I Believe in My Marriage

Nicole - Brooklyn, New York
Entered on April 10, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family, illness, love

I Believe in My Marriage.

My husband Ted and I are newlyweds. We met a little over three years ago when he cast me in a short film he was directing for his master’s degree. I remember the first time I saw him like it happened five minutes ago. I thought to myself: “Wow! He’s really cute and there is no way that he doesn’t have a girlfriend!” As I got to know him, he never ceased to amaze me; he was so smart, sweet, talented and funny, and I couldn’t help but notice how he was always looking at me with his big brown eyes. On the last day of the film shoot I didn’t want to say goodbye—I wanted to ask him if he had a girlfriend, but I didn’t know how. We shared an awkward hug, and as I turned to walk away, he stopped me, looked at me with all sincerity, and said “you’re beautiful” and that was the beginning of our beautiful friendship.

As time passed, we became an extraordinary team. He is the yang to my yin, and I know I will always be able count on him. I know this, because a year-and-a-half after we met, our love was tested in the most frightening way, when at the age of thirty-six, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I could write a biography of the fears I felt over the year that followed, but the one fear that possessed me was the fear of losing Ted. It was not a logical fear, and I knew that, but I still felt it. I didn’t know from which dark corner of my mind it was born. I couldn’t control it, and I couldn’t ignore it—I just had to feel it. With each passing day, the thought of living my life without him terrified me more than any disease ever could.

I always read what poets and pioneers describe as the fear of not knowing, but with every needle prick, test and treatment, I discovered that for me fear is not knowing. With this discovery, I found that asking questions, observing, and learning helped me to understand and surmount my fears, and when I observed Ted’s actions; my fear of losing him began to dissolve. I noticed when he slept all night, tossing and turning on the cold floor next to my hospital bed. I noticed when he changed my drains and bandages and gazed at my gruesome, oozing wounds with love. I noticed when he looked at my body, and told me I was beautiful with the same sincerity he had when he said it the first time.

It was tumultuous, but we navigated the tempest of my cancer together, and since then, we have floated together in tranquility. To me, this is the foundation of a beautiful marriage, and in this I believe.