I'm a firm believer in the grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence. I live with a lot of stress and challenges, but I always try to remember, everyone has stress and challenges. The guy with the new car, the woman with the perfect job, the family with my ideal children, many things make me want. I want more peace in my family, I want Teale to be happy and well adjusted, I want us to be more financially secure, I want more time together, I want to go on vacations with Mark, Beau and Gwenn, I want my house clean and organized always. One of Teale's favorite songs from High School Musical comes to mind: "I Want It All!" The list is endless, but when I start thinking about the "what ifs" in my crazy life, my mind always wanders to the biggest "what if," Mark. What if I had never met Mark, where would I be today? What if I had married a jerk or a cheater or a non caring or absent husband and father? What if Mark and I were nasty to each other when the stress got to us? What if the raising a child with severe special needs had torn us apart. The stats are high for break ups in this country and they are even higher in my "group." Marriages, who have special needs children, break up 95% of the time! We were told this many years ago and found it staggering. Some couples may have taken that information and said, well we are destined then to not make it and slowly they may have subconsciously given up. Mark and I took that information and became stronger! We are both pretty stubborn, so telling us we are going to fail, made us say, "no way, not us, we will be part of the 5% that makes it!" Mark is my rock, my best friend, the man I can count on every moment of every day. He is understanding, kind, empathetic and in general the kind of person everyone should be. He cares about my happiness and shares that with me in actions and words, often. Whenever I have had even the slightest thought that he has purposely hurt me, I have needed to step back and look carefully at the situation. I actually doubt he has ever purposely hurt me. Sure, we have both done or said stupid things, but in almost 22 years of marriage, who wouldn't slip up once in a while? The grass seems greener, at my age especially, for many couples though. I see this as the stage of life where marriages either plug through or finally call it quits. It is tough to watch, it rattles me to the core when someone close to us breaks up. I become really insecure and needy, wanting Mark to reassure me often that he still loves me. After all I am the child of such a break up. My Dad had the classic mid life crisis, found a younger woman and left my Mom for her. I still, even with who I am married to, Mr Loyal, don't completely trust men. I fear that Mark may someday wake up and say why am I with this biotch? After all, I do not claim to be as nice as Mark is! The running joke in my family is that if we broke up, my family would keep Mark. He is way more patient, kind and forgiving than I will ever be. He will put up with my not being pleasant with complete grace, maybe because he knows I always come around. I am often apologizing for my behavior, I realize that I often take out my frustrations on Mark, maybe because he takes it so well? It is something I work on a lot. I am trying to voice what it is that is really bothering me instead of internalizing it and having it come out in non productive ways. I believe I have gotten much better at this over the years, but occasionally I still slip up and fall into my old habit of just being mad and no one knows why. I was out with a girlfriend last night who has separated from her husband. We had dinner together and as we sat there I scanned the bar, not one attractive single man to be found. There were many men, many without dates or rings, but the pickings seemed slim. I asked my girlfriend what it is like out there in the single world. Her response did not surprise me, "Not good," was all she said. I knew that in my heart, I knew it would never be a scene I would want to be a part of again. So back to my biggest question, what if I had never met Mark? I don't know the answer, but pondering it somehow keeps the grass greener inside my fence!