I have been married for 35 years, and my marriage is perfect.
Okay, now that we’ve all stopped laughing, let me explain how being married to the same person and having a not-so-perfect marriage has kept us together through the good, the bad and the ugly times.
I was 22 when I was married; “The Husband” was 32. Looking back, I wonder what the heck I was thinking other than I was in love, love, love. Oh, and all my friends were getting married, so that was part of it.
Our wedding reception was fun and big and loud and drunk, just as a wedding should be, and the next day we boarded a plane for Utah for a three-week ski honeymoon at Snowbird and Park City.
We only made it to Snowbird.
On the first day and the first run, The Husband’s baseball cap flew off, he turned in deep powder, and … goodbye knees. Yes, both knees.
I had only been married for 24 hours, and already the honeymoon was over.
As I packed our suitcase the next day, the TV in our hotel room was showing a mini-series (remember them?) of a young woman with her older husband who was in a wheelchair after an accident.
“Leave me, darling,” the actor said dramatically. “Go and find someone young and who can walk. I’m no good for you.”
I started to laugh, turned and saw tears coming down the face of my new, injured husband who sat on the king-size bed, a bottle of Jack Daniels in his hand, waiting to go home for an operation.
Great start to a marriage, I thought.
And it was. We still laugh about that honeymoon, and we laugh about a lot of other things where many other people would scream and cry.
We even laughed when we tried to get a divorce ten years into our marriage.
Let’s just say we were both having a mid-life crisis, and we both decided at different times that we didn’t want to be married anymore. Fortunately, whenever we would go to a counselor or attorney, we would start making jokes and laugh. It took some time, but we found our way back to each other and haven’t thought seriously about ending our relationship since.
Divorce rates were high in the 1980s—everyone was doing it—but we made it through. Other friends didn’t make it, and most of the time it turned out for the best for them.
Divorce just wasn’t for us.
To say our two lovely kids helped us continue in our marriage would be true, but they’ve been gone for over ten years out on their own, so they don’t get the credit anymore.
For the past six years, since The Husband retired, we spend 23/7 together. Go ahead and think about that for a few moments. Yes, almost every hour of every day.
Do we bicker? Sure. Do we get frustrated and yell? Yes.
“Two people, two ideas,” mutters The Husband at times.
For the most part though, we laugh. We laugh at our situation in life- children flown off to their own lives, the bank taking back our home, battling and winning against cancer, traveling around the West Coast taking care of other people’s homes in Washington and California, running a B & B in Zion, and now driving around the West Coast and Southwest for a few years in an old RV.
We amuse ourselves, and we find life amusing.
As much as I love The Husband, he does get on my nerves (and I on his, I imagine), so I am not sure if I would like to be married to him for eternity, like Mormonism teaches, “being sealed to each other for eternity.”
Lucky for me, I am not a Mormon. A little break when we are dead might be good for each other, like when Rachel and Ross from “Friends” took a break and then got back together.
I’m having a great time while I am alive living and loving this one man who makes me mad and frustrated at times. But for the most part, he makes me happy.
On second thought, laughing for eternity with The Husband might not be so bad after all.