Sometimes, you just find your person. If you have found yours, you know just what I mean. If you haven’t, you will at some point.
I am not going to offer you some illusion that everything is easy and perfect, and that falling in love and getting married in a whirlwind couple of years is a smooth and simple process.
Instead, I am going to give you a little dose of relationship reality. Are you ready?
First I will tell you a short little story. My name has always been, until last year, Troy Lambert. When my wife and I talked about getting married, we combined our last names instead of either one taking the other’s. Her maiden name was Morehouse. The blend we came up with was Bertmore. You can read more of the story of becoming the Bertmores here.
One day, when I was probably multi-tasking and doing something quite valuable I am sure, she needed to get my attention, and apparently, I did not hear her. So she said loudly: “Bert!” I turned and looked.
For the first time in my life, I had a nickname. I fell in love with her a little more that day. Of course, that is not the end of the story.
We Are Both Driven, Opinionated People
My wife plans to attend law school this fall. My career ambitions have always outstripped the amount of time I have in a day to accomplish them, I’m going back to college, and at the same time I love to cycle, run, hike, and pursue all kinds of hobbies outdoors.
Sometimes these drives can result in tension. We have some, shall we say “moments of intense marital communication.” These can sometimes last a significant amount of time, depending on the topic we are discussing. We’ve learned a lot about conflict management and each other.
But when it is over, when we both finally see each other the way we should, she calls me Bert. Then everything is okay.
Health is Sometimes an Issue
For several years, my wife has battled a rare and debilitating disease. You can read more about her health journey over on her blog, but for the last year, she has been doing really well.
However, there are still health issues left behind. She struggles with everything from headaches to exhaustion, and some days are harder than others. Sometimes there are tears and others depression sets in.
But when she needs me, when she wants me just to be near her, or just to hold her, she looks at me with those amazing eyes, and she calls me Bert.
We Live with a 14-year-old
I love my son, and I am glad he lives with us pretty much all the time. I am even more excited that he and my wife have fallen in love with each other. It is an incredible blessing I would not trade for anything.
As wonderful as he is most of the time, he is still 14. He does things other teenagers do, he struggles in school, and you have to tell him how to do the same chores over and over again. It can be exhausting and frustrating.
We try our hardest as parents to keep a united front. This can be intense from time to time. Remember, we are driven and opinionated people? That translates to more than just issues between us.
But even when things are tough, when we figure it out or even in the heat of the moment, she looks at me, and she calls me Bert.
We are in Love
Oh, yes. We have tough things. I think every couple does. We have intense days, but we have some really great days. I like to make her smile, watch her face light up with joy.
So sometimes I bring her flowers. Or a treat. Or we go to dinner or a movie, for one of our date nights. We intentionally spend time together doing things we both enjoy.
Often, in those moments, or when we are drifting off to sleep, she turns to me, and she calls me Bert.
Really, that’s all I need. No one else calls me by that name. When she calls me from the other room, when she tears up, when she says it in frustration, and when she looks me in the eyes with a face full of love, I know she is the one for me when she calls me Bert.
Also published on Medium.