I just celebrated 22 years of wedded bliss with my dear husband. We were together for six years before that. Yes, we were children, yes we've spent almost our entire lives intertwined, yes it's a long time.
And some of that time has been everything but bliss.
We've hurt each other in places that no one else on the planet could ever touch. Only someone you adore and trust and cherish can hurt you in ways that we did. Both of us, no doubt. For a while there we had a superhighway back and forth of pain. High speed, efficient destruction of faith.
There were many reasons we fell apart, but what we now lovingly call the "A-Bomb" was my husband's discovery that he was Asian. Now of course, he's always been Asian, I knew it, he knew it. Anyone but the blind knew it. He's Korean, adopteed as a toddler to the plains of Minnesota, but he'd been running like hell from it for his whole life.
Finally, at about 35, it caught him. Or really, he turned around, opened his arms, lifted his chin and walked into it. Most people are not as fast or crafty as my dear partner and it catches them earlier, when they don't have a white wife and children and a mortgage and a minivan.
He tried very hard to end our marriage, but we'd been best friends forever. And we needed each other to get through this. Sometimes I wonder if it would have hurt less to rely on other people to get through it, but we just coudn't. Thank God we couldn't, because what we've discovered is that again, we choose each other. We treasure each other with the real, beat-up, old foggie selves we've become.
The very worst moment of the whole experience, well, actually the very worst moment of my life happened when he came back from Korea after his first visit. He'd seen the orphanage he'd lived in. He'd faced his fears and his identity. And then he came home, done with all that had been our life together. There had been trips to Asia before, and there have been trips since, but now every time he goes to Asia, the panic rises in me. Maybe it will happen again. Maybe he'll come home and tell me it's all been a horrible mistake and the precious details of my life will be thrown into the air, again. And maybe this time they'll be so shattered nothing can piece them back together.
Today, that dear man will take our sons from Nagoya to Tokyo. And I will live in his house and do the dishes, and shop for birthday presents for our youngest son, and work, and write. And yes, I will worry. I'll try to trust that things happen the way they need to, and believe that we've come through the hard part. Or at least that hard part.
And a little "David Wilcox Therapy" never hurt, either.