At 18, I was neither worldly or wise. With a strict mother who kept me under lock-and-key, I rarely got to do things that a normal teenager would. And at the first sign of rebellion, my mother kicked me out and I got dumped at my estranged father’s.

So there I was, an 18-year-old that was neither worldly or wise, but filled to the brim with snark. And add ‘lonely’ to the list, as I was still getting over a breakup. So the first time that I spoke to my future husband, let’s just say that my sarcasm was set to ‘Joan Rivers in the 70s’. But he laughed at my jokes and wasn’t deterred at all by my bitchy exterior. In fact, he liked it. What a strange man.

And this peculiar guy would bother me every day, being decent to me and asking me questions about myself. We’d speak on the phone for hours on end, both getting increasingly reluctant to be the person to hang up with every passing day. I asked him about his childhood, his hometown, his likes and dislikes, and he answered every question with the same level of enthusiasm he showed the first time we spoke. He’d laugh along with me as I retold the crazy stories from my childhood. I fell in love pretty quickly.

I know Ethan Ralph as an intelligent, kind and loyal man. I’ve yet to meet another person with a vocabulary as extensive as his, though he doesn’t get to show it off as much as he would like to. However, I do love that he doesn’t write like a pompous prick. Some people get so lost in word fetishism that they make their work unreadable without a glossary.

My husband is a massive history nerd and an amazing story-teller. I could listen to him blab on about Ancient Rome for hours on end without getting bored. He is the only person in the world that has never bored me, and I’ve spoken to him more during our two and half year relationship than I’ve ever spoken to anyone.

Some would say that my husband is not easy to get along with. I call bullshit. Almost every single person that Ethan has beef with started it and then cried like a bitch when he responded. I’ve seen this man give people second, third, fourth chances, all because he tries to see the best in people and not believe bullshit rumours. But once you take it to a certain level, don’t expect an olive branch coming your way unless it’s being used to beat the shit out of you. He’s not a pushover in the slightest.

But he is much more patient than he gives himself credit for. I’m stubborn and, like most English people, think showing any emotion is a sign of weakness. So to say I’m a struggle to deal with sometimes would be an understatement. But he gives me time and space to sort myself out before I’m ready to talk to him. Thank you for that, E.

I’m 21 now and I’ve realised that I will probably never be worldly or wise. But I am married to my best friend, the guy who makes me laugh even in the darkest of times. Our first year of marriage has not been an easy one, but my husband has kept me sane throughout. Ethan, I truly would not be my egotistical, arrogant, and narcissistic self without you. Thank you for guiding me and helping me become the amazing person I am today. Happy Anniversary, my love. Here’s to decades more of this shit.

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