Writing can be hard. And writing about relationships can be even harder, as I’ve learned in the past few days when I attempted a piece only to stop mid-sentence and shut off my laptop completely. Or maybe I was too focused on whatever we had on Netflix to continue my train of thoughts.
You see, I had been trying to put together something about Ahmad. Our wedding anniversary is fast approaching and I’ve begun to reflect on what this past year has been like for us.
So I’ve been trying to write about how love isn’t just about having a genuine connection with someone, it’s also all about hard work.
Hard work that we both put in this year to overcome the challenges we faced in the first year: adjusting to married life and my shaky confidence. Hard work in supporting one another through pressures of daily life, of taking up a rigorous hobby like running, of feeling like we were doing what needed to be done for one another and the home we share.
But somehow, the words didn’t flow as nicely as I would’ve liked them to. Nor did they even come close to expressing how I feel about the man I am too fortunate to call my husband.
Maybe it’s because I feel that if I talk about him, I’ll be airing out my laundry- that yes, we’ve had some difficult times, that I can be a difficult person to understand and comfort. And if there’s one thing I learned from a very early age, it’s that we don’t air out our laundry. We keep them inside and work on whatever’s happening behind closed doors. Hell, we literally don’t have a clothesline outside the apartment, despite it being a fairly normal occurrence in Beirut.
Maybe it’s because if I write about Ahmad, I’m inviting people to comment on our relationship, when that’s the last thing I want. The purpose of this blog, after all, is to document what we are going through and look back at it years from now, wondering how far we’ve come. Not to be told what I am doing wrong or right. But people love to talk, weighing in with their unsolicited advice and opinions, always always making you feel like you’re not quite at the finish line. That they’re somehow superior to you.
Maybe it’s because if I post about him, this won’t be private anymore. In fact and after going through my Facebook and Instagram, I realized that I’ve only posted a few photos or commentary of us in all the time we have been together. I barely put any up from the wedding, while many of my cohorts are stuck in the forever bride mode. I just happen to think that no one should be subjected to over-sharing no matter how in love you might be.
Maybe it’s because if I try to put my thoughts in a single, tidy blog post, I won’t do him the justice he deserves. That his kindness, his thoughtfulness, his insights on what’s going on in the world cannot be translated into a quantifiable entity, into descriptive words. That I’m scared of falling short on telling you, or rather showing you, how happy being his wife makes me- and this is coming from someone who never even liked the word “wife.”
Or maybe it’s because I don’t even need to write about him at all.
Because this is a man that instinctively knows after I watch an episode of Chef’s Table, I’ll be online looking up if we can eat at the featured restaurant during our travels.
This is a man that gives me free reign to plan and research any upcoming trip, because he knows the fun begins for me even before we land.
A man who tells me to read when my mind won’t stop over-analyzing every move and every word spoken just before bedtime.
A man who has motivated me to try new things, to take up new hobbies, to run an extra kilometer, to write this very blog, even when I am my own worst enemy.
A man who doesn’t look at the household chores as “mine” or “yours,” and who can often be found washing dishes, despite my complaints that I should be taking care of it.
A man who isn’t about grand romantic gestures, because he knows that actions speak louder than words. That he’s worked hard to make this house a happy home, where we can come at the end of the day and fall more in love with one another than the past day.
And he and I both know, that’s all that matters.