I've encountered a few questions here and there in the past year related to my surgery. Most are easy to answer...others make me stop and think a moment or two.
The one question I've been asked time and again is "How's your marriage? Is it better or worse?" Even my therapist has asked me that same question at least twice (is she trying to trip me up and get a different answer?)
I'll be glad to answer that question.
My marriage is amazing.
It is better than amazing. It's simply over the moon.
Nope. I'm not lying. Hand on the Bible. (and we all know how I love me some Jesus) I am telling the honest full complete truth.
I would have never had this surgery if I didn't have the support of my husband behind me 110%. Sure, it was ultimately my decision to make, but I needed him to be standing beside me every step of the way. And he has. He went to the seminars with me, doctor's appointments, pre-op appointments, and he was there when they wheeled me back to surgery and was waiting when I got back to the room. He knows as much as I do about the post-op life and keeps a loving eye on me when I eat to make sure I'm okay. He doesn't hover over me, but I know he's watching and when the food addiction wants to take control again, he's there to help me get a handle on that raging monster.
Many marriages don't survive a spouse having a drastic weight loss. Insecurities rise to the surface and the marriage can drown. Many WLS* patients who are in unhappy marriages pre-op find confidence that was deeply hidden after the weight loss and will spread their wings. My wings were never clipped so I never worried about my marriage drowning in the aftermath.
We have taken this walk together. I'm about 35 lbs smaller than when we met and started dating. Oh yeah....this man is loving the new and improved Miss Hope. I've rediscovered confidence I forgot existed. Then again, I'm paranoid and very reluctant to wear more fitted clothing. So many times I put an outfit on and critique it in the mirror (usually on Sunday mornings before church) and when I'm an inch away from changing into something else....he reassures me that it's fine and I believe him. He has ALWAYS called me "Beautiful", even when I didn't believe him because I knew what I looked like in the mirror. I don't know if I've mentioned this, but one day we were going on base/post and I looked at my military I.D. and then I put it beside my face and said, "Wow! Look at this!" He glanced over and did a double take. He then said the most memorable thing. He said..."Ya know, I never saw you like that. I just saw my beautiful wife."
Please, don't think we're not a normal couple. We disagree on occasion. I backseat drive better than anyone I know and it gets me lots of sideways eye rolls and huffs of exasperation. I also PMS like nobody's business once a month, and still he stays. I tend to nag when I ask for something to be done and weeks later I'm still waiting. Yet, here he stays.
Tomorrow is our 9 year wedding anniversary. We joke all the time that we've known each other 11 years total and STILL LIKE EACH OTHER! I can't imagine my life without him. I want to grow old with this man. I want to finish raising our kids, spoil grankids, and travel in our golden years with this man.
I am grateful my husband had an amazing upbringing with wonderful parents. I love his parents with all my heart and wish we lived closer to each other all the time. Anyone who knows my in-law's can testify I'm telling the truth. Neighbor Debbie and I share custody of them at times and she claims them for her own, too. I know I'm blessed to have such a loving relationship with my mother and father in-law. I cherish it and hold it close. They did an amazing job raising my husband (although my FIL would be glad to tell you a few stories about raising The Man that would make you think a little different!) and they love their grandchildren fully and completely. My children know the love of grandparents even though distance separates them. Thank you, Mrs. M and Mr. C!!! I owe you a debt of gratitude!
Raising kids isn't easy, either. This Man has been the most amazing father to my three babies. He may butt heads with the oldest at least once a week, but that gal knows her Daddy loves her. In fact, she'll text him quicker than she will me! The middle child is comfortable and confident in his love. They give each other a hard time and pick like crazy on each other, but she's quick to sit on his lap like she's still 2 years old when she needs a Daddy moment. Oh, that boy of ours. He is quite the handful, but that boy loves his Dad and his favorite time is when they go every three weeks to get a haircut and stop at the Waffle House for breakfast. It's their time and it's special. I thank God all the time for letting this man be the Father he is to these incredible people we've been blessed to raise.
I appreciate every single time he opens a door for me. I appreciate how he never fails to tell me I look nice/good/beautiful when we go somewhere. I appreciate how when we're sitting in the evenings watching t.v. and I look over at him and say..."Hey, I'll give you a dollar if you fix me something to drink (usually coffee)." and he will get up and do it. (I probably owe him a few hundred bucks by now.) I appreciate how he loves me and accepts me as I am....even when I can't.
Happy Anniversary, Honey. I look forward to many many more with you. There's nothing better than being able to tell you I love you every single day and mean it from the bottom of my heart.
*WLS-Weight Loss Surgery