Now that I have been married nearly a month, I get the "how is married life" question about once or twice in a day. It is sweet; my friends and coleagues want to make sure I am ok and happy in my new marital status.
The good news is: I am. In fact, I have been "happier" in general for the past 2 years I have known Dan. And, I do attribute it largely to the grounding elements in my relationship. On my wedding day my sister approached my new hubby and thanked him because "Now when my sister calls me, she has happy things to share instead of sadness." It's true. I can't think of the last time I called her crying-- which was a normal occurrence in former years. Heck, during the entirety of my adult life.
I have a vivid memory from only about three years ago, just before I met Dan. I was sitting in my car in the parking lot at school (where I teach) and crying to Heather because I didn't know how I was going to pull myself together for my next class. It was a seriously depressed moment, but not uncommon in my experience. She prompted me on how I could take a back seat in the class and still give the students a valuable learning experience by working in groups. I did it. It was rough, but I did it. Thank you Heather.
But, those moments in which I have been really down have become less a part of my daily life. Instead, my biggest worry is a wilting tomato plant or an achy back. I haven't fallen into the depths of despair for a while, and it has been a welcome relief.
Dan's role in all of this is indirect. I would say his presence more than anything is what gives me solace. He is grounded, stable, relaxed, playful and joyous. He is a hard worker, but never gets too riled up when things get harried. And, when my artistic temperament flares and I spaz out, he still loves me. I think MBA spouses are good for artists. But, Dan is particularly Buddha like.
In reflecting on my new life style, I realized just how much time I had been spending on relationships in the past. I was always busy, busy either finding one, maintaining one, suffering through one, or ending one. It seems society's general view of relationships is that they are work, so I didn't think twice that I was working really hard at them. And, I am a hard worker. I don't give up so easily. But, now I am in a relationship that isn't hard work at all. It is easy and makes the rest of my life easier and more enjoyable. Imagine that.
Now, I am free of the mental, emotional, and energetic burdens of difficult relationships, and as a result, I am more balanced, more energetic and more lively. Married life is great! But, it isn't being married, it is being with the right person. The person who not only allows me to be who I am but celebrates and encourages who I am. "Should I go to meditation tonight?" Yes, he responds emphatically. "Should I go to yoga?" Yes! "Want to go for a walk tonight?" Yes! "I have rehearsal today." Great!
For once I am not stifled, nor cramped, nor dragged down. I don't have to compromise. Or at least it doesn't feel that way. It makes sense and feels natural. So, now I am doing more (not less) in my life. I can commit to things because I have a foundation to stand on. I feel more productive and more accomplished. And, I am happy.
What, you might ask, does he get in return?
Showers and showers of affection and love.