I mean that. We had a blast. It's precisely what I love about being married this long. Interruptions that would've totally thrown me and gotten me in a funk as a newlywed are mere blips on the radar at this stage. That's the blessing of commitment; the reward of perseverance; the beauty of growth. I guess a relationship needs to soak like marinade into a good steak -- not be tossed into the microwave right out of the freezer.
Rarely do we have the foresight to realize this early on. I sure didn't. Three years into our marriage I surprised Steve with a prearranged overnight hotel trip. I had secretly arranged for his parents to watch our infant daughter, and excitedly stood before him to hand over the envelope containing his rendezvous invitation. He was pleased - but shocked.
Within an hour we arrived at the hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Little did I know he didn't feel completely comfortable (a.k.a. "safe") in the particular section of town I had naively selected. Furthermore, the room was oddly decorated and the clientele rather noisy. As the evening unfolded, it got worse. I sat back and expected him to now pick it up and take the lead on deciding where to eat, what to do, which movie to watch....and so on. All with absolutely no warning. It was awkward, unfortunate and disappointing. We still talk about "Ooohhhhh, that weekend at the Bonaventure!"
They say that most divorces occur within the first 4-5 years of marriage. I get that. The luster wears off and the work begins. Life gets crazy and some things never seem to gel. You struggle and shift, yet don't quite reap the benefits. It's tough. Unrewarding. That cozy weekend cabin often appears worn out and ugly.
And yet, over and over again research shows that while there may be some dissatisfaction with your spouse in the first decade or two, affection for one another and overall marital health often dramatically improve after a silver anniversary. In other words: most of us should just dig in and hang on. It's worth the arguments, the misunderstandings and the exhausting midnight discussions.
So take a deep breath. Close your eyes and try to picture 20 years down the road. Try to hold on and get there. You might be pleasantly surprised what you find on the other side of your rocky journey.
P.S. Did I mention that we had blizzard conditions driving home from the cabin?