Hi friends! In my last post, I mentioned that I married my high school sweetheart. As this is my version of normal, it took a little while for it to occur to me that most people don’t share this particular life experience, and it may actually be mildly interesting to you. If not, well, then, just skip this post.
My husband and I met while working on a school play. I had a minor role, and he was in charge of lighting. I was 14, and he, much to my father’s severe displeasure, was 17 and had a car! He was so cute, and I was such a brat, but we became friends really quickly and by the end of the show, we were “dating”. This was a major compromise for my dad who didn’t think I should even have a boyfriend, let alone go out on a date with him! After some fighting and a few tears, (I hate to admit it, but I was not above crying for something I really wanted… It got me my boyfriend, AND a kitten!), he agreed on double dates. I can look back at all those years and see God’s hand in everything we did… there were so many opportunities for us to go wrong… but 8 years after our first date, college degrees in hand, we were vowing the rest of our lives to each other.
Now, I will never tell you that we have a perfect marriage, or even try to convince you that what works for us will work for any other couple. Marriage is a partnership, and everyone is different. That said, Joe and I have been married for over 17 years, and we’ve been able to find a pretty stable balance between us. It’s been a long and difficult process, even though we had been together for so many years beforehand. I think what helped us the most was the understanding going in that we were going to have good times, bad times, and times where we were just going to want to strangle each other! One important caveat, though, is that divorce is not an option for us. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, but thankfully, these conditions have never been met.
Another thing that has served us well is remembering to talk to each other. This may seem ridiculously obvious, but it’s amazing how much can go unsaid, only to come out in a wicked shouting match 6 months down the road! We used to go through a 3-to-4-month cycle where we’d think we were doing fine, but one night, usually around 11:30, all hell would break loose and we’d be up til 2 in the morning trying to sort everything out! This went on for more than a year before we recognized the pattern and figured out a way to deal with the root of the issue. This discussion naturally occurred in the middle of the night… Why waste a perfectly good day fighting when you can just give up a good night’s sleep, right?!
We still have days where we want to strangle each other, but thankfully, those days are few and far between. And, even knowing the pattern of non-communication, we still occasionally fall into the trap of holding too much in. We are a constant work in progress, learning as we go. I think this is why Joe and I work so well together… we take the time to stay interested in each other. Again, this may seem almost moronically simple, but, if you really stop to think about it, most things in life are! This is not to say things are easy… not by a long shot… but the things that are real and lasting and meaningful are usually beautifully simple. They just take a lot of hard work.
Lots of Love,