I have just celebrated my wedding anniversary. I’m talking about it a lot because all of a sudden that sounds like a really, really long time. It could be because we missed 17 years (we celebrated 16 twice) so maybe that has my mind screwed up?
I was talking with someone who said their marriage wouldn’t have survived the crisis of a chronically sick (or two) kids. I don’t know. I know way back then I couldn’t have imagined us surviving this craziness. What are the reasons?
When I said for “better or worse” that day I really meant it. I mean I REALLY meant it. I just didn’t really UNDERSTAND what that mean, in reality, you know?
I meant it as much as I could understand what better or worse was to me at the time. I didn’t know we’d be faced with the mortality of our kids, financial instability, medial interventions and trips to the NIH and discussions about genetics and kidney failure and finding kidney donors.
Luckily we started out pretty strong as marriages go. Luckily we waited until we were a little older (me 29 and him 33), but still we had no idea.
Someone asked my how it was that we have survived it (so far I mean) so I thought I’d come up with a Top 11 List, in no particular order.
1. We picked the right partner (do not underestimate the importance of this).
2. We have separate and combined senses of humor (relieves tension if used properly).
3. We give each other space and the benefit of the doubt during crisis (which means some things that are said do not have any repercussions).
4. We at least still want to be intimate, even if not given the time or emotional energy to do so (oh, the weeks add up sometimes).
5. We let and push each other to handle what they’re good at in responsibilities (I’m better at medical crap, he’s better at paying bills).
6. Our fundamental beliefs about life mostly line up (even if our politics do not).
7. He doesn’t do things that annoy me (seriously, he can’t clip his toenails in the house within earshot and he can’t chew a banana near me).
8. We make fun of the kids when possible (privately, of course!).
9. We are unified in the important things and especially in front of other people (this is helpful in many situations in the household and out).
10. We give each other space from our life. We have separate interests (although I am better at this than my husband).
11. We don’t fight over stupid stuff (we let a lot slide because after you watch your kids suffer, that stuff seems unimportant because it is, largely, unimportant).
What can you add to the list? Share your tips…what makes it work for you and your beloved?