Currently, my husband is living in the “dog house”. We are approaching a momentous occasion in our marriage…one of those BIG number anniversaries…#40. We have excitedly talked about this event over the year, discussed different destinations for a big trip, pondered “how in the world did we get here”, and appraised, examined, and dissected our life together. With all of this conversation you can imagine my surprise when my husband announced that he had booked his annual buddy camping trip, in August, from the 22nd – the 26th. “What!” I said, “That’s! Our! Anniversary! Weekend!” “OOPS”, he said, “I forgot all about that.” Big Mistake! You would think he would know not to say that after forty years.
Thus the dog house.
Of course this is only a temporary situation. It is because of the 40 years together that this is small compared to the many things our relationship has weathered over the decades. In fact, I feel an enormous amount of GRATITUDE for the life we have shared. We have shared the financial ups and downs; from the early marriage struggles, the pinnacles of success, the expense of higher education for four kids to the concerns about having enough for retirement. We have endured the relationship black holes, including the year and a half when all we could both agree on was that we didn’t like each other! We have experienced the classic, monogamous marriage boredom, as well as the times of, “I couldn’t possibly love this person more”. We have fought over parenting styles, financial goals, and allowing each person in this relationship to live to the fullness of his/her potential.
BUT HERE IS THE IMPORTANT PART…We have come to understand that we are complete opposites in how we approach life. He is unemotional/she is touchy feely. He is a penny pincher/she isn’t. She is the disciplinarian of the kids/he calls them his princesses. He is easy going and accepting/she is always trying to make the world a better place. She is stubborn/he is persistent.
CENTRAL TO IT ALL is that, at our core, we have the same ethics and morals, we find true value in the same things, we believe we belong together…we have a piece of paper that says so…we are always working on being better! And we have the wisdom of all these many years together to know that: this is life, this is the essence of human relationship, we do not and would not want to live life benignly, and this is being real.
WE ARE GRATEFUL, GRATEFUL, GRATEFUL! for our forty years together, that we have succeeded, or perhaps just endured, where others have failed. As we age, we are feeling more GRACIOUS toward the other and the physical challenges that are changing both of us. We are THANKFUL that when we wake up in the morning the other one is still there. THANKFULLY, whenever we celebrate this miracle of forty years together, it will be with confidence that we can probably make it through another four decades and still be together!
MOST OF ALL, WE ARE GRATEFUL, THAT ON THE MAJORITY OF DAYS, WE ACTUALLY LIKE EACH OTHER