It recently dawned on me that I don’t write much about my marriage. I mean, I feel like at this point, you know quite a bit about my family (brother, sister, twin, mom and dad, and a bit about my extend family on my husband’s side), but not so much about my husband – our life and marriage – and I want to talk about that.
But, oddly enough, in order to do that, I have to begin with my first twin – my birth twin…my sister, because figuratively, the second twin in my life is my husband, which I’ll get to later.
My mother found out in her seventh month of pregnancy that she was expecting twins; can you imagine learning that you had just T minus two months to prepare for dos bambinos…in addition to the six-year-old and four-year-old already at home and a husband who was often away on business…and all without a housekeeper, nanny or BlackBerry – my, oh my, how did women do it then? They must have been made of stronger stuff than me, I think I would pass out on the spot.
But, mine not only did it, she did it well. We’ve all grown up to become semi-productive members of society – no criminal records, tattoos, illegal addictions – no judgment if you have any of these, but in my family, any of the aforementioned would’ve been a major faux pas and likely cause years of the silent treatment. So, job well done there, I suppose.
One of the most common life questions I get is – what is it like to be a twin? The simple answer is – I love it, but it’s all I know. For all I know, I’m sitting here this whole time thinking that having a twin sister is fabulous, but really it’s horrible and my non-twin friends feel sorry for me (just a thought). But it just is. I love her and know her likely more than anyone else on this planet (barring her boyfriend). And vice versa.
The more complex answer is that being a twin and having a partner is so ingrained into my identity as a person – one doesn’t go without the other. I’ve never truly been alone in my life because of this. We aren’t geographically close, but I’ve never flown truly solo or felt like I was going at anything without her full support. She keeps me sane, balanced and calls me out when I need to be called out. I’d like to think I do the same.
I equate marriage to twinship. I looked for a partner that would be with me no matter what, and in return, I’d do the same. That said I always knew that my mate for life and love would know me like my twin. And he does.
Both my husband and I entered into our marriage madly and blindly in love (still am, a little less blind). I met him hard on the heels of a horrific relationship (that portion of my life is mentioned in The One Before the One) and the sudden death of my father just six months prior. To say my husband met me at the most vulnerable time in my life is an epic understatement.
I was raw, completely lost, floating in a vast sea, and he, in the end, became not only my life raft, but figuratively equipped it beautifully with snacks, life jackets and filtered water for the journey, creating our own little island. I guess most relationships have this. Those moments where you’re most like yourself and you feel safe and taken care of in every sense. It’s the same feeling I get with my twin…that partnership. But, you also have the moments where your marriage or relationship shifts a bit. You wake up and realize you’re the girl wearing Old Navy nautical-themed jammies when he likely wants La Perla. He’s the one that gets the glasses, teeth whitener trays and non-matching bra and panty sets. And you’re sort of like oh shite, we’re that couple. But, it’s sort of refreshing to me (maybe not him, I’m not sure) that it’s that level. He gets the REAL me. And in return, I get the REAL him.
And that’s what marriage is all about – the no bullshite truth about what you want in life. The sit-down before the walk down the aisle of knowing you’re actually heading towards the same path for life, not just for a day, but past the cake cutting, dress fiascos and the loss of hundreds of bobby-pins from the spectacular updo. I loved him deeply when I walked down the aisle – even as a tornado of emotions rocked me – nervousness, excitement, bliss, scared-shitelessness, and fear of change – but I love him more now. In all that comfortableness that now just is. He is my other twin, my other half.
These past six years have flown and have not been without incident or life-changes (deaths, cancer, job changes, first-home purchased, new nieces and nephews). But, we’ve made it through those bumps and milestones, all of us, together.
In the end, if you want the whole truth – we have more good days than bad. I desire his company more than any other, and simply, he just makes me laugh; can calm me when I’m crazed (um, that happens with a fair degree of frequency). Oh and I’m still ridiculously attracted to him. So, that helps as well. But, as U.S. divorce statistics show, marriage is hard. It’s work, but thankfully, for us, most of the time, it’s not the toughest thing we do in a day.
In a perfect world, when we finally get around to having babies, they’d be twins or at least know that feeling of having a partner in life. Here’s putting it out there…