My relationship has made me better.

Being married to a woman – not just “a woman” but THE WOMAN…the one I can express the crazy to, the silly insecurities, and the occasional apathy toward ridiculous situations. The one who can be like “Yeah, me too!” or “Stop it”, without a feeling of shame or judgment.

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This woman has created unexpected comfort in my life in many ways, but I’m going to share a few of silly, small things that I realized on a walk this weekend.

Growing up, it was repeated to me that “men only want one thing…”. Instead of that sort of mantra putting fear and distrust into me, I felt like I could change that. Sure, the “one thing” lured them in, but once they saw me it wouldn’t be all about that. I spent my teenage years and young adulthood seeking affection from men, thinking that was the first step into finding a long lasting relationship that would be based on more. I flippantly refer to myself as a slut for that…decade…but it wasn’t a conscious promiscuity. Only as a more mature woman can I look back and see it as it was – desperation for love, attention, affection. I’d wear certain clothing and undergarments all for that attention factor without being very consciously aware of the underlying reason why.

[And if you don’t know the true reason why you are doing things, it’s hard to get to the results you really want.]

I was never really comfortable physically. Tottering around on sky-high heels isn’t comfortable for me. Super tight clothing isn’t comfortable for me. Thong underwear in my ass crack every single day is not comfortable for me. Always showing off my body isn’t comfortable for me. (And it may be for others, I am not judging their choices – I am only speaking of mine).

I was never really comfortable mentally. In a lot of relationships, I felt like an object. I felt like I was one mis-step away from it all falling apart (not considering if it was worth keeping together anyway). I felt like I had to keep looking a certain way, dressing a certain way, otherwise why would you remain interested? I felt like I was in a show. I needed to perform. All I really wanted what it seemed like everyone else had in my graduating class – successful, marriage-oriented relationships.

It took hitting 30 and then having a failed marriage under my belt not too long after that for me to be mature enough to realize that social media is just everyone’s highlight reel. Real life is much grittier than that, but nobody really wants to take the time to commemorate those times with photos and blogs. We all want to move on from those rough times to the happy ones, right?

It took falling in love with The Woman for me to realize that I could be comfortable with myself – the stripped down, more real version of me. The one that wears very little makeup (seriously, I rock mascara lately and that’s about it). Mainly flat shoes at work, although I do occasionally rock a low pump. Cleverly styled yoga pants instead of pencil skirts and trousers to work. Unpolished nails. If I forget to shave, I’m not worried about being judged by it because she understands what its like to stand in the shower and not be productive with it. I don’t have to keep up this level of sexuality that I once felt I needed to in order to survive and stay relevant in some way. Seriously, I rock bikini briefs more than thongs nowadays and love my Teva-looking Sketchers squishy sandals, although they likely make me look like a stereo-typical lesbian. I LOVE BEING COMFORTABLE mentally and physically because I’m doing these things for me now, not for the attention of others.

I don’t need to go out every weekend and live a life for social media that looks exciting and appealing. You know what I did this weekend? I went for a walk with my best friend, had a sushi date with another friend, a walk with my wife the next day, canned, crafted, and cleaned. No bathroom mirror selfies needed. Again – not judging those that do. I’m just saying I don’t feel this pressure to do all those things anymore because they aren’t always authentic to me. I don’t need to be on display; I don’t need to have a certain body, outfit, or attitude.

That’s what being with my wife has done for me. It’s stripped away the fakeness and what’s left is me, unapologetically.

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