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I now reside in that place in marriage where the heady thrill of supercharged romance has slipped inconspicuously into the past. I find – contrary to what I may have expected as a novice 21-year-old first entering the institution – that I like it here best of all.

It is now only the rare giddy thrill that flashes through my days spent with this man. Instead, I feel his love imbedded deep in my core, saturating and hydrating me. There is such freedom to find in sharing life with someone who knows everything about you, including the very most horrible bits, and who still – despite this deep knowledge – chooses to love you anyway. There is a profound and humbling comfort here.

While the JoyBoy and I were dating, I remember thinking on many occasions, what if he knew X about me? or if he ever found Y out about me, he’d change his tune. But over the years as each of these myriad X’s and Y’s came to light, I found that the knowledge of them only seemed to deepen our intimacy. After a time, they were easy to share as he had laid such a foundation of acceptance. I don’t think anyone has ever loved me so patiently.

It’s not all prune juice and roses, though. Not by a country mile. I’m married – I think I’ve mentioned – to an extremely dominant person. Perhaps by now you’ve noticed that I too share this quality. Alas, we are two people who almost always think that we are right. This combination can sometimes ignite some explosively flamboyant fights. So many times I find myself thinking, why can’t this man just obey me? I know that he’s wondered the same thing himself about me on many occasions because he’s told me so more than once. And yet I know for certain that I’d truly hate it if he did. I love that my life’s partner is so stunningly proficient at standing up to me, though it ticks me off so ferociously at times.

As we grow older (and we do so at an alarming rate it seems), we grow just a bit wiser with each passing year and we choose our battles a little more judiciously. We are inclined to be more generous with one another and it’s slowly dawning on us both that sometimes the best thing to do is to just zip it. I realize now that it’s not a requirement of a healthy marriage that I agree with every word emitted from his beautiful mouth – and vice versa. We can disagree at times and not make a big stink about it. This, while maybe seeming like a small thing to those less dominant among you, is a really big deal for us. We are two people who like it best when everyone we know and love agrees with us on every. single. point. And so this softening around our edges is welcome and good.

It’s good to have been married almost seventeen years. I like this place; it’s cosy here hanging with my best friend.

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