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Dear Caroline,

Today you sent me a message that made me stop and think. It made me wonder what you think my role is.

You said that it’s hard, that I have to work, that I take care of the house, that I handle everything and still put up with you.

choose youYou apologized for it being this way and said that you know that I want it to be different. That you are trying.

I just want you to know that it’s not hard.

I work, but I really love my job. I love the people I work with. This job is challenging in a way that I’m not familiar with and there’s so much to learn. I’ve never bored. I meet all kinds of people. I solve problems. I help others realize and protect their dreams.

I do take care of the house. I put up things that remind me of you. I clean. I keep our bed made. I love taking care of the home I want to share with you. Not necessarily these walls, but the idea that we share a home. I can’t wait until the weather warms and I can get into the yard, planting beautiful flowers that remind me of you.

I handle what needs to be handled. It doesn’t matter if it’s a sick kid, the dog, or some other chaotic event. That’s always something going on. I paint a new sign for your mother’s thrift store. I make sure everything is organized. But you help. You text and call the kids. I’m not doing this alone. You’re there for me when I need to vent about something that is frustrating me. You patiently listen when I start my period and fall apart over every little thing. I couldn’t do this without you.

I don’t put up with you, my love. You are my everything. Being with you has been the every timesupreme pleasure in my life. I would do absolutely anything for you. I don’t put up with you, honey. I choose you. Every day. I only want you. You and your demons.

Please don’t apologize for the way things are. They are exactly how they are supposed to be. I don’t want them, or you, to be any different. I’ve known I wanted you long before you knew I existed. I wanted you the first time our eyes met. I’ve wanted you since that first real kiss on your red couch. I know that this isn’t forever. Even if it was, I would choose you. And this.

You told me the other night that you went into this aware of what you were getting into. That you knew I would only be in your life part time. That you would have to let me go and trust that I would come back. But my priorities changed. I changed everything in my life to be with you. I’m not sorry. I don’t regret anything. I am happier than I’ve ever been. I wouldn’t change anything about what we are.

And that goes both ways. I’ve always known you were leaving. I’ve always known there would be times that hundreds, thousands of miles would separate our bodies. I chose you. I chose you even though I understood that there would be times that I would have to let you go and trust that you would return to me.

this too shall passI chose you knowing that there may come a time when you fall in love with a strange, faraway place and decide not to come home to me. That having no responsibilities and taking care of only yourself would be more appealing than having to deal with a wife and kids at home.

I chose you with the understanding that, although I would never, ever, ask you to choose, you may one day decide that your career is too important. That you don’t ever want to settle down. That your love of travel and adventure might one day outweigh your love for me.

I didn’t go into this blind. I knew what I was signing up for. That there would be times when I would do things without my plus one. I’m not sorry. I don’t want anything different. I don’t want it to be different. I want things just as they are.

I just want you. Just the way you are.