Musings On Marriage

Today marks the  25th Anniversary of my marriage to Joe. Yup folks, it’s been twenty-five fun filled and exciting years since I stood at the alter and promised to love, honor and obey (oh yes I did), ’til death do us part. And for anyone who still doesn’t know, I had just gotten over morning sickness the day before our wedding, so Joe and I have never celebrated a wedding anniversary without children. This year will be no exception and with everything else going on in our lives right now we will be staying home, eating chili and watching NCIS, NCIS LA, and Castle (thank you DVR) . In other words, a perfect and perfectly normal evening.

I suppose if I had actually stopped to consider how long 25 years would be I would never have imagined getting here. My parent’s were divorced after 15 years of marriage and I actually made my vows figuring that if things didn’t work out I could always get a divorce. I clearly had no idea what I was signing up for if  I had such a naive idea of what marriage actually entailed. It turns out it’s not just about sharing your stuff. It actually involves sharing every single part of your life. The richer and poorer. The sickness and the health. But most of all the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s not just about sleepless nights with babies. It’s about sleepless nights when your teenager comes home from college, borrows the car and proceeds to disappear (and not answer his texts) for the night.

And then there are the in-laws you may or may not like. How do you get through the holidays? Does everyone go? Does one go and the other one stays home and fumes? These are the things that can make or break a marriage. And I am here to tell you that there are some things in a marriage on which you finally agree to disagree. These are sometimes the hardest things to negotiate in any relationship.

Many people have asked me if I am happily married and I never know how to answer that question. What is happiness? Is it really relevant when discussing marriage? I refer again to my friend Michelle; my Matron of Honor, spiritual guide and great friend. She believes marriage is designed to make us better people. To make us the people we were meant to be. And in that respect I am perhaps one of the happiest people alive. I can’t speak for Joe, but I am a much better person now that I was 25 years ago.

I’ve learned patience, respect, tolerance, kindness and how to think before opening my mouth.  Some of these things I’ve learned by living with Joe and some of these I learned from Joe’s example. And quite frankly, my children would have died in infancy if not for their father. With 6 brothers and sisters he was a pro at feeding and changing diapers. I didn’t have a clue. He also taught me how to live in the moment and stop worrying so much about the future. In fact, he’s the one who taught me it was OK to leave dog hair on the floor and dishes in the sink.

Does he drive me nuts? You bet. I’m sure I do the same thing to him. But at the end of the day (and hopefully our lives) it will be the two of us in our RV cruising the highways and bi-ways of American looking for the world’s largest ball of twine.  Wish us luck getting there.