So the other day I was looking at my cat. More specifically, I was looking at my cat as she spewed what seemed like a quarter pound of half-digested tuna/chicken feast all over one of my favorite sweaters, which I stupidly left unsupervised on the bed. And I thought, “Sweet lord above this cat is driving me crazy, what with all the puking and crapping lately, but I love her to bits and wouldn't give her up for anything.”
And here is where the most pathetic realization came over me: My relationship with my future husband is like my relationship to the cat …
Things might not go perfectly all the time and he might piss me off or accidentally mess up my shit, but there's no option to return him to the animal shelter. I love him, stinky tuna breath and all. (Well, we're both vegans, but it's a metaphor, okay??)
This must be like playing connect-the-dots with a third grader or something. Unconditional love, etc. etc. But bear with me.
You have to understand that, coming from a feminist who grew up with some pretty warped examples of marriage and gender relations, and who had been absolutely terrified of marriage up until about two years ago, this realization helped me a lot.
I have been with my fiance for 8 years, he's my best friend, I love him more than anything, and committing to him for a lifetime never freaked me out. But committing to him in marriage did freak me out, at least when we first started talking about it. But as my cat oh-so-helpfully demonstrated by managing to maintain my love even while vomiting on the last clean sweater I had to wear to work that day, you can make a decision to love someone and stick by them even during painful times. And it will be okay. Was I pissed that my cat did this? Yes. Do I love her any less, or want to divorce her? No.
Of course, I love my fiance in a more complex way than my cat (don't you dare tell her that), and with that will come more complex problems. But I feel ready, and more confident that marriage itself won't change who we are at the core — two people who love each other and who totally, absolutely belong together, whether in sickness (insert cat vomit here) or in health.