25 years ago today my husband and I were married. We have officially been together for more than half our lives. I’ve been asked the secret to a long marriage. I think the true question is “What’s the secret to a happy marriage?” People can be married for decades but be miserable and unwilling to do anything about the situation. There are couples who have a wonderful marriage until the untimely death of a spouse just a few months after the wedding. It’s quality, not quantity, that matters. People assume if you’ve been married a long time you must be doing something right. That’s not always the case.
I’ve read all sorts of quips on marriage: Marriage is hard work. Marriage is not 50/50, it’s 100/100. Marriage is not about you, it’s about the other person. For me, I’ve taken the definition of a good marriage from a line in the Tom Cruise movie Jerry Maquire: “You complete me.”
My husband and I are opposites. He’s outgoing, a player back in the day who thought nothing of partying all night and getting to work hung over. I’m a bookworm, a good girl who got to bed on time and always did her homework. We’ve had many a fun giggle over how I caught his eye…I was the complete opposite of the girls he used to go out with. While I think opposites attract (think James Carville and Mary Matalin) there must be common ground to build a good foundation. We have similar political beliefs and opinions and enjoy traveling and kayaking. We like spending time with each other, sometimes on marathon sessions of Skyrim (I can navigate, but he has to fight my battles). We are each other’s best friend, but not our only friend.
It hasn’t always been easy. We’ve had some tumultuous times in our marriage. Sometimes I doubted if we would make it. But over the years I’ve realized that my husband supports me no matter what. When I started on Sparkpeople.com and began my weight loss journey he weighed out four ounce portions of ground beef so I had the proper size hamburgers for meals. When I came home after my breast cancer diagnosis and cried on his shoulder he hugged me and said, “Okay, what’s next?” When I dumped my purse on the bed one day after work and announced I wanted to go to grad school he researched laptops for me and helped me study for the GMAT.
He has my back and he knows I have his. I asked him for this blog what I did for him. He’s not into specifics. He couldn’t name off things I’ve done for him like what he’s done for me. He did say that I put up with his crap and I make him happy.
He completes me and I complete him. As I told a young friend of mine, “I keep him grounded and he lets me fly.”
Happy anniversary, honey.