how do you know?
How do you know when you've met 'the one', how do you decide that this is the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with? For starters, neither of us believe in this concept of 'the one'. The animator grew up in a small-town environment and almost all of his friends are still there, most have married their childhood sweethearts while one or two have shaked up with their childhood sweethearts only to then break up for a previous crush. Essentially, everyone has paired off with someone from their immediate circle of friends. Many of the people I grew up with did the same. Looking at this we've both thought: out of all the people in all the world, what are the chances of 'the one' being in that small population? So, that brings us to the pragmatic theory of 'near enough is good enough'. If we had both kept on looking I'm sure we could have found better partners eventually, so what made us stop looking? How do you know that, for better or worse, this is it?
I've mentioned before that, although I really wanted to get married, we were rushed into it. The animator lost his job and with it his visa - it wasn't much of a choice get married, split up or move to Australia and be in exactly the same (though reversed) position a year later. If we had moved back I think things would have been even more miserable, certainly I would have felt that I'd gone under duress and perhaps even that I'd moved all that way for a man that didn't want to marry me. And the last two years have been pretty tough on both of us - we've been continuously broke, our lives have changed dramatically - so tough in fact that I wonder if we would have made it through without being married. Even though he was dead set against marriage (in general, not to me specifically), the animator doesn't have these endless thoughts about 'what if' - for him, this is it like it or lump it, there's no point thinking about what might have been.
So how did we get here? What made us decide that we're life partners (that sounds like a jail sentence!)? Some days I just know - something he says; a look; a joke; the way he approaches a new project; the way he cooks 'experimentally' - just chimes with the way I think a marriage ought to be. There are other days where I'm filled with doubt - we bicker; we talk loads, but never quite communicate properly; we have different tastes in everything; there is just so much compromise involved - and I say to the animator, 'Is this the way it's supposed to be?' And that's where our parents' examples prove their value. Maintaining a marriage is occasionally hard work (and we're only half way through our second year!), but it does repay the investment.
And, actually, I'll never know for sure whether we'll be married for ever - there are no guarantees are there?