Before marrying Cliff my previous 2 relationship records were 4 years, one was a bit of a nightmare and the other was good, just not the right guy. My previous marriage lasted all of 1 year. There were a host of other relationships which lasted either a few months or not much more than a year. I forget now. I’ve played bother the dumper and the dumpee.
Yesterday marked 8 years since Cliff and I shared our marriage vows. We didn’t make much fuss of the day. No champagne was popped (I had a headache). I guess there’s more reason to be triumphant when the preceding year was rocky and you’re somewhat surprised to have crossed the finish line of another year. The fact that the day was low-key means that we are stable and secure enough not to have doubted reaching the day.
In my opinion the 1st year of marriage is the hardest. When we married, exactly a year after meeting I was 36 and Cliff was 32. Apart from making the mistake of living with a previous fiance for 3 years, I had stayed in my own space since my divorce in 1992, 10 years of independence. The 1st year was no honeymoon. There was so much to adapt to from having to cook every night for someone who does not consider eggs on toast a meal to having to consult on everything, where before I made all decisions unilaterally. You also notice irritating habits which were not so obvious before. For him there were also many adjustments including taking on a teenage step-daughter. The rows were spectacular.
Years 3 and 5 held some make or break moments and the following anniversaries were real achievements. The D word had been bandied about quite liberally. Adding children to the mix brought us untold joy and unity, children also bring new challenges. I gave up work to be a full-time mother, loosing my financial independence taught many lessons in humility. Lost sleep and limited time relaxing together sometimes create distance. My past as a single parent was often tough but I never had to consult with anyone when making parenting decisions. With time I have learned that the small stuff is small and it’s not worth throwing in the towel. In the big picture we are a happy and well suited couple.
I don’t have any sage marriage advice like “don’t go to sleep on a fight”, I like my sleep too much and know that when I’m rested I probably get better perspective or alternatively we can carry on fighting or not talking to each other until we’re no longer pissed off.
Marrying later in life has its advantages for me, I know what’s out there, which makes me appreciate my husband so much more. I have learned that no one is perfect. I’ve played the field enough to know that I certainly wouldn’t do better. In my youth the grass always seemed greener and the partner options almost limitless.
Some days I think it would be bliss to go off to an office job, come home, have tomato soup for supper, leave the dirty dishes and curl up in bed early with a book and a slab of chocolate. This life is however better. It is good to be part of a team, good to share my life with someone special. It’s good to love and be loved.
So that’s it, we’ve passed the bronze anniversary, not yet silver or gold but all in good time. I don’t plan on going anywhere.