Sunday, May 20, 2012

Thirty Eight Years....And Counting!

In just a few days, my husband and I will celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary.  And yet, the other day I introduced him as my” current husband”. I have no idea why that term came out of my mouth. We have spent the last 13,870 days stretched between morning coffee and late evening chats, I guess that is a current as it gets. And for the most part, they have been good days. Some have been great days, others, well, not so much.

But I really think it’s being able to embrace the non-eventful days that determines the longevity of a marriage. There are so many more of them. Now, God knows, our marriage is not always perfect. Sometimes, it’s not even always civil. But it’s always, always a constant. A reliable state that we are both very comfortable living in. And for us, that seems to be enough. Recently we were at a wedding where the couple left a questionnaire on each table seeking advice on making marriage last. Oddly enough, after many years, I honestly don’t have an answer that would fit most of the questions. But, that being said, here are a few things I do know: 

  • -          If you don’t marry someone who is also your friend, you’re sunk. It’s the friendship, not the passion that gets you through when the rest of the world seems intolerable.
  • -          I have learned that when your husband asks “do you want to know what I think?” the question is just a formality, you’re going to hear it whether you want to or not.
  • -          My husband thinks that everything I've bought in the last 38 years was on sale. If newly married, this is a good strategy to adopt because most men love a “deal”.
  • -          It is absolutely okay to argue over stupid stuff. They are the best kind of arguments because a lot of venting occurs with no real lasting damage. Years ago, pre-GPS, my husband was on my case about my inability to refold a road map on a car trip. I made several attempts at getting it back to the right position while he was yelling “you’re rendering it useless”. “Useless?”, I asked, “Really?” His voice got louder, “Yes, useless!” At this point, I rolled the window down and threw the map out into a 70 mph wind front. “Now, it’s useless.” I said.  Today, we laugh about that argument knowing that somewhere off  I95 in the state of Georgia, there is a Rand-McNally map in the woods. And it’s apparently not folded correctly.
  • -          I have learned that, if on occasion, you want to spice things up in the bedroom, do not mix body oil and satin sheets. It’s a longer drop from the mattress to the floor than you think.
  • -          I have learned that it is perfectly okay to sit for hours after dinner and not feel the need to make conversation. Everyone needs down time. A space to simply just be. I know he is there if I need to say something.
  • -          I have learned that after 38 years, I am grateful to have someone to share friendship, quiet times, laughter, and, when necessary, a clear-the-air argument. But most importantly, I am so grateful to be with someone who “gets” me. 

So what makes a marriage last? I can honestly say “I don’t know”. I guess if you’re really, really lucky, someone offers their hand and helps you get through each day, one at a time. And then, before you know it, there are more days behind you than in front of you, and your both still standing….holding hands. That is more than enough for me.


  1. Thanks Pat! I don't know, but I will keep trying!

  2. Sharon F. YampellMay 24, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    You could string yourself a pearl necklace with all of the "pearls of wisdom" in this entry; great job! :)

    My grandmother said your number one lesson is truly the key; maybe that is why she and my grandfather ended up being married 71 years!!

    Take things one day at a time and you will be fine!