Twenty-Six Years of Wedded Blitz. I Mean Bliss.

(This is a picture of a picture and it's wonky. We look like bobble-heads on doll-bodies. Maybe we really were, actually. And yeah, that's a white tux. Don't ask me. No idea.)

Twenty-six years ago this very day, I was married to the man of my hopes, dreams, hormones, irritation, and fascination. Plus breakfast. Dude makes a wicked awesome breakfast.

In the course of that time we have been well-off, unemployed, medium-off, wimperingly-off, well-enough-off, healthy, swine-flu'ed, Shanghai-flu'ed, scared, thrilled, worried, hilarious, joyful, irritated, sweet, murderous, kind, selfish, ridiculous, embarrassing, funny, silly, on the edge, off the charts, completely out of our depth, parents, stupid parents, smart parents, and in case I forgot–stupid parents, marathoners, 100-milers (him, not me. what am I, crazy?), creative, and in love. We still got that in-love part. Even though sometimes we are not perfectly in-like. But the in-love-ness? Yeah, it's still there. A whole lot more wrinkly and crow's feety, but there.

Now in this world some might be tempted to ask, "How did you do that? For twenty-six years?" Because in this world everything has become a.d.d. and throw-away and temporary. So to find a marriage that seems to still be lasting and going strong after more than two and a half decades is like finding . . . well, anything that still works the way it was originally intended to.

I'm not saying we're FABulous and all of y'all should do your best to copy us. I can't say that. Because we're dorks, my huz and me. GIANT, insecurity-riddled, stubborn, maturity-of-a-twelve-year-old dorks. But we do have one thing going for us. And that is this: A) we're both determined to never give up, and 2) We both keep hold of the things we fundamentally respect about each other. Which is more like two things, if you look at it that way.

Divorce has never been an option for either of us. We agreed on that at the beginning. Both of us came from broken homes and it stank. Stunk. Stinked. All three. We weren't going to do that to our kids. So it was do or die, my friends. Which has meant that sometimes it's been a summer picnic, and sometimes the frost on our silences could have winter-killed 50 acres of tomato plants.

I don't pretend to have the wisdom of someone who has made it through 30 or 40 or 50 years of marriage. I just know this: If you respect each other enough to stop talking when you're mad, and respect each other enough to not have to agree, and respect each other enough to put the things you don't understand on a proverbial shelf and just DO the thing the other person needs right then–you'll be fine.

And it is mui mucho sehr trés worth it.

(Personal shout-out to my little AngelDimplesPuppyKnees: Dude. Can't wait for you to get back. I actually remembered our anniversary this year and you're in China. But that's okay. I respect your choice of employment, and we'll partay heartay this weekend.) (DID YOU HEAR THAT? I SAID I RESPECT YOU! HAPPY NOW?)

About Janiel 433 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.


    • I think you’ve nailed it with staying married 26 years and 2 days for us. It has a lot to do with forgiving, overlooking, lowering expectation all the way to NO expectations (instead everything is a pleasant surprise). But, I tell you, once the kids start leaving, we have found each other again and have a deeper love and respect than ever before. Mainly, from us both weathering and surviving the turbulent and choatic years of raising our 7 honey-chillins. There’s nothing like the feeling of security, fidelity and trust of 26 years, 2 days. We’ve been blessed.

  1. Aw, love the pic! What a dress!! 🙂 Congrats on your anniversary and what a wise, wonderful post. I love the picture that’s been circulating that says something about why marriages used to last longer, is that there used to be a mentality of “if something’s broken you fix it, you don’t throw it away.” Yay for marriage! 🙂

    • That is a great saying. And I think it is definitely true where marriage is concerned. But both people have to be in on it for it to work.

      As for the dress: Thanks! I loved it. I got to design it. Someday I’ll have to show you a picture of the whole thing. It was pretty fabu, and I was lucky to get to do it.

      Thanks Sara!

  2. Should I also post here as well as on Facebook that we have the same sleeves and possibly gloves and that I got married first so YOU are the copycat little rat don’t know what you’re looking at?

    Or should I be all sweet and genteel and say, “Oh, my! Congratulations on the loveliness of it all! You are awesome. And also a hat!”

    You pick.

    • Mmm. I think I’ll just do a little rearranging. Here’s your comment with my edits:

      “First, I copycat the little sleeves! I got married to be all sweet and genteel looking. You are all loveliness. Should I post here you don’t know you are awesome? Congratulations on YOU!”

      Thank you! That’s a delightful comment!

  3. Happy Anniversary, you guys! It’s a nice feeling, isn’t it. I’ve found in the 23 years that we’ve been married that the very simplest way to stay married is not not file for divorce. Works every single time and requires no paperwork or fee.

    • Hah! Why does anyone bother writing books about it? They should ask you. 🙂 That’s pretty much the key right there. And it is a nice feeling. Thanks Rob!

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