Today is my 50th wedding anniversary. Yes, in a time when people change their spouses as often and in some cases more often than their underwear, I have been with the same husband for 50 years. This isn’t exactly a brag, well I guess it is because I feel special.
Was it easy you might ask? No, it wasn’t because even loving someone more than life itself does not keep you from having tough times and times of loneliness and questioning times about all your decisions.
But in spite of the times that were less than perfect, underneath all, there was always love. We cared about each other and for the most part showed each other the respect we each deserved. You rarely show respect to another person when involved in a heated argument and those happened. What can I say? We are not perfect, but very human. With heritages like Italian and Irish in our background, what do you expect?
We eloped when I was 17 and Dan had just turned 19. They said it wouldn’t last, but we were in love and have been for all these years. I guess over 50 when you count the previous four months when we first met. It was almost love at first sight, but we each wanted to be sure I think. Still, we met in April and married in august and no babies were on the way. That happened about 2 years later. We just had to be together, there was no question about it.
What is our secret? I don’t know if we have one. We communicate pretty well and we respect each other. Dan knew when he married me that I was opinionated and a bit feisty. I was never a ‘yes man’ or woman in this case. I respected him and in important things would usually submit, but not in everything. I have always fought for what I believed was right and so did he so that sometimes was a problem when we differed in opinion.
We tried to never go to bed angry and tried to resolve most things before we left the room or slept. We compromised, but that was hard to learn. Sometimes, when we were very stubborn, it took time for either one of us to say we were sorry or wrong. But, eventually it happened and things were great again.
Our marriage was filled with challenges, health issue, money problems, but always love. I could not see me with anyone else and never met a man I wanted more than my own. We were not saints, but clung together with a vengeance. We each were what made the other complete and together life was bearable even when difficult.
Above all- you must love each other with all your heart and soul. You must have patience and lower your expectations as to the fairy tale we all grew up with, sometimes marriage is like that, but more times marriage is just life.