Pin It I woke beside my husband the other morning with the thought: I have lain beside this man for well over a third of my life. I have battled for my half of first a tiny double bed, and much, much later, our current queen. I have tussled over short sheets and blankets that drag the floor, and argued passionately over which pillow is truly whose. I have turned out the light before I was ready, and fallen asleep before he was. I have elbowed and nudged and rolled my eyes in sheer frustration to the music of clogged airways, but never once have I fled to the quiet of the sofa to escape it.
The only time I've ever done so is when he was really contagious.
A few days ago, Duane and I celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary. Separately, which is kind of strange, because I was in South Carolina visiting Mom and he was here in Virginia, working. But we did exchange some cute texts.
I luv u.
Luv u 2. Happy anniversary.
U2. Have good day.
I wasn't sure what to write for this post, exactly, or how best to approach it. I love that I have been married for fifteen years. If I were a career woman, I might look at that tenure and say...dang. I'm halfway there. I'm not looking at a retirement, though--quite the opposite. I guess it's somewhere around now that I look at where we came from, where we are now, and how we got here, and realize that I have everything I could ever really need or want in this man.
Humor. An amazing work ethic. A relationship with God. A passion for the outdoors. A passion for me and our children. Respect for others. Pragmatism. Patience.
I could go on, but this is not really an ode to Duane. It's rather a tribute to what it takes to make it work, and make it last. When we started dating at eighteen, and then married at twenty, Duane and I didn't know much more about love and marriage than "hey, this sounds fun...let's jump in feet first and see what we can make of it." Duane came armed with the solid example of his parents before him. I came armed with an example of what I never wanted my marriage to do. We both came armed with more stubbornness than perhaps was entirely good for us, some fairly good tempers, and thankfully forgiving hearts.
And so it went. We played house, we made mistakes. We hurt each others feelings. We made up, and we forgave each other. We had patience with each other as we learned each other.
We worked. (Not at the jobs...those were like pretend things compared to the job of marriage.) While all around us we saw other relationships becoming victim to Selfishness, Betrayal, and other Irreconciliable Differences, we dug in and continued doing whatever was necessary to shore ours up.
Fifteen seems so small compared with the example of some of the older couples I've known, who've managed upwards of forty together. I know, though, that health withstanding, we will be celebrating those milestones one day as well.