Last month my husband and I celebrated 25 years of marriage. We took it in stride; because we'd celebrated early with a trip to England, on our actual anniversary, being unusually busy, we food shopped and ate leftovers. But I think I need to pause and process what a big deal this actually is.
We started as friends and I think that's the biggest key to our success. In fact, when I finally realized he was "the one" I couldn't believe it. I'd been dating for 13 years and it was a coworker who became a friend and finally ended up being the love of my life when I wasn't even looking.
We've had our hardships, but we don't blame or hold grudges. We were business partners for years - that alone could've put us under. We made some great decisions, and some...not so great. When our business had run its course it was hard. Really hard. I know we've done some deep soul searching over it and haven't always aligned on what we might have done differently. But we've both respected that we'd done our best and moved on. As two flawed humans, together - and that applies to everything.
We put us first. That doesn't mean we're @*&%#s. Just that, while we exist as individuals, we work best when we consider ourselves as a unit. A family. A singular entity. Decisions have to be weighed against how it will affect us - combined - in the long run. That's where personal sacrifice comes in. But doesn't that usually make each of us better, regardless of our relationship status? I think so.
I can't say there's a magic formula to a successful marriage. My mom and dad will celebrate 66 years of matrimony this summer and their relationship looks very different from ours. I can only hope I have a chance to look back 25 years from now and see that my thoughts here still hold water. I'm grateful I've had a partner to help make me a better person. To laugh with and worry about. To grow (older) with. To support through sad times and share joys. I will never know what it's like to go through life with only myself to rely on. I can't imagine the strength it must take. And, I guess, I'm glad I haven't had to. Hope I never will.