My husband didn’t know about my addiction and alcoholism until we were hip deep into our relationship. He didn’t know how much I truly loathed winter until we were married. He didn’t know I had a mental illness until we had a baby.
I didn’t keep things from him, I just didn’t know. We moved fast and knowledge often came after big life events instead of before them.
I say, “My husband didn’t know about me until we were married. He didn’t know what he was getting in to.” I say this, most often, in praise of him and in slight of myself. I say it to highlight my good fortune in being discovered after the fact and being accepted nonetheless. I say it to showcase him at the expense of myself.
But the truth is, I didn’t know my husband before we got married either.
I didn’t know how much he loved all things Vermont until we were hip deep in our relationship. I didn’t know how much he wanted to make his life here, permanently, until we were married. I didn’t know he struggled so hard to express his emotions and to communicate the things on his mind until after we had a baby.
I didn’t know what his adjustment to becoming a family man would look like and that, some of it, would be hard to handle. Just like he didn’t know that adjustment for me would mean a mental illness in remission resurfacing and the process of treatment would begin.
I don’t say this in praise of myself and in slight of him. I am not trying to highlight his good fortune in having me stick around. I do not want to showcase myself at his expense.
But maybe, just maybe, I should stop being so hard on myself. Maybe I should stop telling people how my husband is just so wonderful to be able to put up with me, how put upon he is by these late term discoveries. Maybe I should just accept that’s what marriage is – sticking around despite the late term discoveries.
I should keep telling people my husband is wonderful, because he is, but that has nothing to do with my being something less than wonderful and everything to do with who he is as a person.
Because, maybe, just maybe, I’m pretty wonderful too.