Today is our 13th anniversary. This relationship has tumbled forward for a decade plus three years, from a beautiful beginning to a couple of bad breakups (and obviously a couple of good reunions!). I'm not a superstitious person, but I was superstitious about making it to this anniversary as a couple. Not because of the fabled unlucky number 13... That had nothing to do with it. My fear was related to the fact that my parents' marriage lasted 13 years, and my relationship with my partner has had its parallels to the relationship that my mother had with my father.
I don't want to go into the personal details of it now... Maybe in the very distant future there will be a time and a place to tell those stories. What I will say is that we have faced a lot of the same situations that my parents did, if not in specifics than definitely in spirit. I always believed that we were supposed to live through that story and change the ending, but sometimes in weaker moments I wondered if we were just doomed to repeat their mistakes.
Early this year I gave up on us, and in the process of that I discovered that we were worth saving. I found out that settling for anything less than her would never ever be okay. I realized at last that other people's opinions really are not worth agonizing over, because few people know and understand us at a soul-deep level... Those who do know us believe as much as we do that we are meant to be together. Not in the fairytale way, but in the real let's-work-this-out way. The way that gets to the bottom of our issues and finally resolves them. And that is so much more satisfying than just pretending everything is perfect.
So here we are 13 years later. We've worked hard to get here and I am now relaxed in it and grateful for it. There will be more work and more soul searching, but it will be worth it because I am with the most passionate and fascinating person I have ever known. And she may not be perfect... But she is perfect for me.
My parents didn't have the information that we have. They didn't have the support system that we have. There are a million reasons that things ended up the way they did, but I never needed to be superstitious about this 13 year milestone. I should have been learning from their experience, not fearing their fate.
My mom always says everything happens for a reason. Maybe one of the reasons they lost their footing as a couple was so that we could know how to keep ours.