A Decade of Marriage
Well, some time has passed since I last wrote. In that time, I have aged another year, and my marriage reached it’s 10 year milestone. What does this mean? It clearly means that I’m one year wiser, smarter, more better, muchly intelligentaler, and also that I’ve been married to the same person for a decade.
So if you don’t mind, I will reflect on marriage, and give you some tips on how you, too, can get older and stay married.
A Decade Of Marriage
If I had to sum up my marriage in one word, it would be….um…oh gosh I wasn’t prepared for this question….um…it would…..be…..”sacrificializemotionoscopicinsanity.” Or love. Love works too.
Being married is like having a binky. It provides comfort, is there when you need it, but if you abuse it and use it too much, it will mess up your teeth. I’m not 100% sure what the metaphor is with the teeth, but I do know that if I abused my wife, she’d smash my face in with a frying pan, and odds are I would lose teeth. So, there’s that. This actually reminds me of something Gayle told me when we were on one of our first dates. We were sitting in a bar, and she had tension in her eyes and asked if I would rub her eyes. Or, the space between her eyes. What is that called? The nose ramp? As the perfect gentlemen that I am, and as the guy who wanted the date to go well (WINK WINK), I obliged. Apparently I wasn’t getting the right spot, and after her failed attempts to tell me where it was a number of times, she frustratingly declared, “Oh my god I just want to smash a bottle over your face!” THAT’S when I fell in love.
The thing about being married over a decade is that you get to know every single thing about the other person. Sure, a lot of it is great. My wife is gorgeous, she’s smart, she’s hilarious, nice, giving, smells good, kisses great…there’s a lot of good stuff in there. And I’m sure she would probably tell you all of my great features, too. She would probably say, ‘My dear husband Russ is funny, and nice, and…..you know, what can I say, he’s got a good personality, so….and….he’s like an ugly, out of shape Ryan Gosling. But deep down, really deep down, way down, like past where you would normally consider deep, right there in the core, there is a Ryan Gosling just waiting to emerge.”
Gayle and I have been through so much together. And our plan for our anniversary was to leave town without the kids. Happy Anniversary, US!! No worries about bath time, about bed time routine, about “GO TO SLEEP!”ing, about “I SAID GO TO SLEEP!”ing. Just my pretty wife and me. It was amazing! We stayed at a ritzy hotel and had a ritzy dinner and slept in a ritzy room with a ritzy view. Here we are at dinner enjoying the majestic ocean sunset:
And so ends our first decade with each other. The decade of patience, of understanding, of unconditional love and support. And now we are moving on to decade number 2. The decade of “Really? You’re NEVER going to change?”
People are always asking me what the secret is to being so happy, and having a great marriage and a great life. The secret is you lie to those people. I’M KIDDING!
The secret to our marriage is that we both love each other, DUH, and beyond that we truly care about the other’s happiness. We work overtime to not go to bed angry. We are amazing battlers. We are both passionate people, and passionate people can be stubborn people, and stubborn people arguing looks a lot like rams butting heads. But going to bed in a sucky rageful state isn’t an option in our house. Also, knowing that there is so obviously a difference between men and women really helps. Women like to express, and guys like to go inward and process life by themselves. Knowing how to be appreciative of those differences has been huge for us. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told Gayle, after she’s expressed some huge frustrations with life or work or whatever, “That’s no big deal. Don’t worry about it. It’s fine.” WRONG! And Gayle has many times in the past, in the face of my frustrations, said “How are you feeling? Tell me what you are thinking.” But we keep at it. Because we love each other. We got a good team going on here.
There are a million ways to keep a marriage great! What’s your secret?