23 Years of Marriage

A little over a week ago my wife and I celebrated 23 years of marriage! Yes this post is late, but no I didn’t forget my anniversary, I’ve just been too busy to post about it.

Every year I do a post on my anniversary and try to pass on a little information about how the heck we’ve lasted so long. It’s kind of mind blowing every year to look back on everything we’ve been through together. It’s also interesting to see the responses from other people.

I think people were more amazed at how long we’ve been married when we were around year 16 or 17. That blows people away. If you get divorced within the first 10 years, I don’t think anyone is really surprised by that anymore. They just assume you didn’t try. If you get divorced between year 10 and 15, it’s really sad, but all too common. So if you make it to years 15 to 20 or so, it’s really amazing to people. The funny thing is, once you pass 20 years of marriage, it’s no longer amazing to people. They just expect you to be married forever now. It’s old news.

I think marriage in a way works like that too. Once you’ve been with a person for so long, hopefully you’ve worked out all the kinks, and that person just becomes an extension of you. I think that’s where I’m at now. Michelle is such a part of everything I do, that I could never imagine her not being there. Or worse, somebody else being in her place. We’ve learned to deal with each other’s quirks, we’ve learned to work together and depend on each other, and so even the thought of starting over and dating and all that just completely preposterous. Besides, do you know any single people in their 40’s or older? I do, and generally speaking there are good reasons they are single. Not all of them are messed up, but most of them are. Just saying.

Anyway, the longer I’m married and the more I watch my younger married (and divorced) friends makes me realize a few things about how to stay married. And I think it comes down to how you approach your relationship in the first place. On my Facebook account I have several female friends that go through a new relationship about once a month. And their attitude when they get a new guy is all about how good they feel. I think people who approach relationships with the attitude that they are doing something to make themselves feel good are always going to fail.

Marriage is not about making you feel good. If you want to feel good, go buy a freaking car, or some new clothes or something. Relationships are about being part of a unit, a team. Let that sink in. If you could play football pretty good and you went to a coach and said “hey coach, I want to play football because I think your team will make me feel good”, the coach would kick you off his field. Each player is chosen for a team strictly because of what they can put back into the whole. I think that’s the secret to marriage. Marriage should be entered into with the idea that you have something to offer to the team, and you’re going to give 100%. If both people go in with that attitude, that relationship can’t fail.

So there you have it. A football analogy for the success of marriage. This coming from a guy that hasn’t watched a game in 10 years. I must truly be getting old. I was going to use a rock ‘n’ roll analogy, but all bands are dysfunctional so I couldn’t make that work. Sorry.

Anyway, here’s to 23 years of marriage to my beautiful and loving wife. I could not imagine my life any other way.