It’s the number of consecutive years that the husband and I have been married as of this coming Wednesday. We’ve been thinking about it a lot this year, and by that I mean I’ve been thinking about it and when I’ve brought the subject up the husband doesn’t run away. He’s actually listened and conversed on the subject. I think we are both in agreement that we need to be more deliberate, purposeful, in our way of commemorating the decision we made those long years ago.
It is not an easy thing to do – this commemorating stuff. We both come from plain, work oriented backgrounds, families that didn’t put a lot of stock in celebrating. We had some imaginative ideas the first few years but after the demands of child rearing and careers interfered we didn’t try as hard. I can’t say that there is one main thing that both the husband and I like to do together either (I don’t count eating) and that always added to the dilemma. I like planning and surprises, which are both like words in a foreign language to the husband. He likes…. I don’t know what he likes. When he makes suggestions, I seriously wonder if he knows what he likes anymore. So why do we bother?
Because it really has been kind of an amazing thing – this partnership of two so disparate personalities. Not a day goes by anymore that I don’t see somewhere evidence of pain, suffering and inconvenience from failed relationships and broken covenants. But here we are, still together, with no desire for it to be otherwise. I feel sad that in the coming years marriages of forty, fifty, sixty or more years are going to be a rare occurrence. Our forty two years haven’t all been a 10 on the happiness scale but that was more due to life circumstances other than marriage, and probably would have been much lower had we been going it alone.
I guess what we are really wanting to acknowledge to ourselves and to others is that covenant love is so vastly different from what our society calls love. It’s a decision, a promise, a grounding, a secure, known place where two people can know they belong, no matter what. It’s meant to mirror the love covenant that God wants to have with the people he created.
People laugh at me for calling Dennis “the husband” but there’s more to that label than you might think. He’s not just “a husband”, he’s the husband meant for me. I’ve had times when I honestly couldn’t think of why God brought us together BUT even then I was sure that he had. I’m still sure (and I’m still trying to find out why God brought us together…) The beautiful thing is that we really do love each other based on something outside ourselves, outside our feelings, apart from our circumstances and we’ve seen the blessing that has been.
I have somewhat romantic, idealistic female children and I think they sometimes see the husband and I as having this lack luster, boring existence. They might even wonder if we love each other, which is not good in this day of “the best thing you can do for your children is to love their mother/father” mantra. That is perhaps one of the most important reasons I want to make it a special year. I want my girls to know that we do care deeply for each other, and for them, for our family. We might not have planned the cruise of a lifetime, or renewed our vows in a big ceremony, bought each other expensive gifts or spent the week’s food budget on a night out at a restaurant. We might actually watch TV till 8pm, take our dose of NyQuil and try to go to sleep without coughing ourselves to death – it’s been that kind of a week. But we love each other, and we know it… once again, just sayin’