I haven’t been married for four decades, but I think the most crucial part of a successful marriage is finding someone who wants to be married to you, and to whom you want to be married. This is not easy, but more than anything, it makes a difference. No matter what (barring abuse and/or infidelity) I know he’s not going anywhere and he knows the same about me. And yes, there are days when I absolutely loathe the man, and I know he feels the same way, but there is nobody on earth I’d rather be with. With just a quirk of an eyebrow he can make me laugh until my sides ache. And watching him with our children is the greatest joy in my life. It more than compensates for those other times.
I was in my early thirties when I met Whit. Long past any delusions about who I was or my ability to change a person. At that point I understood marriage is pretty much WYSIWYG. Traits you don’t like aren’t going anywhere, so you need to decide if you can live with them before you get married. More than anything marriage is an amplifier, not a change agent.
But marriage is also about faith; knowing that even through the bad times things will get better. And we’ve been through some bad times; job loss, relocation, infertility and that’s the tip of a very large iceberg. I didn’t expect our marriage to survive the year we each lost a parent and a baby, but we came through to the other side. Stronger and more importantly confident that we can weather the tough times. After all, if we didn’t break up after that fuckery, what could be worse? And that’s important. Tough times test a marriage, but they show you how strong it is too. I know there is no one I’d rather have at my back than my husband. Yes, he’ll drive me batshit crazy, but he’ll make me laugh and I know he’ll go down fighting to the death to save me. Because he wants to be married, to me. And that’s the core of our marriage.