Thursday, April 12, 2012


This year, I will have been married for 30 years.  I think this is right.  Math isn't my strongest suit, but I was married in 1982, so I believe I have done the math correctly.  Wow!  30 years.  That's a long time.  I know long marriages are becoming a thing of the past.  (and I'm willing to bet marriage by a man and a woman may become a thing of the past, too)  I wonder, sometimes, why it seems so hard to be married.  Believe me, there is nothing special about my marriage.  We are regular people.  Neither of us married the other for their money or status.  We married each other because, at the time, we were "in love" with each other.  (whatever "in love" means)

When I think back to the time I fell in love with my husband and agreed to marry him, I try to think about where I was in my life.  I was living in Chicago and working in a hospital as a medical technician.  At the time, this was a pretty good job.  I had a pretty nice apartment.  I lived alone.  I had a lot of friends.  And my best friend had just gotten married.  I had dated a couple guys pretty seriously and one of them had asked me to marry him, but I wasn't ready to get married.  It wasn't the right time for me.  Actually, when I think back on it, he wasn't the right guy for me, either.  When I met my husband, I liked him, but he wasn't really my type.  He wasn't very tall and he wasn't dutch.  For some reason, those were characteristics I liked about the men I dated.  I liked my husband.  He was a naval flight officer.  I thought that was pretty cool.  I think I met my husband at the right time of my life.  My best friend was married.  In fact, I had been going to quite a few weddings.  And, my husband had a job that would take him anywhere in the world.  I LOVED to travel.  At the time, that was pretty much all I needed to know.

I'm gonna tell you, that's not enough to hold a marriage together.  I think my husband and I were incredibly lucky.  It just so happened, we were born about two miles from each other.  Now, I didn't meet my husband until he was 27 years old and living in Jacksonville, FL, but we came from the same place.  I think that helped a lot.  We had quite a few things we hadn't discussed thoroughly before we decided to marry.  We hadn't discussed money.  I was a super saver and he was a spender.  (fyi, there has been an adjustment in those standings in the years of marriage.  somewhere around the time our son was born, my husband became a saver.)  We hadn't discussed children.  Like, how many or how to raise them.  We were lucky.  I was only able to have the one child.  This decision was taken out of our hands.  We did discuss adoption, but my husband wasn't keen on this.  I think both parents have to REALLY want this or just not do it.  These are two giant issues we should have been much more clear about than we were.  Fortunately, we were able to compromise with each other and find agreement.

Another thing we hadn't discussed was how to raise a child.  My mom was a sahm.  Husband's mom worked three jobs.  I will tell you, this was quite the issue in our early marriage.  I ended up staying home until my son went to middle school.  I think this was a fair compromise.  Unfortunately, this was something we fought about a lot.  Again, there was something inside us that told us we'd rather be together, fighting, than apart.  Before I go too much further, I have to remind you that my husband was in the navy.  We had PLENTY of time apart.  The navy is awesome at separating married couples.  Back in the olden days when my husband was active duty we didn't have cell phones or email.  We had letters.  We were seriously separated.

The point of this post is "settling."  I think the secret of our long marriage was, for my part, the ability to settle for the situation the way it was.  I didn't get to choose where we lived.  The navy chose.  I was a city girl and, luckily, most of our duty stations were near cities.  I felt comfortable.  My husband always worked on a base.  Even though the faces of the people he worked with changed, the clothes (uniforms) stayed the same.  He was happy anywhere we lived.  When we moved to the mid-Atlantic and had to live in a rural/suburban area, it was tough for me, but I settled.  Even though it's been 16 years, I know I won't be here forever.

Somewhere "settling" for the sake of the family has become the worst possible thing a person can do.  Women are told they are losing themselves if they settle for what their husband wants.  Even if he is the major earner.  Men are told that they need to take a step back and allow the woman to succeed in her own right.  I think more emphasis is placed on what is good for the INDIVIDUAL at the expense of the marriage.  I don't know a lot, but I'm pretty sure nobody is getting exactly what they want all the time.  Sometimes  you have to settle for what you get and make the best of it.  We aren't all Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and sometimes you have to spread a little fertilizer around to get the greener grass.  For what it's worth, a long marriage to someone you like is worth settling for.

136.  Tomorrow is Friday
137.  Starting a new bible study on Monday
138.  Quiet time alone in my office
139.  Bringing flowers to a co-worker recovering from surgery
140.  Cleaning up a lot of loose ends in the office
141.  Warm sweaters and warm socks
142.  Hot mug of tea in a chilly office


  1. smiles...marriage is a lot of work...and i think communication and compromise are key...there are tough moments in marriage, and that is when the greatest communication is needed..and we all bring our own expectations and we can not expect them if we are not willing to talk it through...

  2. I think that the secret is to respect each other and to know that person is your best friend. I settled for the unacceptable for a long time.  I don't want to settle like that again. 

  3. That film made me laugh out loud!  Ha!  

  4. Agreed.  Respect for each other is huge.

  5. I really like your thoughts here and especially the last line. Thanks for sharing and telling it like it is. 

  6. Any way you slice it marriage is a lot of work and a long road and thankfully I ended up with someone that has been worth it ;) 

  7. This was so good!  The new word for settling should be compromise because that's what it really is.  :)  I lovvvvvvve Lowered Expectations.  ;)


Comments from my readers bring sunshine to my day. They make me so happy.