“Stand beside me and fight. Not out of fear, but out of love.”
He speaks these words to me in the middle of the night. My heart is anxious. For two weeks all I have thought about is that I am not cut out for this relationship. I told him that he needs a better woman than me: one who will love him and his children while tolerating the two mothers with grace. I told him I am so used to be the perfect girlfriend and I am in a situation where I cannot be perfect. He told me to stop trying to be normal in an abnormal situation. He told me I am not alone in this; that we stand together as a team. He told me that all my frustrations about the lack of boundaries with one of the moms are valid and that he is working on them for me, for us. He tells me that he wants to marry me, to have children with me.
Then he told me that I need to stop being on the fence about this relationship. He told me I need to be all in and that there was no one better for him than me. He spoke the words I have waited my whole life to hear: “I love you with my soul”.
In the last few days I have looked at this in a whole new light. He does not need to pay for my debilitating anxiety or issues with perfectionism and control. He should not be punished for those who came before him and the damage that they did. He has demonstrated to me over and over that he wants a life with me. And when I am ready to leave, to walk away – just like that – he holds me and whispers to me that we were made for each other.
“We have waited a long time for this moment; to be together and to have our chance,” he says referring to the eight years we have known each other. Our lives have been orbiting each others for nearly a decade now. At last we are together and I am constantly looking for reasons to run before my heart gets broken again. In looking to preserve myself I have sabotaged a relationship with the most generous, kind, loving man. I have withheld part of me, too afraid to commit, to be all in. I have sat on the fence too scared to give him everything. In the end, it has only hurt us both.
I spoke to God one night, only weeks before we began dating. I begged God for the husband and family I had always dreamed of; for the children I had longed for. He sent me this man and his two children. It is only now that I have begun to realize that I have been given all I asked for. I got three people for the price of one and even though I joke with my boyfriend about it, it is true. I got a family that will one day be mine even if right now it is not the perfect situation. I will not be perfect. I will not be the perfect girlfriend or step-mother I imagined, but I have the kind of love I have waited for my whole life long, and that is perfect.
As we sit on the couch on New Year’s Eve, both too sick to get dressed up and go out, I look at this man and my heart is happy. It is filled to overflowing with love, and even more than that, with peace. It does not matter that we are not celebrating with champagne and fancy clothes on amidst masses of people. At midnight we will dance cheek to cheek in our pajamas and 2015 will start with his arms around me. What more could I need? I have found the one whom my soul loves…