I married my best friend 15 years ago today. It was a pretty wedding that we planned on our own. We would do a few key things differently now, but what’s done is done, and from what we heard, it was a fun wedding with good food. We went to Jamaica for our honeymoon. My new husband tested out that “in sickness and in health” thing early, since as soon as we got off the plane from Jamaica, we went straight to the ER. He had a massive kidney infection. If I could find the picture of him after I got him all medicated and tucked into bed at home, I would totally share it. But I’ll share this one instead.
Our moms and dads have been married to each other for over 40 years. That sets a pretty good example of sticking it through, don’t you think? I’ve only been married for 15 years and I know for certain, it hasn’t been easy the entire time. My husband and I frustrate each other to no end sometimes, me with my ranting and repeating things over and over and him with his disaster of a garage and inability to open mail and throw the envelope away. Seriously, why can’t you just throw the envelope away?
There’s a lot I don’t know about how we make it work and grow closer as the years go by. But what I do know is that we have a mutual respect for each other. We communicate (mostly me), and when we have our arguments, we aren’t mean to each other. I may have thrown out “asshole” once or twice, but I always preface it by saying “I may be a bitch, but you’re being an ……”. We work together when we are facing difficulties. We’ve made three HUGE moves together and we always come out on the other side knowing how much we are ON each other’s side. We love each other and we show it. We say it. It grosses our kids out when we give each other kisses, but we do it anyway. Then laugh and do more to be funny. At least we think we’re funny. We argue in front of our kids too. Not fight, argue. I don’t think we have had many actual fights in all our years together, but when we do, we work it out. I simply do not have the ability to give the silent treatment either. I think I would spontaneously combust from the pressure of having all those words inside.
I think about marriage as a long, never-ending marathon. You’re always in training, you are always improving, and there really is no finish line. Some days are PR days, and some days, you just want to quit. But you don’t. You keep going. We’ve faced a lot of events – job changes and layoffs, moving a hundred thousand times, having babies that wouldn’t sleep so we went slightly insane from sleep deprivation, a miscarriage, having extra money, not having any extra money, hating our jobs, loving our jobs, house selling, house hunting, having too many animals, addiction to running. Really, we take the good. We take the bad. We take ’em both….. (anyone see where I’m going here??) and there you have…..
Oh, come on now, I HAD to do that. Anyway, I remember a few years ago, driving down the street and wondering when the drama would stop. Seriously, it was one thing or another. It was something with the job, or something with the kids, or the cat barfed on the floor and the kid stepped in it and threw up, or just something. It dawned on me that day that it would never end. Ever. All this stuff, the drama, the good and that bad, it’s just part of life. And I’m just happy that I have my partner to go through it with.
We had a few rough years in Texas, but I still couldn’t imagine getting some good news and calling anyone but him. I can’t imagine being as truly, deep-down happy as I am with him, even when we aren’t necessarily on the same page. I can’t imagine being one of those couples in the restaurant who are there with just each other the entire meal and don’t say a word. Every day is training. But the payoff in that marathon of marriage is well worth the effort.
I hope that we will be able to celebrate our golden years together. Nothing in life is guaranteed, so I treasure the moments we have. Thanks, R. Andrew, for being a wonderful husband to me, my cheerleader, my Sherpa, my best friend, and more than that, an amazing dad to our boys. I couldn’t ask for more than that. And honey…. I have an idea.