Wow! I’m so impressed with us because MARRIAGE AIN’T EASY.
It’s hilarious that I said that because, actually, being married to SweetBaby for 30 years actually HAS been a bit of a sweet ride. It’s true that it isn’t easy but we had one thing going for us that has made all the difference in the world: we were in it to stay. We decided that early on and we never wavered.
Hmm. Actually, that’s not true. One time – many, many years ago and because of one ENORMOUS thing (the HOUSE) – I let the D word fly out of my mouth. Well, I think it sort of dribbled out, pathetically.
I will never forget the look on his face. I can’t describe it except to tell you what he said, what he said after several seconds of thick silence. He said,
“Well … I guess I know who my friends are.”
Now look, also today I am 60 years old. Sixty is a long time and every decade is marked by many very decade- and age-specific mistakes. But the look on SweetBaby’s face and the silence all up and around and through that mournful response … well, I have never again felt as low and treacherous and ungrateful as I did at that moment. I have never again let another sentence as miserable and hurtful as that come out of my mouth.
Marriage is not easy. Don’t let anybody tell you it is. Even if it seems easy, it’s only because people – in successful marriages – are instinctively doing the hard work on the fly. The hard work is:
Simple respect. I mean it: SIMPLE respect. It’s easy. Don’t be an ass and don’t call names.
Talking about it – whatever it is. The harder it is to talk about, the more necessary it is to talk about.
Being in it for the long haul. If you have an out, you’ll take an out.
Remembering that your spouse is putting up with as much from you as you are from him/her. (This is not including marriages with various abuses.)
Allowing yourself to kiss, to touch, to make up – no matter what and no matter how hard it is. Either pride will go or your marriage will.
** And I have to mention this, out of simple gratitude. My marriage would not have survived without each of us caring deeply about our relationships with God. Some may laugh at that. I can only tell you that feeling strongly that what you do makes a difference to something or someone so much higher than yourself is a strong check on your attitudes and your willingness to give in and let it go; on your willingness and determination to put your loved one ahead of and above yourself. “A three-fold cord is not quickly broken.” Sometimes you just gotta ask for help. **
I had a podcast once, a long time ago, on marriage. I guess we’d been married about 20 years at the time. I’ll never forget what one man said: “I wouldn’t want to be married to anyone who would stay with me that long.” I remember I didn’t know whether that was funny or not. I still don’t.
At any rate, I find that people love to ask questions of people who have been married for a long time. I don’t know why. You have to know it doesn’t make them experts.
However, if you find this topic interesting, or funny, or annoying or anything else and you would like me to opine on it, I will certainly do so. I don’t know a lot of anything else but I do know a little about this.
Ask a question and I’ll answer it in a post, just for you. Serious or not, I’ll do my best.
Congratulations to us!