Monday, July 1, 2013

In a time when nothing is more certain than change, the commitment of two people to one another has become difficult and rare. Yet, by its scarcity, the beauty and value of this exchange have only been enhanced. ~ Robert Sexton

Recently Dear Hubby and I celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary.  As we were driving home from somewhere yesterday I said to him, "You know, we've been married almost 2/3 of our lives."  Put into that perspective, we've been married a long time.  I was 20 years old at the time, with long brown hair and a figure that could "stop a freight train" in a bikini, as Dear Hubby put it into words back then.  At almost 60, my hair is white and silvery.  I wear glasses.  This body will never see another swimming suit, let alone a bikini.  But I'm comfortable in my skin.  I'm not fat...but I'm far from skinny.  I'm comfortably cushiony, at least to my grandsons, and at this stage of the game that's what matters to me.  Dear Hubby has aged gracefully.  At 60 he still has his hair and it's only been in the past year that all the tips have gotten silvery.  His goatee is almost completely white.  But I look at him and I can still see the wild young man with the flowing dark hair, the leather jacket, the jeans, the boots who swept me off my feet.

On our anniversary I happened to be at the bank and as I was depositing a check written in Dear Hubby's name the teller said, "I'm assuming this is your husband?" and I said yes.  I mentioned it was our anniversary and he asked me how long we'd been married.  When I told him 39 years he was almost blown away, as was a young female teller at the next window.  Both were young and both had wedding rings on.  The teller asked me, "What's the secret of staying married for such a long time?" and the young lady nodded her head at me, wanting to know too.  Well, I'm no genius and no two marriages are alike but I told them what's helped our marriage survive.  Communication and compromise.  Selfishness has no place in a marriage.  And if you can't communicate, fuhgeddaboutit.  You're not going to make it.  You have to listen....really listen.  And when you do talk, talk with each other, not at each other.  If that happens, you'll both shut down and nothing will ever get resolved. Your needs, your wants, aren't always front and center.  Sometimes you have to give in.  So what?  So you don't always get your way?  Well, maybe next time it'll be your turn.  I mean, people get so petty and nasty over the dumbest things:  "You bought a new fishing pole!  Well, now I want to install hardwood floors thruout the house!"  He goes fishing and you have a cow about it?  Grow up.  Learn to sweat the BIG things that come along...major illnesses, deaths in the family, loss of jobs.  The little things aren't worth the energy it takes to argue about them.  Don't go to bed mad.  Never ever.  Even if you don't particularly like each other as you climb under the covers, at least don't harbor thoughts of killing each other in the nite.  Laugh together....laugh a lot!  Humor can get you thru almost anything.  If you have nothing good to say, don't say it.  You don't have to say it so bury the impulse.  Once it's out of the mouth it's out forever and you can never take it back.  And you need to learn that forgiveness and forgetting and never holding grudges is going to do a lot to give you smooth sailing.  You need to be best friends.  Like a friend of ours told us once, "Kissin' don't last but good cookin' do."  A lot of things slow down with age...it's a natural progression.  Being friends is so much more important than being lovers only.  Really.  I think that's where a lot of the trouble lies with young couples...they've fallen in lust, not in real love.   There's more in life to share than sex.  And if your spouse is your best friend you've got a treasure that lasts a lifetime.

And Dear Hubby and I are lucky...we are best friends.  And it is a treasure.  And I hope we can make it 39 more.

5 comments:

Meryl Baer said...

Wonderful! Happy anniversary and many more.

Margaret said...

So very true. My husband and I didn't make it as long as you did because he died in December. We were everything to one another and I miss him every minute of every day. He was part of who I was/am.

Rosemary Nickerson said...

Happy Anniversary! Hubby and I are on #37 and we both feel that we love each other more now than ever. Life together builds a history of love that feeds more love to come. Don't you think? Here's to another 39 for all of us.
Rosemary

CWMartin said...

Newlyweds should be required to read this post!

Anita said...

Very good advice Kris because you definitely know what you're talking about!

I can tell by your posts and other writings how much you love your husband and family; how giving you are.