I don’t believe in soul mates. Don’t get me wrong, I think that my husband and I are a good match. I just don’t ascribe to the philosophy that there is only one person for every person on earth. I think he would be surprised to know that.
I am a romantic. I like flowers and poetry and sweet, thoughtful gestures of love. I think they help to keep a relationship going. But more than that, I believe a relationship, a marriage, takes hard work – with an emphasis on the hard.
I’ve never understood the people who said they had kids to save their marriage. If anything, having a child put a bigger strain on my marriage than any problem that had come before. I think my husband thought that our daughter’s birth would bring us closer together. In some ways, nearly two years later, it has. But at first, the crying of an infant definitely pushed us apart.
I resented the fact that his lifestyle didn’t change much when I got pregnant. He continued to drink beer and go off for weekend junkets with his friends. Meanwhile, I was going to bed at 7 p.m. and watching every bite of food that went into my mouth like a vigilante nutritionist, refusing to do anything that might hurt the baby. The situation was something we had to work through – both of us, for months after our daughter’s birth. Only now do I feel that we are getting closer.
I love him very much, but I do believe that I could have made a life with another person. What if we had never met? It could have happened. What if I had not decided to take the job that sat me in a cubicle right next to his? Where would be today? Would neither of us be married? Somehow, I doubt it. We are both the marrying kind and the parenting kind. We would have found someone else, fallen in love and worked hard at it every day, just like we do now.
I believe that we are lucky we found each other. I believe we are committed to each other and to our family. I believe in us. I just don’t believe it was fate.