Seventeen years ago today (it was even a Saturday), my ex & I got married.
Then: I was a 24yo woman ready for marriage & a couple kids; and he was a naive 20yo barely-man who apparently was not.
Now: I am a much older, wiser, & more worldly 41yo woman, happily remarried with three kids; and he is a 37yo man who is about to be divorced for the second time with two small children.
I'm not sure about him, but *I* have definitely grown up quite a bit over the last 17 years. Aside from having a child, and all the growing up you do (or are supposed to do) with that, I am calmer, and don't react to things before truly thinking them over. "Knee-jerk" is no longer in my vocabulary. I am happier, as well. My husband and I have an honest, compassionate, equal in almost every sense of the word (except individual financial contributions -- he makes more than I do -- but in true equality, what's his is mine, as well as vice versa). He is my partner, my co-parent, my love.
We are financially secure, as well (which is also more than I can say for both my ex and his soon-to-be ex); the house is paid off, the cars are paid off, we have no student loan debts any longer, we have no revolving credit card debt (all bills are paid in full each month), we have retirement, stock, and long-term savings accounts... most of which those other two cannot honestly claim.
My youngest is almost 16yo; she is beautiful, smart, and pretty equal parts me and my husband. I'm sure my regular readers know, but for those who aren't, she is my first husband's biological child, but she is no longer *his*. After many years of thinking only of himself and his soon-to-be ex-wife, he finally signed the adoption consent just over a year ago. The adoption was finalized October 7th, 2014... and she knows her parents love her, care for her, and make sure her needs (and a lot of wants) are taken care of. She is more secure in her home life than ever, and for that, we are truly grateful.