Thursday, June 7, 2012

Time Flies...We Haven't Killed Each Other Yet... #Marriage #Love #Anniversary

"Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.”
Katherine Hepburn
Eleven years ago my husband and I met via one of those online dating sites in April 2001. Family and friends worried about me meeting some stranger who lived so far away from my hometown. We continued talking and chatting and by Labor Day weekend that year I had moved in, but it wasn't until June 7, 2002 that we said I do- Today marks our 10th anniversary and I'm utterly astounded to realize it's been that long. A decade had come and gone and boy, did it go by quickly.

Moreover, I'm not going to lie- I'm shocked and amazed we've lasted this long. Marriage is such a disposable commodity in this day and age and I used to think it was crazy just how often people I knew married and then divorced not long afterward. What was wrong with them? Marriage wasn't something to be taken lightly, or at least I didn't think so because I grew up believing that marriage is truly till death do you part. Divorce was not something common in my family history- My parents are still together, my grandparents on either side of my family had never been divorced- they truly were "till death do us part."
Of course, ten years of marriage has taught me a bit about why some marriages last and others don't and it has changed my views on it. Sometimes it might be better to go your separate ways, but you should still work at it first to be sure. One thing I know is that it's not always easy and we had our share of struggles(sometimes still do when we don't agree on things) because it's hard to take two individuals and blend their lives into one. Even something as great as a chocolate and vanilla swirl cone takes work- the mechanics (of the machine) have work together properly to get that swirly blend of heavenly soft-serve perfection. And so it is with marriage...even with warnings from family and friends that "marriage takes a lot of work" and "you don't know EVERYTHING there is to know about this person" it doesn't sink in until later. Much later...

Because it's later when you realize you've married someone with odd quirks and idiosyncrasies that you never noticed before in the initial first stages of the relationship, when the strange things they do are "cute" or "funny." Soon you realize that you're married to someone who sometimes isn't pleasant, who can be downright annoying and irritating or just plain get under your skin until you want to pull out your hair- or theirs.
No matter how romantic they were in the beginning- dedicating songs like "Amazed" by Lonestar to you, you start to find you're "amazed" you haven't suffocated them with their pillow in their sleep because they snore like a freight train rambling through the bedroom at all hours of the night. And it doesn't affect them- but by sun-up, you look a little worse for wear and you become the grumpy one to live with, gritting your teeth as they smile after a good night's sleep and ask you what's the matter.
I know I'm no great shakes when it comes to living with me. I can be extremely irritable when the old hormones kick in and out, which seems anymore to sputter through my system without fair warning as I get older. My husband can attest to the fact that I can be unpleasant (and so can the kids).

There was a time we were "lost" in our marriage though and I was ready to give up- just as I had seen others do before. It's hard to blend together as a husband and wife but even harder to keep your identity when you become part of a whole. That's the thing they don't tell you about marriage- that it's okay to still be YOU, even though you now share your life with someone else who's just as different and individual. I struggled with whether I was losing my identity and that took it's toll because I didn't know where I stood or whether I wanted to be standing there or not.
It took time, but we worked through the problems, which is simply what you have to do. I guess that's part of the surprise that we've made it ten years- Not all couples survive this first decade- some give up, some give it all they have and still find it's just not enough, but then there are the lucky ones who take each other, faults and all, and find a way to piece it together so that the threads mesh together and they can continue onward.

The stories of love I write are the precursors to this mythological creature we chase- the antiquated idea that marriage lasts a lifetime- or a relationship can do that. I still subscribe to the belief that marriages can be built to last and that's why I love writing romantic tales because I believe there is a happily-ever-after on the other side of "The End" whether it lasts 10 years or several decades.

Happy 10 Years Hubby! Let's tack another 10 onto this one.

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