Ivan's Marriage Decision: 5 Reasons Why I Married Her

Ivan here. 

When I think about life, I imagine everyone as passengers on an airplane. On a long enough time span, this plane we’re on is going to break up in mid-air. When that happens, we’ll all be due for a few fiery and terrifying moments before the final oblivion sets in. 

Which is why when it comes to the marriage decision, it’s especially important to pick a partner with whom you can weather the turbulence. 

Here are the five reasons why I married her:

1. Because she taught me what loneliness meant

I like being alone. When I tell people this, I’m not sure they completely understand - that it’s not just a preference, but a physiological need.

Before Jennie came along, I would go for days, sometimes weeks, without interacting with a single human being. I’d read, browse bookstores, go on long walks and runs, watch movies and eat alone at restaurants. I enjoyed the freedom of my own company, without the obligations of holding a conversation or dealing with other people’s baggage. (The word for this is ‘selfish,’ by the way). Like a solitary daydream on a deserted island, loneliness just never factored into it. 

I started noticing subtle changes after we met and embarked on what would turn out to be a six year long distance relationship. Meals I once enjoyed started to taste stale. Music didn’t move me like it used to. In short, life began feeling like a series of wasted moments.

And for the first time in my life, I learned what it was like to be lonely. 

2. Because it’s fun pushing each other’s buttons

“Listen kid, I'm not gonna bullshit you, all right? I don't give a good fuck what you know, or don't know, but I'm gonna torture you anyway, regardless.”
                                                                                                       -Mr. Blonde, Reservoir Dogs

Looking back, my favorite moments with Jennie involved a lot of laughter, tears, and bouts of uncontrollable rage. These emotions were usually brought on by something that I said or did, and almost always ended in loud, profanity-laced arguments.

I mean, what’s the point of having a partner if you can’t get a decent reaction out of them? Amidst the tedium of modern existence, a relationship should at the very least, be entertaining. 

3. Because I can be myself completely around her

"That’s when you know you’ve found somebody really special, when you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably share a silence." 
                                                                                                          -Mia Wallace, Pulp Fiction

There's an extreme side to my personality that some people may find sadistic. Most never see this side because of my tendency to filter it out when I’m around polite company. With the foundation that I've built with Jennie, I never have to worry about pretending. 

4. Because she’s the most straightforward and realest person that I know

I don’t need any extra bullshit in my life because as a writer, I’m perfectly capable of generating that on my own.  What I do need is someone who’s unafraid to tell me when I’m full of shit, before my ego blows up like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. 

5. Because we have vastly different life experiences

The long and short of my life story is that I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. While my family wasn’t wealthy, I never really wanted for anything growing up. Nor have I had to endure any hardships worth mentioning. Sadly, our 17 month immigration process was probably the most traumatic thing that’s ever happened to me. And let’s just say I did not handle this experience like a reasonable grown-up. 

With my sheltered upbringing comes the arrogance of assuming that everything I set my mind to is going to end up going my way. That’s a very dangerous expectation to have. 

This was basically the exact opposite of Jennie’s experience. She had to claw and fight her way for everything that she’s ever gotten. Despite playing life on hard mode, she’s always managed to dust herself off and power through adversity.  

I can’t stress how much I depend on her for advice and how much I still learn from her. For my part, I see it as part of my life's mission to help her get to wherever it is that she wants to go.