I read this post from Jobo and it really struck a nerve with me.
Before I got married, I surveyed a few married friends. I asked them all how they knew their spouse was the one for them. (The fact that I even questioned this probably should have been a big clue for me, huh?)
I got back from a number of them, “I just knew.”
I thought that was total, vomitous bullshit.
Two friends, however, gave me different answers:
K told me that she knew she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom with a large house, and being married to her husband could give her that life. Sure, her husband traveled a ton and she rarely saw him, which enabled her to have an affair (before she had kids) with a guy who would do the “one thing” her husband didn’t like to do, but she was “happy.” She chose financial support over emotional support. We don’t see each other much these days, but she seems happy. But social networking is not real life.
L told me basically the same thing: She chose the lifestyle that her husband could give her. And, yeah, she loved him (though maybe not really passionately), and maybe he didn’t totally appreciate all she did, but she could handle it. Sure, he worked ridiculously long hours to keep them in that lifestyle so she didn’t get to spend as much time with him as she wanted. And, yeah, she almost had an affair, too, but cut it off before it could get too serious. I haven’t spoken to her in years, but I suspect she’s still “happily” married.
I didn’t think about the affairs these women had. I thought about the choice they each made. I was very happy with my lifestyle. My fiance (at the time) and I made a very good living together. His family was very close, social, and supportive. He had an amazing social circle. We traveled a lot. I made a conscious choice that this was the life I wanted, even if I didn’t have a passionate love.
Without realizing it, I also chose disrespect from an argumentative egotist. I chose submission. I chose isolation from my friends and my own family. I chose to be berated when I did something wrong, even if I couldn’t figure out what I’d done. I chose to be taken for granted and to have my own needs ignored.
And then my eyes were opened, and I made a new choice.
I chose love. I chose happiness. I chose satisfaction and support. I chose passion.
And now when people ask me about The Writer, I say, “Well, I know this sounds ridiculous, but…I just knew.”