support them in becoming whatever they wanted to be. She was proud that he had walked alongside me rather than in front. She loved that he had encouraged me to fulfill my educational and career goals. She liked the mutual respect that we had for each other. She had tutored her son to be the ultimate romantic, a man who has never been threatened by my independence and success.
I used to read fairytales and I adored them. Now I prefer a story of mutual love that allows each partner to become their best selves. I have enjoyed such a romance, and for that I am eternally grateful. I am thankful every day of my life that I met this man. I am a hopeless romantic of a different kind.
2 thoughts on “A Hopeless Romantic”
I really enjoyed this! It’s so nice to know your journey has brought you to where you are. I don’t think some of our high school friends have been as content/satisfied as you (& I are). Perhaps, by now, most are “over the humps”.
I know. Somehow we were very blessed. I think that the love we felt in our little neighborhood from our family and neighbors helped us greatly. I do hope that most of our friends have managed to climb over the bumps and find a modicum of joy in their lives.