Knots & Tangles and 26 Years of Marriage
Recently we were asked what our secret was to stay married for 26 years as we passed our 26 year Wedding Anniversary date this past August. Both The Viking and I chuckled because first of all we have been together for 29 years this coming March so that’s the day our relationship began as far as we are concerned so it’s closer to 30 years and also what is wedded bliss afterall? If you think it looks like no fighting you would be wrong….the Viking and I are truly opposites – that’s an understatement…oops 😉
The truth is the No. 1 secret to our wedded fortitude is a couple of things…we both learned from watching other divorced couples a couple of things and we learned that the toughest part of any marriage is being able to change as your spouse changes so we decided we were committed to changing along the way although I struggle with this part more than him. We are not simply born and stay the same that’s just not how it works, so if you marry someone and you loved them because they went out drinking and smoking with you every Friday night that’s not the right reason to get married they may not always drink or smoke. Case in point the Viking and I were both smokers in our past life and neither of us smoke now..wonder if that contributed to my thyroid cancer? I tell people don’t marry someone else’s habits they will change. I used to stay up late and sleep in late and now I go to bed earlier and get out of bed earlier and the Viking now likes to retire late and sleep in…our roles reversed and that’s not the only thing that’s changed. I used to do all the cooking and now he does a lot more of the cooking and I could go on and on but the point is we change.
We had a rule that we would never go to bed mad or angry but that ended years ago after the babies came along when I couldn’t stay up to tell him how mad I was about something because I had a 2am feeding or we were dealing with colic, ear infections, or bills stacking up at the door. I worked full time and our babies were in daycare but basically no matter what we were a team.
Then there are moments that stand out in your marriage and you realize that this is the love of my life I could not do any of this without him. One of the biggest moments was years ago I worked in a development office in Raleigh, NC under 3 powerful male managers as a secretary and they were not very kind let’s just say that…..I took the job and it was the year my son had ear infection after ear infection and I had to leave to bring him to the doctor one too many times and the three of them called me into their all glass conference room and threw the book at me. Me who wasn’t able to sleep through the night because her son was sick, me who had no energy because I was fighting thyroid cancer and did not know it, me who had a very smart, vivacious, and talented AIG daughter who needed lots of attention and had lots of homework in the afternoon, me who had an active and delightful son who needed lots of attention, me who was paying $800 a month for daycare, me who had no energy to cook healthy food and they told me that I wasn’t bringing my best to the job and I had to step it up or it wasn’t going to work out. I immediately fled the brick and glass building and called my husband and he met me nearby and jumped in my car and just held me while I cried. That’s all I needed was someone to hold me.
The day I told my husband that I had thyroid cancer he just held on to me and he said “We will beat this!” and I believed him. I never cried in front of him this time I didn’t want to worry him but I was worried. Thankfully I am here today to tell you that I have been cured now for 6 years almost 7 now! There was never any discussion of anything else.