Today is my anniversary; my husband and I have been married twenty-one years. I am still dazed with my good fortune over it all. He is still the love of my life, the only person I want to wake up alongside, and it is my greatest wish that we continue to wake up alongside each other for many, many years to come. (Well, continued health and prosperity sort of compete with that “greatest” wish, but you got the idea, right?)
I see young people around me, pondering that decision for themselves, on the cusp of something great, or something disastrous. Falling in love is such a euphoria-hazed condition, all-consuming and wildly unreasonable, rendering its victim immune to logic, common sense, others’ concerns. What can you do but watch, withhold your opinion (they don’t want to hear it anyway) and hope some nugget of wisdom or insight slips in there, amid the hormonal explosion going on? And maybe, if we’re lucky, they’ll Google “tips for a successful and happy lifelong marriage” and voila, advice for them to take, or not.
It’s their ride, in the end. But I wish them, and you, all the best, and hope that you’ve found what I have. Truly, a strong marriage is one of life’s greatest blessings.
Classical Girl’s Tips for a successful and happy lifelong marriage
- Choose wisely. Choose for life.
- Don’t rush your decision. Who you are in your early-to-mid twenties, could prove to be quite different from the person you are in your late twenties, early thirties. (I was twenty-nine and he was thirty-four when we got married. Great age. Great timing.)
- Value yourself. Further, make sure your partner values you as much as you deserve to be valued (hint: you deserve to be valued a LOT. Seriously a lot).
- Chose someone you’re compatible with. This is HUGE. In the finance department. In the raising-a-family-down-the-road department. In long term goals and dreams. In the sack. (I don’t mean to embarrass anyone here, or anything, but if you’re single and young and reading this and you’re thinking it doesn’t matter if the two of you are incompatible here, oh, dear. And if there is a worried whisper in the back of your mind that you’re trying to avoid listening to, oh dear. Please. Listen. The whispers are there to help us find our way in life.)
- Communicate. And not just the easy day-to-day stuff. Communicate the tricky stuff. The uncomfortable stuff. The confrontation stuff. If you can communicate it today, it won’t become a skeleton, a dark argument-in-the-making, tomorrow.
- Love each other. Respect each other. Don’t stop doing these things. Ever. Year ten, year twenty, day 100, day 10,000, they are the same. If those two things die, or have died, I am so sorry. Seriously. Because they are big.
- I’ve heard it said that the key to a great marriage is when both of you secretly believe that you’re the lucky one in the equation. I don’t know if this is a “key,” but it’s a wonderful thought, and true (because I KNOW I’m the lucky one, even as he tells me he is) and I wish this state on every couple.
Happy Anniversary to my dear Classical Husband, and wishing all of my readers the same happiness in their own relationships. Because I know you deserve it. I may not know everything about you, dear readers. But of this, I’m certain.