In two months time my husband and I will have been married for 16 years. It’s not one of those anniversaries where you throw a party or take a big trip or buy diamonds. It’s one that merely marks one year closer to an anniversary that will get such attention. There is quiet satisfaction in that. Besides, there is little that gives me as much satisfaction as being married to my husband.
I can’t tell what the future will bring. I can’t tell you with absolute certainty that my husband and I will never go through bad times and rough patches where we dislike each other and wish we were somehow not with one another. I can’t even tell you with any certainty that he’s never felt that way. What I can tell you with utmost certainty is that I never have.
So, as I watch Brad and Angelina split up and I hear about a friend who has decided to leave her marriage so that she can save her own soul, I thought I’d start to detail why my marriage has been successful. I often wonder how or why I am so lucky. Maybe a running tally of everything I have in my relationship with my husband will help me see why and to continue to not take it for granted.
So, let me start with how he and I started.
We liked each other. I mean LIKED the other person. Be friends first? Whatever – we weren’t really friends first. We were co-workers. We sometimes went to lunch together with other co-workers. But we didn’t hang out as friends until we started dating. We barely knew one another and then we started dating. But we always really liked each other. He was always funny and I was always getting his jokes. I was funny and he understood my ridiculousness. We fit together immediately and that was because we really, really liked each other.
And we still really, really LIKE each other. We laugh constantly at nonsense no one else laughs at. We find one another and our own selves pretty hilarious. We still talk at length about things other than our children. We discuss work, politics, movies, home repair, stand-up comedy, the NFL, education trends, religion, small town government, our own childhoods. We discuss things that one of us really had no interest in and sometimes we find another shared curiosity. It’s how I found the NFL (which led to my continuing romance with Randy Moss) and how he found stand-up comedy (which led to his constant quoting of Brian Regan.) And we put up with the occasional monologue from the other on a topic that we really don’t care all that much about – he wouldn’t mind the slightest if we didn’t own a single dog and I wouldn’t mind at all if I didn’t have to think about what a new piece of exercise equipment might look like in our basement. But we listen because it matters to the other and we like the other person. And we sit together in silence better than anything. I really like that we can do that, too.
There does need to be something more than like – I do understand that. I dated seriously two boys before I met my husband. Both of them I was pretty sure I was going to marry. Both of them really liked me too, but not to the same degree that someone who would be your family did. And at the same time I knew I was sacrificing something when I was with each of them – that’s for another blog post.
But since I’m starting at the beginning of my relationship with my husband I have to state that it started and is based on how much we like the other. It’s not passionate or sexy but it’s true and solid. And how we’ve managed to be happily married for close to 16 years talking to each other about everything yet still we haven’t come close to telling it all.