18 August 2010

20 Years


Today I'm celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary. Yes, I was 11 when John and I married. Okay, kidding, but I was young. So young that I look at my 16 year old daughter and think no way am I ready for her to get married in 6 years. And neither is she :-)

I've been thinking a lot about marriages, what makes some work and others not. In fact, I asked my husband last night why he thought we've lasted this long (I have my own ideas, but I wanted his opinion). He said, and I'm quoting directly, "Because we're nice. But I'm nicer than you."

I think that's a big part of it--being nice to each other. But not all of it. I have witnessed very nice people who have divorced. I have divorced friends who told me they never had one fight with their spouse. Not one. So nice is, well, nice, but its not all that.

John and I laugh. A lot. I think thats very important, the ability to laugh at each other and with each other. A sense of humor diffuses a lot of stupid arguments. But I also think its important to argue. We have some intense arguments. We've had our trouble spots and I've noticed that when the trouble dissipates, our bond is stronger. Like we've been forged in fire. The tougher the times, the stronger our love emerges.

Are we tempered steel then, after 20 years? No. We're like those old swords and daggers you see in museums. Nicked, chipped, with the shine gone. But still strong.

What works for one, doesn't work for another and I think that's why my answer is so elusive.

And I think that's why romances are so popular. Why do these characters connect in such a way? What makes their relationship work? We like to read about others, even if they are fictional (shhh, don't tell those voices in my head they're fictional. They'll get angry).

Werewolf vs vampire, man vs woman, its all the same, it all comes back to the relationship. That special bond that we can see evolve through whatever torture and fire we find necessary to put these poor souls through.

My husband asks me all the time why I read romance when the ending always has to be happy? Because, I tell him, its not about the ending, its about the journey.

So thank you, John, for this wonderful, sometimes terrifying, sometimes hilarious, never perfect, but darn close, journey of 20 years.

Here's to another 20 and another 20 after that.

I love you.

Sharon
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