To say that Calvin is the love of my life is an understatement. Since they haven’t come up with a word that means “all the love in the world and then some, and then some more”, I’ll have to settle with the word in all its simplicity. Maybe I’ll make up a new word.
Calvin is also my best friend – if you tell me something in confidence, that confidence had better include Calvin (for this there are very, very few exceptions – so few that I can’t think of any right now). Calvin is such an extension of myself that I feel less comfortable, less like myself, when we’re not together. He makes me more… me.
I understand him. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one that “gets” him, and he’s the only one that really “gets” me. Even when he’s making me mad (infrequent that it is), I still get him. I can make the connections and see his perspective even when we’re mid-argument (he can see mine too, but that confession doesn’t come until later). I let the stuff that needs to roll off, roll off; I let the stuff that needs to sink in, sink in.
I mean it literally when I say that Calvin saved my life. Not only in the heroic swooping in, kicking ass, and taking names that he so kindly performed during the whole drama with my ex; but also in helping me find my way back to myself, and then loving me even more when I did.
The me that existed at the beginning of our relationship is not the same me that exists today. I’ve done a lot of growing and changing over the ten years that we’ve been together. That growth and change could have meant dark things for our relationship; some people grow apart instead of together. We just got better, stronger, and deeper.
Calvin pushed me when I needed a push, slowed me down when I needed to pace myself, spoke when I needed to listen, and listened when I needed to speak. My inner mouse was slain, and now even if my strength is sometimes used against him (I actually insist on having things my way, sometimes, and voice the differences of opinion that I never would have voiced as the “old” me), I believe that the fact that I have this strength, now, is a source of pride for him.
I would also like to think that some of my “good stuff” rubbed off on him, but he’ll have to write a guest entry some day to talk about that. Which will probably take a multi-state petition with over 5,000 signatures to get him to do. Shall we start on it now?
We are in daily defiance of the statistics. Most of us already know that the divorce rate in America after a first marriage is from 41% to 50%. A figure many may not know is that divorce rate after a second marriage is from 60% to 67%, and even as high as 70% when figuring in blended families (such as ours). Those same statistics say that marriages between couples who live together before getting married fail between 70% and 85% of the time, and marriages where the couple’s relationship started as an affair fail up to 75% of the time.
We’re not perfect (shocker!). We never claimed to be. But our relationship and family grows stronger with every passing day and year. Thirteen years of friendship, ten years of living together, and six years of marriage, and Calvin and I are still ridiculously happy with one another. As Calvin is fond of saying, “I’ve never been this happy for this long, this consistently, in my life.” The four of us – me and Calvin, Michael and Marie – are happy and healthy and solid. We are all better now, together, than we ever had been or would be in our old lives. We took very bad circumstances, from our failed first marriages and the lives that me, Calvin and the kids endured, and turned it into a special kind of happiness that brings new meaning to the words “love”, “family”, and “home”.
So! I am currently working on “Our Story” (alternate title, “How I Met Your Father”?) and it will be forthcoming within the next week. I’m having a lot more fun writing about my relationshp with Calvin than I did the whole saga about my ex. I hope you all enjoy it.