Today is our ten year wedding anniversary. Ten crazy years of marriage. When I first met my husband – online, just randomly chatting on a video game – it never entered my head that we would end up married, let alone having a child together. It wasn’t that I didn’t see him as husband material – although at 21, I wasn’t exactly looking to settle down immediately, it was sheer distance and the unfathomable odds of it all working out. The fact that a random connection can change your life forever still blows me away.
You see my husband lived thousands of miles away. In fact, 5068.993 miles as the crow flies (man the internet is amazing, how did we live without it!). To a 21 year old working minimum wage and a student, that’s an almost insurmountable distance. Let’s not even start talking about visa difficulties, homesickness, culture shock and more – just saving up for a plane ticket took everything we had. My friends and family thought I was insane! What was I doing, meeting a virtual stranger off the internet? I went off to London to meet him for the first time and was so nervous about traveling to a big city like that alone, rarely stepping outside my small, comforting safety bubble of familiar surroundings. Yet a few months later I was stepping on my first ever solo plane flight for an 8 hour flight across the Atlantic to a country I’d never thought I’d be visiting. Then I kept changing my flight back, wanting to spend longer and longer with him, despite missing my family and home terribly.
Thinking back I don’t know where I got the courage to throw myself out of my comfort zone (and at him!) – but I guess when you’re doing something for love you find the strength you need and the experience changed me.
1 year after we first met in person he moved to the UK permanently and another year after that we promised to love each other forever as we released white doves into the sky at our small, intimate dream wedding. It was the best decision of my life.
He has stuck with me through tough times – my health has been poor for most of our marriage but he’s always supported and loved me. We’ve struggled financially. He gave up his country and moved away from his family for me and I know he wishes he could travel back home more often. We had some stressful, testing times with his visa application, thinking our dream of just living together without worries would never happen, but it did even though we had to spend all our savings on a lawyer. We were told that we wouldn’t have children because of my health issues and yet 9 years after that, we conceived. He was willing to sacrifice the possibility of being a dad to stay with me and never once made me feel like it was my fault. After the birth, he went night after night without sleep as I struggled with my recovery, anxiety and PTSD, and a year later he’s the most hands-on, caring dad and loving husband anyone could ever ask for.
We’ve traveled together around the world, laughed and cried. We’ve gone to weddings and funerals and grown and evolved together. We took a crazy chance on each other in a situation that no one believed would work, but it did. Life is still testing us every day, but I know we’ll get through it together.
Today marks 10 years of a family. Small, but strong, and stronger still for the little boy we recently added to it. If you have a chance meeting with someone that results in a connection – follow your heart, because you never know where it might lead.
To my husband – I’m grateful for everything you’ve given me and everything we’ve shared. Here’s a toast to the rest of our lives, together. I love you.