There were times when I never expected my marriage to be successful

M. Brown

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**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.

People change you. They can transform your emotions, energy, and life trajectory in unbelievable ways — especially when you engage in intimate relationships with them.

My husband has changed me for the rest of my life in ways that I would never have expected. His presence in my life has had a stunning impact. There were times when I never expected my marriage to be successful because of everything I had been through in the past, but it has worked out and my husband has turned out to be one of the most impactful influences in my life.

Mind you, he’s not the only person in my life who has made an impact. Of course, my parents were the first ones to influence me, followed by my closest friends, teachers, and extended family members along the way.

My first love was another person who became forever imprinted upon me— shadowed by subsequent boyfriends after that. Then came my first husband, who altered the direction of my life in extreme and significant ways. I moved to another country to be with him, for starters.

Ultimately, that relationship was utterly doomed and toxic — abusive and corrosive — but still undeniably impactful in regards to the life lessons I learned and the interesting places I ended up.

All that being said, none of my past relationships have thoroughly transformed me as a human being in the way in which the one with my current husband has.

My husband has somehow been able to crack open my most vulnerable self — the parts of me that I attempt to keep hidden away in secret places. He has been able to calm my worst fears and insecurities that brew just beneath the surface at any given time.

My husband has accepted me for who and what I am — literally for better and for worse. And when those worst parts of me creep in, he will let me know when I’ve gone too far. He’s not afraid of who I am in my darkest hours and, believe me, he’s seen the darkest of the dark.

He has made me a mother — which wasn’t a role I thought I’d ever play. He held my hand as I gave birth to our daughter and he has observed my evolution both as a mother and as a stepmother to his son. Both of these mothering roles turned me inside out, upside down, and I have been irreversibly altered by these experiences.

He has shown me patience, forgiveness, humor, and stability. His presence in my life has brought out the best in me. Whereas many of my past relationships were hurtful and rocky, the relationship with my husband has caused me to blossom without hesitation instead of cowering in fear or angst.

This is what my husband has done to me. He has been the partner I never thought I could have. He has been the man I never thought I could find. He has been the friend I never thought I depend on so much.

Sometimes in this life, we meet truly formidable people who change the course of our lives — unfortunately, this can often go in an ominous direction that creates negative or even dangerous situations.

Rarely, though, do we meet such a person who can manifest so many significant and positive experiences for us in so many different and luminous ways.

This is what my husband has done to me — and I couldn’t love him more for it.

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