Have you ever been walking somewhere and you get the great pleasure of seeing a little couple with white hair holding hands? I’ve seen this many times. And I hope to be half of that pair some day.
I met the love of my life at a very early age. I was a mere 17 years old when I first laid eyes on him. He had apparently seen me for a while before but, as usual, I wasn’t pain attention.
We were introduced through a mutual friend. A friend who also had a “thing” for my husband to be. She even went as far as to tell him that he would never “get” anything from me as I was still an unblossomed flower, so to speak. And that 21 year old man told her he didn’t care. That he would wait. That he was in love, with me!
Now, he hadn’t told me that part yet but it stopped this friend in her tracks and from then on she was supportive of our relationship.
Within a few weeks we were dating, then 4 months later, he popped the question. I threw my arms around him and shouted yes!!! He had stolen my heart.
We were meant for each other in every way. I couldn’t imagine life without him and I was only a child! Could God have really given me my soul mate at this early age? Could this truly be the man I was made for?
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are times now, after 18 years of marriage, that I am surprised we’ve made it. And that we are both alive.
We have had our struggles. And here is just a few.
Money, Infertility, anger, money, loss of a job, new career, new home, dealing with each other’s families, money, children, death, more children, money and more children.
They say that most marriages these days will end in divorce. In fact the current divorce rate is 50%. This to me is staggering. And I feel truly blessed to have him. We have sat by and watched others close to us fall into this statistic. We have had to try to stay friends with both but have failed miserably. We pray for these couples and we try to support them and at the end of the day, we lie in bed together and feel relief. Relief that it’s not us.
So what’s the secret? Well I know I’ve been married SO long. And I know to most 18 years isn’t really a long time but now a days, it actually is.
I don’t mean to disappoint but my advise is not any huge secret.
Money: We started out with nothing. NOTHING!! So everything we have built has been together. There are no separate checking accounts. We both make mistakes with our money. We make bad decisions and we both have to pay for those, literally.
Infertility: That was all about God and His plan. Yes we were sad and depressed. Every time I would take a pregnancy test and it would come back negative, it was another blow. But never a blow to our relationship. It wasn’t any ones fault. And of course, with hindsight, I know it was God’s plan for us.
Anger: It’s going to happen. He is going to do something to tick me off and vice versa. We are yellers. Both of us. I like to argue and spew my feelings at him, he likes to shut down. I cry, he gets quiet. But, we can fight with the best of them. But we make up well too. One thing about my husband……he doesn’t apologize the way most men do. There are no lengthy talks and “Oh honey, I’m so sorry”. His version of an apology is coming up behind me and kissing my neck. I had to learn that this was his way of apologizing. And once I did that, all was well. You have to learn your spouses language.
Jobs: We hit a really rough patch that impacted us financially for years, in fact it still haunts us. My husband lost his job. It was a high paying job and it killed us to lose it. We actually had to go through bankruptcy to recover just a little. To stop the horrible phone calls. But this one was an easy one to get through. He shouldn’t have been fired. EVER> It really wasn’t his fault. So how could I be upset with him. Did I have to go to work at that point? Yes. Did I die from it? No. We survived and come to find out God opened that window just as the door slammed right into our patooties!
Kids and family: This is the easiest. We love them all. They are all crazy and we find solice in each other!
Death: Support each other and just be there.
You have to let your spouse into your heart. I know a lot of people who think they’ve done this very thing but they haven’t. My husband is the only man who has ever seen me naked. Now I’ve birthed two babies so you know other men have seen my tush, but my husband has seen my soul naked.
He has held my while I cried. He has supported me through school and babies and childbirth and all the craziness I go through daily. And I have done the same for him.
I was there and held him in my arms as he cried for his dead brother. I was there when he said goodbye to his grandmother. I was there when he lost his job that provided for us. I adore this man. Why wouldn’t I make sure that he is number one (after God) in my life?
But too often I see couples shut down during these times. They rely on other people or things. And this will destroy a marriage. My love texts me at least 4-10 times a day just to say “I love you”. He calls me just to hear my voice. He will look at me with those blue eyes and I just know, how much he loves me.
There are days I’d like to choke him.
But they are nowhere near the amount of days that I just want to curl up with him and make the rest of the world go away. He means everything to me. And you know you’re in love with someone if you literally can’t imagine life without them. If that thought makes you want to vomit. You’re in love.
I was lucky. God gave me my love when I was 17 years old. I just hope, He’ll let me keep him forever.
Oregon Coast 2018