A couple of years ago the family and I were visiting my in-laws. During our visit my husband’s cousin was also there. We spent most of the visit talking catching up on each other’s lives. She was studying to become a counselor and was very interested my husband and I’s relationship. In particular, she wanted to know how I knew my husband was the ‘one’ I was supposed to marry.
I gave her the response, ”You know when you know.” The truth was when I met my husband I knew he was different, but I had no idea he would be the guy I would marry. We met, liked each other and then started hanging out. Within three months of dating I got a job in London. When I left for the job I was pretty sure he was the one, but I left on the plane without him.
Things worked out with my husband and he eventually moved to London to live with me. The early months of living in London were trying to get learn about each other. The hardest part for me was opening up to him my vulnerable side. It took a long time to share some of my fears and doubts
After all the confessions I knew he was the ‘one’. Prior to that I knew I was in love with him, but I was so afraid he would leave at any moment once he found out what I was really like. Once I allowed myself to fully trust him I felt confident in our love for each other. Knowing he was the ‘one’ was something I instinctively knew.
Recently someone asked me if my husband and I planned to have anymore children. They obviously don’t know my children very well or they would have never asked such a silly question. I told them confidently, “No more kids. I am 48 and my husband is 45. We are old. The next kids we will welcome into our home with be the grandkids.”
After the birth of my second son I asked my husband if he wanted any more kids. He said, “No. Two boys is all I can handle.” I had always wanted three children, but when my husband said no more kids I didn’t press the issue. I loved my two boys and we were happy.
When we I became unexpectantly pregnant with my third boy I was thrilled. After my little son’s arrival, people used to ask if I wanted more children, in particular if I wanted a girl. I would confidently respond, “No. Three boys is it.” Having my third son made things final in my eyes. My husband and I knew we were officially done having children.
The concept of knowing is empowering. There are may things I don’t know about my life, but there are some that I know. Inside of me is a comfortable knowledge that guides me during my decision-making process It’s my instincts. I fall into the most trouble when I don’t listen carefully to my inter voice.
The most recent decision I know is my husband and I’s choice is to not have pets in the future. This decision has been a long one in the making. It’s kind of like the decision a couple makes to not have children. My husband is not much of a pet person and the only reason we have many pets is because the boys and I begged to get them. When my husband first brought up the issue of no longer wanting pets, I was uncomfortable. I love animals and felt badly we would no longer be giving one a home. But as our conversations continued I realized I didn’t want to be a pet owner forever either.
The older boys will be off to college soon. My husband and I plan to travel, maybe live overseas for a while. I love my pets (dog, snake and fish), but the responsibility of them is too much sometimes. My youngest son is only five which means we have at least 12 more years of him living at home. Our needs for nurturing are fully met by taking care of our little son. After all the years of caring for the boys, home and the pets my husband and I want time in our lives to only care for each other.
The decision to not want pets is difficult for people to grasp. Pets are universal. Even people who choose not to have kids often have a pet or two. But for my husband and I we know what we want from our life. It comes from knowing ourselves and being willing to admit honestly what will make us happy. Being honest about what you want from you life is the only way to make sure it can happen. Doing things because you ‘think’ you should only leads to regret. Living with regret isn’t a way to live.
How do I know when our pets are gone there will be no more to follow? The answer for me is easy, “You know when you know.”