Yes, believe it or not, this Friday it will be 21 years that I’ve been married to the same person. We’ve actually been together for 26 years in total but 21 of those were as husband and wife. I must admit, it has definitely been a long time but feels like it sped by. We now have a 15-year-old son and are closer to retirement. My husband and I have gone through a lot together. We’ve had job layoffs, illness, miscarriage, deaths in the family, and financial crises. Through it all, we have stuck together.
In 1994, I started a new job after leaving a job that I absolutely hated. It was an experience for sure. Anyway, I was hired to do phone support for credit card terminals. My degree is actually in Computer Information Systems but this job was so much closer to what I was doing previously, plus I really needed to get out of the other job before I went postal. So, here I am in this training class learning all sorts of things about credit cards and credit card terminals. By the way, this isn’t my first foray into credit cards. My very first real job out of college was with this particular company’s rival. The training involved lots of scenarios and running transactions and reports and whatnot. During this time, I noticed this rather handsome individual to my right who was very quiet throughout the training. Turns out that he worked in a different department but was cross-training for extra money. Regardless of his reason for being there, I found him intriguing. It was a type of intrigue that I’ve never felt before. It definitely was not superficial. What I felt went all the way to my soul.
Funny thing is, I had come to the idea that I wasn’t going to get married and that was fine. I was never one of those little girls who dreamed of marriage and having children. That just wasn’t me. Then, Steve walks into my life and that eventually changes. Well, to be honest, if Steve didn’t want children then I would have been fine just being his girlfriend. Again, being somebody’s wife was not my top priority.
I don’t know about you but I’m not really into astrology but I do find it interesting. For those who are, Steve is a Virgo and I am a Scorpio. I have read that Virgos and Scorpios make a good match. Funny enough, my best friend is a Virgo too. Many of the Virgo traits, my husband has and sometimes those traits drive me crazy. For one, I hate traveling with my husband. To be clear, I enjoy being in new places together but the act of traveling with him makes me want to choke the life out of him. Whew. Also, he’s super picky and somewhat moody. In addition to that, he’s a guy. He does guy stuff like leaves doors open. All kinds of doors. He leaves cabinet doors open, refrigerator doors (sometimes), microwave doors, doors that lead to the outdoors, the door to the dryer. It’s infuriating. Below is exhibit A. I did not set him up. This is how he left the doors after fixing his plate. (Don’t mind the messy kitchen. After I finished cooking dinner I had to leave to take my son to tennis practice.)
There are other things but I don’t want to digress further. Funny thing is, just last night I told him, after all this time, I still like him. Of course, I love him dearly but I believe it’s important to like your spouse as well. Oftentimes, people grow apart and it may not be because they don’t love each other anymore. Maybe they just stopped liking or appreciating one another. Other times, one or maybe both are not getting what they need out of the relationship and have not communicated such. That’s usually the reason people cheat, in my opinion, because they are trying to find what they are missing instead of talking to their partner in order to get what they need.
Now I’m not going to get on here and pretend like I’m perfect because I’m not. I know I drive him crazy with my lackadaisical way with time (not all the time), my procrastination and my messy desk. Why my messy desk in my office bothers him I will never know. Even though we still need to work on our communication after all this time, we are still in love and even still like each other. Most people say that marriage is hard but I have heard a few people say that that’s not true. What I say, like anything else, you get out of it what you put into it. Considering that neither one of us is perfect, we have a tendency to exhibit bad behavior. Like, when my husband is tired, he can be quite short with me in conversation. I can do one of three things: 1) be short with him and cause a commotion; 2) ignore it and walk off without saying anything or 3) confront him about it so that he knows but not in a way to pick a fight. To be honest, I used to do number two early on. I just didn’t want to deal with his funky attitude, so I left him alone. Now, I’ve learned to do number three. He’s really not aware of how he’s responding to me. He’s just tired and trying to unwind. So, what I do is tell him in a nice way that he’s being a jerk and that when he’s ready to have a civil conversation then we can talk. Over time, I learned to put more effort into situations like this so as to get more out of them later. Like I said previously, we still have an issue with communication, (I swear he expects me to be a mindreader) but we are working on it. I guess it hasn’t been too much of an issue considering we are still happy together. Aside from our foibles, there is one thing I can say for certain and that is we each have each other’s back. I am his biggest cheerleader and he is mine. We may not always agree but we will back each other’s decisions and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 21 years bring.
“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow–this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage