Thankfully, I married way above my pay grade in terms of mental health. My spouse is a pillar of calm and reasonableness. He rarely gets angry or upset, with me or with anyone else. When he curses, you know it’s serious. When I curse it’s usually because somebody cut me off, or I’m just trying to be funny.
Being married to a not-depressed person has many perks. He’s excellent at steering my crazy train back onto the rails. He’s gentle with me when I need him to be. He’s also learning to be not so gentle when I need a kick in the ass, although this has taken some practice.
But there’s a fine line, and I can’t really imagine how hard it must be for him to walk it, when it comes to my mental stability. Some days he can do everything right and I will still fall apart; some days everything in the world goes wrong and I’m fine.
The thing is it doesn’t really have anything to to do with him or anyone else. It really is all in my head (not in a derogatory sense, but a factual one). And depending on what hormones and meds and chakras and chi and whatever other nonsense is spinning around in there on a given day, I am either OK or I am not. And sometimes I am really not OK. And sometimes I am great.
I watch my spouse struggle: to say something or not. To reach out or not. Because he never knows what might happen in response. I’m a minefield of unpredictable responses. Having been together nearly 15 years now it’s enough to give anyone PTSD and, frankly, I’m surprised he’s been willing to stick it out with me this long.
The good times are really really good. And God we love each other like crazy. But we have come close to breaking in the past. And now that we have three small beings to care for in addition to ourselves and our marriage, things aren’t looking to get easier anytime soon.
Having kids has made us closer but also raised the stakes. Fights have wider implications; we have others to think of besides ourselves. On days when I feel so crazy that the only sane solution seems to be to either run away or kill myself I feel paralyzed by grief. Because I know neither of those things is an option, that there is no backing out, no starting over, no turning back. This is my life now. For better or worse. Forever.
Forever is fucking terrifying. Not necessarily in a bad way but in an exhilarating way, in a super vulnerable I can’t wait to see what happens next but I’m so scared I might have to cover my eyes and peek through my fingers kind of way. There is just so much potential for wonderful and so much potential for horrible; so much joy and so much sadness and no way of knowing which is going to happen or when or why.
Given these circumstances, I am so thankful to have joined my forever to my not-depressed love, my compass, my way home. There is no one else I would rather spend forever exhilaratingly terrified with than him.