Before I go any further, I just want to make something clear for my husband who is probably reading this and flipping his lid right about now. The short answer is yes, yes I DID choose the right man. It’s OK dear, I simply thought the question would make a catchy blog title. You can go back to watching your motorcycle racing.
Now to proceed with what I was going to say…
As I observe my young adult children navigating the ups and downs of intimate relationships, I often wonder who they’ll end up with long term, if anyone. And thinking this makes me contemplate what it takes to make a relationship last. And then I say to myself, “Hell, I should know. I have a good relationship, and I’ve been with my husband for twenty-five years.”
And then yesterday, I saw an article in Oprah’s magazine entitled Choosing The Right Man: What Happily Married Women Know. Of course, I had to read it, to see if our opinions matched up.
Indeed they did. I thought the article was great. Nine different couples were showcased, and each wife answered the same six questions about her relationship with her husband/partner. I agreed with almost everything everyone said. I even took the time to answer the questions myself. This is how I responded about my husband and I…
Ages: 43 and 44 (for now)
Years married: 23 although it seems a lot longer. Just kidding. It seems like it was only yesterday that we met, after which a bunch of other shit happened – like a LOT of other shit.
Occupations: orthopedic surgeon and writer/fitness enthusiast/Olympic money spender. I’m sure I share this last title with a few other careless and “totally unconcerned with their finances” people out there.
How did you know he was the one? I knew it the very first night we met. There was just an ease in talking to him. He wasn’t an idiot – that was key – and he was really down-to-earth, smart and funny. We just “got” each other. Plus, he was wearing a pink sleeveless shirt and somehow – don’t ask me how – I thought he was the best looking man I’d ever seen. Oh yeah, and he could dance – really well. That was also pretty high up there on the list of things my potential partner needed to be able to do. That and hook up electronics’ equipment. God knows I can’t do that stuff.
What made it last? We just like being together. We get along, you know? We are opposites of each other. What makes me mad, doesn’t seem to affect him, and vice versa. There are not usually two exploding fire bombs going off at the same time, if you get what I’m saying. Not only that, but we are always pushing each other to be better people. And he hasn’t killed me in my sleep yet. I think that is SO important. Not to mention, the sex is great. [Zach, Charles, and Tess, if you are reading this, ignore that last statement.)
Advice: Marriage is about compromise. You can’t always have the really expensive couch that you want. (Or can you?) It’ll never work if you think like that. (Or will it?)
I think it’s also important to realize that people change. No one stays the same. And your relationship will change as well. You have to be flexible. Just like you do with children, you have to pick your battles. He wants to buy another motorcycle? OK, but there’s no way in hell he’s going to stop you from getting chairs to go with that new couch of yours. Yes, you have to know what’s worth fighting for and what isn’t. You’ll go nuts otherwise.
I think you also have to understand that marriage is hard work, meaning that it’s not always going to be a bed of roses. Sometimes, it’s going to be crappy. Expect and learn to work through the difficult times. And try not to pull your husband’s hair when you get mad. OK, there was that ONE time, and that was back when he had some.