Defining my relationship with my wife

ChapterTK posed this, which I think is an exceptional piece of writing. In it she made some statements which in-topic but to the left of the main discourse, I’m going to take those statements and use them.

How did you know you loved your partner?
Love is complex, I don’t have any illusions that I actually know what it is, what it feels like or what it should be. There was never any love in my family growing up, no affection per say other than the odd tickling from my grandmother and mostly we didn’t like one another.

I know the moment I laid eyes on this odd, gawky, very pretty, nervous, young woman at an Archeology conference of all things. My first sight of her wasn’t her entirety (although it probably was), rather the odd way she was holding a cup of tea, and then her hippy patchwork waist coat (I guess she thought she was dressing the part). I found her immensely attractive, her looks and her thoughts. I was totally taken by her.

We kept vaguely in contact, every few years we would bump into one another, dated very briefly, but I would often think about her (often while I was fucking someone else), wonder what she was doing. I tried to seek her out on three occasions, first two were total fails. But it definitely was third time lucky. We both signed up for friends reunited at roughly the same time, her fortunately a bit in advance of me, I saw her name, paid the fees and contacted.

We email spoke to one another sporadically from that point, in one email she sent me her new telephone number. Not long after that, I was feeling a bit lonely and I made the call. We spoke, she invited me to visit her (she was living and working in Crete), I needed a holiday. I bought the tickets and went. We’ve been together ever since that point.

Did I fall in love? Yes, and I have to qualify it with “guess so”.  I grew up in an emotionally cold family, I don’t think I know what love is. I know I never want to be apart from my wife and daughters, I’ll always care for them and want to see them achieve happiness, I know that if it’s for their emotional wellbeing that I would have to leave and not be part of their life’s, then even though it would be a wrench I would do it for them. For their good, for their safety, for their happiness but I don’t want that to happen.

Interesting, that I even think or talk like that, my stepfather was a paranoid schizophrenic alcoholic and he had to be taken away from my mother and I, so it’s obviously ingrained that I should put them over my self as my stepfather didn’t and had to be sectioned.

Actually, I realise I haven’t answered the question.  How do I know? Because she is an intrinsic part of my life.

How long have you been together?
We met 21 years ago, but have been a couple for under eleven years.

What is the most romantic thing your partner has ever done for you?
I don’t think in terms of romance, so I can’t answer. I can answer though is the greatest thing she has done for me: tolerate my excesses.

Do you think you’ll be together forever?
I genuinely hope so.

What do you imagine for the future?
Sunny blue skies, by a Mediterranean sea with that amazing quality of light, the musky perfume of the plants