This is a HUGE year for me. I had my 50th birthday in January and in just a bit more than a month my Honey and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. I have been married to him ½ of my entire life! I have joked about being married to him for 1/2 of my life when I was 5o since I can remember! How did it get here already?!
There are times when it has felt like it has been twice that long. The months when we can’t seem to find each other or remember who the other person is anymore, days when we can’t agree on anything, the times when we just get on each other’s nerves all of the time, and we are just plain old ugly to each other have felt endless. Those times don’t happen very often, especially now, but when they have, it is excruciating….
There have been a very few times when I couldn’t even remember why I wanted to be with him in the first place because I was wounded so deeply. Those times never lasted very long, but I’d be lying if I said they never happened. Marriage is hard. It’s also long – sometimes… if you’re lucky and committed, but long means SO much can and will happen.
I think one of my most favorite parts of being married to my Honey is that we’ve worked through huge piles of our junk and decided that we are committed to being really present in this relationship, not just surviving it and staying married for a long time. We always had a pretty good marriage on the outside, but it was pretty icky a lot of the time on the inside. I couldn’t admit this to myself for a very long time. I think that’s why I was such a good actress and contributed to the pretty marriage façade others saw for so many years.
I remember when things got the worst they had ever been and I was wavering between walking out the door and staying almost every other day, someone told me that if I chose to stay and really worked to make things better, God would bless my marriage and it would be more wonderful than I could imagine. I thought that person was on crack, honestly. I just couldn’t see past all of my pain enough to see anything ever getting better. I was just beginning to grasp how much of a lie my marriage had been for the first almost 20 years. After being given some more advice, I decided to just wait, to give myself time to heal some and to not make decisions based on pure emotion at such a low point. That was some of the best advice I have ever gotten. It saved my life and my marriage.
During counseling my Honey and I decided that we were all in. After all, we didn’t really have anything left to lose. I remember thinking that it truly couldn’t get any worse and I needed to know that I had put it all out there before I could walk away with a clear conscience: my fears, my insecurities, my sins, my needs, ALL my junk with complete integrity, no mixed signals, no games, no protecting myself. My Honey did the same in a big way. I think it was probably the first time in our whole marriage that we just depended on God to see us through.
I think we both felt like we were seeing each other for the first time when we first began to really talk candidly in counseling. There were times when he would admit something to me that I had questioned him about for years and I felt like he handed me back my reality and after an initial burst of anger, I was in awe of his honesty and vulnerability. Other times I was almost unbelieving when his deep love for me would come shining through. It took me a long time to fully trust his love for me. It took him almost as long to trust my love for him. The irony about that is that it was mostly because of our own junk that we felt this way, not because of the other person’s actions. I think that’s probably true of most relationships…
Our beginning wasn’t picture perfect. We had both gone through ugly divorces just a year before we got married. We also each brought a precious toddler son into our union. We dated almost 5 whole months when we got married (What in the world were we thinking?!). We were both in our last year of college and my parents were living with me at the time! Much of our first several years of marriage were spent in the courtroom dealing with constant custody and visitation issues. The attorney bills were astronomical. Blending a family is not all Bradybunch-ish, I can tell you that! We loved each other very much and that was the glue that kept us together in the early part of our marriage; that and God’s mercy.
There are things I have always loved about my Honey. He has always made me laugh more than anyone else – especially when I didn’t even know I needed to. I love that he loves to talk. He’s like a best girlfriend, only SO MUCH BETTER!! He has always been a gentleman. He holds doors open, puts me on the safe side of the path whenever we’re walking outside, and always takes care of me when we go out, holding my chair out for me, getting my drinks, etc. He has always been a loving daddy to our babies. He rocked ‘em, diapered ‘em and coached their teams. I don’t think he ever missed a school or a sporting event that he knew about. I love that he works so hard for our family because he wants us to be comfortable.
There are even more things that I love about him now because they were hard won by us. I love his willingness to put me and others first. I love his humility which has replaced his angry insecurity. I love his presence with our family and his commitment to our health. I adore his commitment to our marriage – its stability, its growth, its happiness and its authenticity. I love that now he understands that our family would rather spend time with him than have extra money and he is trusting God more to take care of us. He still works VERY hard, but he puts relationships before money now. He really seeks God now and is willing to be authentic with other Christians in a way he wasn’t able to be a few years ago. I am mad about the way he bakes and cooks with our children!
Most of the time I can’t believe how quickly 25 years have zoomed by. How did we have time to raise 5 children, move across the country and get this old?! I can’t wrap my head around where we started, where we are now, and how we got here. It’s been quite a ride and I don’t ever want to get off. It still amazes me that this is my life. I get to wake up and live this life. I get to be known and loved. Does it get any better?… I don’t think so…
I love my husband more than I thought possible. Apparently, the lady on crack knew what she was talking about! I like him more than anyone else in the whole world. He’s strong, protective, hilarious, gorgeous, smart, sweet, kind, thoughtful, honoring, talented, silly, and beautiful inside and out.
He fought for me.
I am his and he is mine…
for at least another 25 years…