What does it take to stay married for 36 years? It takes an attitude of partnership. In a partnership there is give and take by both individuals. Partners in marriage share the same goals, dreams, and lifestyle.
When you first start out you may be starry eyed and giddy with that insatiable appetite to be with each other every minute of the day and night. There is all of that prep work for the wedding and then suddenly “real life” hits the two of you in the face. Schedules and habits must be negotiated and it can be white water for a time. Both of you must come to terms that there are times when you each will need your space and time for yourself.
There will be ups and downs. There will be disappointments and joys to send you skyward. The ability to communicate and know when to listen and when to talk is vital. This is not about getting into the boxing ring every day to see who can win. If that is the reason you are married; to win everyday over your spouse, you are headed for a lifetime of heartbreak.
I was thinking recently that over this past 36 years, we have moved 14 times, lived in 6 states, raised to incredibly beautiful, intelligent, & successful daughters, entertained, housed and fed thousands of friends, peers, family, strangers and neighbors in our many homes, and now we are in another new home and a return to a state and area that we know.
The stress of moving 2,768 miles, four time zones and hundreds of boxes can be daunting. As things begin to take shape it occurred to me that home is where your heart and mate are. I was wondering when is “normal” going to re-enter my life. But, “normal” is just a setting on the washing machine and dryer. Life isn’t like that. We have been in a long stretch of wonderful, bliss in our marriage. What is missing in your marriage? Are you the giver or the taker? It takes a healthy balance of both! Speak up and let your partner know what you need. Ask what he needs. Get on the same page in your life together.
I remember when we had young children, that just getting alone without a little one attached to my leg was like going to a spa for a few minutes. Each of you needs space and time alone or with friends and or doing something you love to do. The other important thing is to keep one sacred amount of time for “date night” or whatever that looks like to you two. We also have a vacation with just the two of us without the kids. Even if it is just a three day weekend, it is important to rekindle that intimacy and get on the same page again. Every time you say: “…..we don’t have the time……we don’t have the money…we can’t we have….”; you are undermining your marriage and your family. You can, but you aren’t willing to sacrifice and get creative with your time and finances. I coach couples all the time with these same excuses.
Life is too short to be angry, and live in discontent and keep score on who got what when…..
I am looking forward to our 36th wedding anniversary this week and I still feel the thrill each time I see my husband and hear his voice. I know he will come through the door with 1 long stem red rose for each year we have been married. I love that about him!
I love you sweetheart! Happy Anniversary!