Today, Mark and I have been married for 8 years. Not a lot for some, but before I met Mark, I think my longest relationship was bout 9 months. So I am pretty chuffed. In another 8 months or thereabout, we’ll be surpassing the median Australian marriage length, which is apparently 8.7 years.
Considering that I still love my husband very much, and am pretty confident that we’ll have that .7 of a year in the bag pretty shortly, I thought it might be nice to have a quick look back on our relationship. We’ve had more than our fair share of crap in those 8 years, and I can’t think of anyone I would rather have had by my side during those dark times.
Just shy of one year after that picture was taken, I fell over, and had a strange pressure sensation in my shoulder. It was a ruptured cervical disk, and although I was lucky to avoid surgery, I spent about 3 months in agony on the couch, unable to care for myself, work, or contribute in any way. Mark was my nurse, my carer, and sanity provider. It was about another 3 months before I was able to work full time, and I still have pain now – which is why I don’t knit as much as I used to.
The next year, 2006, was Mark’s first year of teaching. It didn’t agree with him, and it was my turn to provide a bit of support to him. At the end of the year, he felt that he just couldn’t keep teaching, so he made the decision to go back to IT. At the same time, I was working for my brother, and his business folded. It was a scary time, and we had just booked flights and accommodation to spend a month in Vietnam courtesy of my very generous parents. At Christmas time 2006, we were both unemployed, with nothing lined up except an overdue honeymoon. Before we left, we had to decide whether to pay an extra weeks rent for when we got back, or to buy tickets to see the Scissor Sisters. We chose disco. Of course.
January 2007 was spent having a wonderful time in Vietnam, and while we were there we spent a lot of time talking about our future together. I had always been against having kids, but the previous two years had convinced me that we were a pretty good team, and that Mark wouldn’t cave in at the first hurdle. We decided to stop trying not to have children.
On the 5th of February, the night of the Scissor Sisters concert, Inigo was conceived.
I had a rough pregnancy, and his birth was scary, then we had three months of struggle to get breastfeeding established. Once that was working, he was diagnosed with failure to thrive, and we had over a year of invasive medical testing, and other nightmares, including being assessed for parental abuse and neglect. Fun times.
Once Inigo had been healthy for about a year, we started to think about giving him a sibling. I can’t ever regret that decision, because we got to meet our beautiful Archimedes, even if it was for only a short time, and that we never met his brother Aubrey. But the past two years have gone beyond what anyone can be expected to bear with equanimity.
But through it all, Mark has been beside me.
I’m so glad you married me Mark, and I can’t believe how lucky I am that you did. I love you, and the little family that we have made together. And I am so proud that I can stand beside you for whatever the next eight years may bring.