The Tempest That is Marriage

It was twenty years ago today....

Today is our twentieth wedding anniversary; twenty-five if you count those “trying on the shoe” years.  We had dinner last night at a nice restaurant to celebrate, and our conversation was about our luck, our grit, and all of our friends who lacked one or the other.  When looking over the wedding photos (all just snapshots), roughly half of the attendees (and there were over a hundred stuffed into our little house that day) have since divorced.  Some have remarried.  Some have even died.  But few are in the same situation today that they were back then.

Is it just time marching on, or is it something different? I wondered about my own parents and their marriage. Would I have stayed in such a patriarchal union?  I doubt it.  I think women were different back then.

...St. Pepper taught the band to play.

Now two incomes are necessary, and because of this I think the mechanics of marriage have changed.   How do women have children without husbands?  I can’t fathom it, unless they’re supremely rich, monumentally smarter, and certainly stronger, than I was.  I raised one child, and it was all I could do while working three (sometimes four) 12-hour nursing shifts a week.  I needed every bit of husbandly help.  And I was fortunate that the one who moved on, and the other who moved in, were both incredibly supportive.

I am happily married now, and I am grateful to be so.  I have several girlfriends who say they’ll never remarry; that living alone is easier than “putting up with” a man.  While I agree no one should marry someone they feel needs to be “put up with,” I am glad that I listened to at least one of my mother’s dictums:

“Marriage doesn’t have good days and bad days.  It doesn’t have good weeks and bad weeks.  Nor does it have good months and bad months.  Instead, it has good YEARS and bad YEARS.”  And I am here to say that hanging in there during rough times is well worth it if you loved someone when you married them.  Patience is the key.  You will love them again.  Or, you can get lucky, and your love never weakens in the face of adversity.

I guess I just got lucky.  And I am very grateful.  This, my dear husband, is your anniversary card.  “You’re the Greatest.”

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About Patsye

I am an older woman and artist. I love to craft. I love to sew and knit and crochet and needlepoint. I love to paint and draw and make art with my hands. Being creative is what gets me up in the morning. Art is my tea, my fresh air, my good book, and my cats all rolled into one. I have much to share and hope you'll visit often.
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13 Responses to The Tempest That is Marriage

  1. Grainne says:

    You sewed that gorgeous wedding dress?! You look like a Princess…so beautiful!! This was a wonderful post that made me remember to appreciate the years along the way. x

  2. cubbyholes says:

    Sweetie and I just celebrated 26 years in October. We married 3.5 months after meeting. I can’t say doing that is something I would recommend to everyone, but it was the right thing for us. We had friends who wouldn’t come to the wedding because they thought it was a mistake or because we didn’t go through the 6 months of marriage counseling to be married in our church. Funnily enough, I know of several couples who did all that and are now divorced.
    I think, in a wierd way, that our being so broke the first years was the best thing that could happen to us. We couldn’t afford to divorce, so we had to work things out. There were some very bad times, but we worked through them because we had no choice.
    We are a “now” generation. We want everything “now”. If we wait more than 5 mins at a fast good joint we comment, “what are they doing? Killing the cow out back?” We are a generation with no stamina for marriage.
    Marriage is a lot of work, but when you have the right person, its worth it. I adore my husband and I know he adores me. Fights…rough times…rough finances… we know the other isn’t going anywhere. That took stamina, and years, to find that out.
    Grats to you both Patsye. Hang in there. Happy Anniversary!
    jeanie

    • You got lucky. Three and a half months is short. But maybe it isn’t luck, but rather destiny. You brought up a good point. I think I might have given the impression that we don’t fight. We do. Just less and less as the years have passed. We’ve learned to live with our differences, and respect each other – that’s what so many people are missing. We’ve gotten so much of the hard stuff behind us, all that’s left is the good – we hope. Congratulations to the two of you as well. Twenty-six years!

  3. I love your wedding dress. So simple and elegant. Congrats to you both!

  4. Northern Narratives says:

    Congratulations to both of you 🙂

  5. You are very lucky, Patsye, I loved loved loved this post of yours on marriage.
    Especially this bit: “Patience is the key. You will love them again. Or, you can get lucky, and your love never weakens in the face of adversity.” I think you’re beyond right here!

    • I’m lucky to have found a really nice man, but that’s where my luck ends. My mom was right though. Marriage is work, and it fluctuates between horror and bliss. Money can make things rough for young people, and I was not surprised when I heard on the radio the other day that most marriages end because of money; and money is what people fight about most. Bummer. But Happy New Year to you. I think you’re in love, right?

  6. maureenc says:

    After 47 years it was Cancer and death that separated us.
    And I had to learn to survive without my other half, or at times, my three quarters.
    Like you we saw friends walk away from commitments and love, and we wondered how it could happen.
    Sure we had BAD times: death of a child for one. But although that pain never disappeared, we still had each other.
    Marriage does not require that each partner keeps a Ledger………some times one gives more than the other….but it always balances out at the end.
    God bless you both

  7. Congratulations to a lovely couple. You are gorgeous 🙂
    I think we all have gone through some trying times but patience and commitment was my attitude. I am certainly not the same girl my husband married. I have grown more independent and l like myself alot better.
    We celebrated 51 in October and I am so glad we compromised and hung in there 🙂

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