They say behind every good man is a better woman.
Since I’m not a man, *I* personally can’t say that, but that’s what they say. Obviously, the title is a spin on that. Today’s topic is about my lovely wife, Shauna. The reason I am writing about her is because on Saturday, we will be celebrating 5 years of wedded bliss.
Also, because this is my blog and I’ll write what I want.
To know Shauna is to absolutely adore her. This is a 100% factual statement, despite the fact that she will deny it. I seemed to have found someone that, given the opportunity, my own mother would exchange names on our birth certificates. At this point I’m fairly sure that most of my friends love her more than they love me, and I’m talking life long friends… Like friends I’ve had since kindergarten.
I can’t blame them. Shauna is beautiful. She is intelligent. She is patient. She is kind. She’s trustworthy. You are immediately at ease in her presence. She is one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. She has the most amazing smile I’ve ever seen, and on top of all that, she’s freaking hilarious.
(I mean, if you can’t make me laugh, I just can’t deal with you, okay?)
One immediately recognizes most if not all of the above characteristics when you first meet Shauna. But there’s something else I want to talk about.
Shauna is probably one of the most obstinate and stubborn people I’ve ever met!
(Stick with me kids.)
See, I’ve had my fair share of relationships in my almost 40 years on this planet. Some would say I’ve had more than my fair share, while others would wonder HOW THE HELL I got anyone to want to be with me in the first place. (That one is me, I wonder that almost daily.) But in the end, things fizzled and died. There are many reasons for any relationship, serious or not, to die out. But there was a common theme in many of mine… hesitancy.
I’ve dated straight women, bi-curious women, bi women and lesbians. So this is kind of all across the sexuality spectrum here. For a long time, my saying was, “People want to play with me, but no one wants to keep me.”
(In retrospect I realize that sounds way dirtier than it was meant to.)
When I met Shauna in 2004, I had just come out of the closet. I was still in the church, and I was still trying to accept who I was and shake the constant suicidal self loathing that had been instilled in me since I was a child.
(I’ll let you know when I’m successful in that endeavor.)
Meeting Shauna in that time was like a breath of fresh air. She didn’t really know me from any rando on the street, but she wanted to talk to me. Even though our initial interaction was limited to 1 night filled with a wedding rehearsal and a very strange bridal shower…. Where we had to assure someone that just because the chicken is called Jack Daniels chicken, doesn’t mean you will get drunk by eating it. (Which will forever be our favorite first meeting memory.) That less than 24 hours made her want to know me more and ask me for my email address. (Cause this was 2004…dial up was still a thing people. If you don’t know what that is, ask your parents.) As we got to know each other, even after I told her I was gay (which was somehow a surprise to her? I’m not sure how…) she never judged me. She wanted to know me, wanted to be my friend.
Then life happened and we kind of lost contact. By the time we reconnected in 2012, I was a different person. I was definitely more comfortable in my skin and with who I was, but I was more than a little gun shy in the relationship department. I had seen too much pain, too much heartbreak. I’d been returned to the store too many times; sometimes for things I couldn’t control and sometimes because of me personally. The small amount of self-confidence attained in my 20s from my inexplicable dating experience was gone, and I just didn’t trust anyone to really want to be with me.
Oh, but you see… Shauna is stubborn.
I wasn’t sure about gambling a 7 year friendship on a relationship, especially because I would be her first female relationship. But Shauna was sure.
I was afraid that I was just a passing fancy that will dull with time, and I wasn’t sure that she would be happy with me. But Shauna was sure.
Even when I proposed and she accepted, I wasn’t absolutely sure that it was what she really wanted. (I mean, guys, I proposed in Florence, Italy. MOST people would say yes in the moment.) But Shauna was sure.
When I ached to put my feelings on paper in the form of a book, but was unsure if I was good enough, or if I could be successful. Shauna was sure.
On a weekly basis, I question myself, I berate myself, I hate myself, and I’m certain that there is no way I have anything to give anyone… But Shauna is sure.
Even after five years, I often don’t believe I deserve her love, her devotion and her belief in me. But for some reason, Shauna is sure.
If it wasn’t for her stubbornness I’m fairly sure I would have sabotaged us within the first year. But no matter how down I get on myself, how much I question myself and my talents, how hard I try to prove my internal demons are correct and I ain’t shit… Shauna stubbornly looks at me and says, “Don’t talk about my wife like that.”
Her certainty and belief in me has given me more courage than I ever thought possible. I mean, I have awesome parents and family, but let’s be honest… they kinda *have* to support you, or pretend to. Shauna chose the mess that is me.
And every now and again, I look at her and wonder if she’s lost her mind or if this is the life and the wife she really wants, she just looks at me and says, “Babe. I’m very sure.”
Yes, behind every good thing is an amazing woman, and I am so blessed that no matter how much I doubt myself, my wife is so very sure.
I will forever be thankful for your love, your support, and your stubbornness. Because I will constantly contend… you can do SO much better than me.
I love you. Happy Anniversary.