“Why did you ever marry me? I didn’t turn out as expected,” Hubby said to me this morning.
That’s just it – I didn’t have any expectations 25 years ago when we wed. I didn’t have any expectations 26 years ago when we met either. I waited a long time to get married. I was 30. We didn’t meet until I was 29. I used to say that my Prince Charming was coming, but he had fallen off of his horse and he was walking.
Who can say why we fall in love with who we do? I worked at a company for many years in my early 20’s that employed dozens of young computer programmers, 90% of them male and probably 60% of them single. I was too shy to draw anyone’s attention, and I certainly wasn’t ready for anything serious at that age.
I don’t regret now that I was a late bloomer. It took my Dad’s passing away when I was 28 to jar me out of the rut that I was in. He used to worry about me incessantly. My Mom told me years later that he was always asking what was going to become of me. I was single, still living with my parents and had never dated anyone seriously. My Mom was only a teenager when my parents met, and she waited five years for him to come home from WWII before they married and settled down. They knew what they wanted when they both were very young.
I didn’t have any expectations. Hubby was selling advertising for a local newspaper when we met, and he was making half as much money as I was. I clearly did not marry him for his money. That was never important to me. After we wed, and I was only a few weeks pregnant with son #1, Hubby lost his job for the first time. Son #1 arrived, and Hubby was still unemployed. The nice part was that we spent the six weeks of my maternity leave learning how to be parents together. We took turns caring for this little fellow we’d created. Hubby returned to work one week after I did. He started in computers, and he would work in IT for 20 years. At one point his pay rate bypassed mine, and that was great but it wasn’t something I expected or hoped for.
We were both forced to start over again in 2010. He lost his job first and had trouble finding a new one. He would turn to trucking since he loved to drive and had grown up riding along with his Uncle who was a trucker. It seemed like a natural fit. I was also laid off and found another job within 8 weeks. I went back to working for a law firm and dusted off my Intellectual Property knowledge and skills after having been away from it for 9 years.
I still don’t have any expectations other than spending time together on the weekends. We’ll never be wealthy, and we’ll probably always struggle to pay the bills. As long as we have those weekends to look forward to, though, we have more than some folks do. We enjoy each other’s company, and we talk about what’s bothering us. We don’t always see eye to eye, but we manage to compromise. We struggle with the distance and the separation, but we work hard at making that work, too.
Expectation means “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.” I guess Hubby did meet my expectations after all. Deep down I wanted someone to share my life with, someone who would love me “warts and all”, someone I could share my hopes and dreams with, someone who would care for me as much as I cared for them. We have that.