An Open Letter To My Still Married Parents

Dear Mom and Dad,

You have been my major role models since the day I was born. Mom, you helped me with my math homework when I just couldn’t understand long division (and made sure to hide all the calculators). You showed me how to find bargain deals and always head straight to the clearance rack (which I seriously appreciate now that I’m in college). Dad, you taught me how to throw a softball and slide into a base. You introduced me to the wonderland that is NFL football and taught me all I needed to know about the game. The two of you taught me so much: how to walk, talk, read, and so much more.

But the most important thing you taught me about was love.

I am now 20 years old, and in my 20 years I have acquired many friends with married parents and divorced parents. Mom and dad, I’ve never seen you seriously fight. I know that that may not be saying much, because it’s easy to fight behind closed doors, but in regards to those married parents I have met, nearly every time I’ve been to their houses, to the store with them, or on vacation with them, I’ve heard them fight. Not just little arguments, but full-on yelling, even in public. When I hear or see this from married couples, it reminds me how blessed I am to have parents like you, who know what the right time and place is for their issues, especially when they even hide it from their own children. I’ve had friends tell me that they wished their parents were divorced because they fight so much, and it hurts my heart so much to know that they couldn’t be blessed with parents like you.

From those friends I have with divorced parents (bountiful in number), I have heard so many horror stories. Some even blame themselves for the separation. They talk about having two Christmases and having to split their time between two families. And don’t get me wrong, some of them are glad they don’t have to hear the fighting anymore and think everyone is happier as a result, but I can’t imagine the way I’d feel if I couldn’t come home at night and see both of you sitting on the couch watching TV together. What would I do if I couldn’t share vacation memories with both of you? If I couldn’t roll my eyes at the cheesiness of dad grabbing mom’s butt when he knew I was looking? If I didn’t see, from the back seat, the two of you holding hands while dad drives? If my heart didn’t get all melty when I hear dad call mom “dear” or “hon” at the end of every sentence? If I couldn’t experience all of this, my life would feel so different.

I see people my age posting “relationship goals” all over social media, hashtagged on stupid pictures of couples sitting in expensive cars or wearing matching halloween costumes. Sure, that stuff is cute, but my real relationship goal will always be to have a relationship like you two have. If I am half as happy and cheesy as you guys are when I get married, I will consider myself incredibly blessed. No matter how many people tell me love doesn’t exist, I will always believe in it because of you. You’ve been together for over 30 years and you’re still, in my opinion at least, the picture perfect example of a healthy marriage. You now have two children in (fairly new) very happy marriages as well because you showed them how to maintain healthy relationships, and I can’t wait for you to do the same for me.

Thank you.

Thank you so much for showing me what true love really is. You taught me to always have hope, no matter how many unhappy couples I see, because there is someone out there who will fit as perfectly with me as you two do with each other.


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