What does it take to stay married for 20 years?
I honestly don’t know. My husband and I were married in 2001. I love him now in 2021. But I don’t love him the same as I did in 2001.
I remind myself that I chose him and he chose me.
Here’s some real talk. I wouldn’t say I like being married to my husband all the time. We have some fundamental differences in approaching things. We argue about yard work, we get jealous, he doesn’t go to the doctor enough, and he thinks I go too much. I will hang up on him if he asks me what’s for dinner after having a full day of work and school (harsh). We plain don’t like each other sometimes.
But at the end of each hard day, I remind myself that I chose him, and he chose me.
Marriage is hard.
It’s difficult for me to admit that there have been times when I’ve wanted to walk out the door and leave. I’ve never asked him, but I’m pretty sure he’s had that same thought too. I don’t believe the perfect marriage exists. We just have never gotten to the point where we put the divorce on the table. People have stayed in marriages far worse than ours, and people have left marriages far better than ours. I refuse to base my marriage on a comparison to someone else’s.
How have we made it this far?
I don’t know his reasons, but I’ll give you mine:
- He’s my best friend. We know each other and every flaw we have, and we still choose one another. I feel like we’ve grown up together.
- He supports me. Not just financially, but my husband is thoughtful, and he discusses things with me on a very neutral level. He doesn’t try to solve every problem for me; he supports me in coming up with solutions and helps where and when he can. Sometimes that means listening to me rant.
- He makes me laugh, and I make him laugh. Crazy obscure 80’s movie references? Random impersonations only we’d get? Yep. That’s us! Imagine being married to someone that never laughs at your jokes or indulges your sense of humor. That would be my nightmare.
- He knows I’m not fulfilled by just being his wife and the mother to his kids. He has supported me in my search for an identity apart from that.
I’m looking forward to the next 20 years. I mean, I’m sure I could say the next 50 years, but if that guy doesn’t start going to the doctor more often, who knows?!