Plan for retirement with me, baby, because I'm not going anywhere.
I want you to understand what's going on. We have an agreement together, you and I. We're promising for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, as long as we both shall live. We're handing each other forever. And when I promise you forever, I mean it.
I mean that I expect to spend my life with you. I expect to live with you through kids and jobs and houses, through floods and snowstorms and heat waves. It won't be easy. Forever takes work.
There will be times when we'll be overwhelmed and won't have energy for one another. There will be times when we do stupid stuff to make each other mad. There will be times when we're tired of one another and dream about someone else. This all happens. This is all normal. It doesn't touch the meaning of forever.
When I promise you forever, I mean that I expect to be your partner. Forever takes two. I need you to be there for me so I can be there for you. I need you to buckle down and work with me when things get tough. I need you to support me so I can support you.
We work together. We're a team. We don't let kids, sickness, money, or other people come between us. No matter what happens, we're together. That's what forever means.
I expect this to be hard sometimes. I expect that sometime in our forever, probably more than once, something really bad and difficult will happen. One of us will get really sick. We'll have to take care of an ailing relative. Someone will lose a job and not find one quickly enough. One of us will be a dumbass and have an affair, like so many other couples. A parent will die. A child will do something horrid.
The list is endless. But when I promise you forever, I mean forever. And that means we get through all these things, and come out on the other side together. No matter how tough, no matter how miserable, we have faith that the good will come back, as long as we cling to each other. Forever means forever.
I mean I expect no-holds-barred forever. I don't mean "just until one of us royally screws up" or "just until we both get sick of each other" or "just until one of us has an affair." Forever means getting through that. It means committing to counseling if we need it. It means climbing mountains that seem impossible, unless we try to climb them together.
Forever means that splitting up is never an option. Forever means together always.
I mean I expect our love for each other to trump everything. Romantic? Probably. But I mean I expect our relationship to come before everyone else. Before other people, before other family, before any children.
So many people screw up. They make someone else's opinion more important than their partner's. They put their time and energy into their children before they put it into their relationship. They do things they know will make their spouse angry, and they do them for selfish reasons. That's not OK. Forever means putting each other first.
When I promise forever, I expect our love to last, well... forever. Plan for retirement with me, baby, because I'm not going anywhere.
I mean we will grow old together, sitting on the front porch, drinking our morning coffee. We will grow old in all the goodness and awfulness of old age, in the love and the memories and the aches and the pains. We won't be the same people we are now.
People change — no one gets through life without it. But one thing won't change: our love for each other. It will grow, it will mature, but it won't change. Because when I say forever, I mean it.