A few months ago, a young woman asked me the secret to a happy marriage. “Therapy”, I responded.
Yesterday Edd and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary. Marriage is hard work. Aside from that, I’m not sure there is any piece of advice I can give another.
If there is one thing I’ve learned from being with the same person over two decades – it’s that a partnership is just as individual as the two who are in it. Reflecting on our union, I have come up with 19 reasons we’ve been able to stay together:
For us, 19 years of marriage is:
not caring how you look (or smell) when you wake up.
listening to one another.
scheduling time to listen to the other when one is too distracted to hear.
making it through 2 years,
then 7 years,
then 9 years,
then 15 years,
then 18 years – each of those times thinking the marriage may be done.
committing yourself to one another every, dang day so you don’t have any more years where you think the marriage is done.
going to therapy to learn about breaking down walls.
staying together through sickness – lots and lots and lots of sickness – and in health.
realizing when the other needs space.
realizing when the other is afraid to be alone.
asking and responding in truth when it’s difficult to realize anything.
saying you’ll go to a movie, concert, play with the other even if you hate said movie, concert, or play.
making anniversary plans far in advance.
canceling those plans 1 hour before event because both are in agreement to stay home and comfort their teen instead of leaving her alone for the evening.
knowing the other will always put immediate family first.
respecting the shared calendar
respecting “first come first serve” on the shared calendar
equal responsibility in child rearing
not really remembering how long you’ve been married sometimes because “forever” doesn’t have a number.
loving someone so uniquely in a way not felt by a parent, a child, or a friend – but the melding of these emotions rolled into one.