Back in 1982 I embarked on the journey of a lifetime. I was 22 years old, knew virtually nothing about real life, and I had no way of knowing what lay in store for me. When I signed my name on the dotted line, I was certain of only two things: I was deeply in love with Ronnie, and I wanted to spend my life with him.
I hadn’t planned on getting married before I was at least 28.
There were a lot of things that I had planned to do first, a lot of things that I never actually got around to doing.
There was a time when I wondered if I would regret not doing those things, but I really never have.
For the past twenty-five years I’ve been married to a man who has been my Rock of Gibraltar.
I’m the somewhat flighty one, the dreamer, the concocter of crazy schemes, and he’s the anchor, the one who keeps me tied to the real world and makes sure I don’t float off too far.
When we first got married, we had to use two different toothpastes because neither of us was ready to compromise on our favorite brand.
I thought he was slightly weird for eating cold ketchup on his food, and he thought I was nuts for storing the ketchup in the pantry.
We’ve come a long way since then.
We’ve shared a lot of love and made a lot of good memories together, but we’ve also faced a multitude of things we could have never imagined. We’ve had friends and family members with serious illnesses, some who didn’t make it.
We waded through three years of infertility problems, something no one ever plans for.
We’ve had our apartment robbed, been the victims of more than one hit-and-run driver, faced the loss of a business, and waded through a flooded house on far too many occasions.
We’ve seen one child through the teenage years, driving lessons, college, and marriage, and now we’re starting the driving lessons and college searches again with the other child.
We’ve managed to come through all of this, and home renovations to boot, with a stronger bond.
It hasn’t always been easy. We’re not perfect and we’ve certainly had our ups and downs, but the five Cs – communication, commitment to one another, celebrating each other’s victories, comforting each other in times of loss, and compromising for the greater good of our marriage – have helped us out.
We didn’t start out with a plan. We just sort of let common sense and our love for each other guide us, and it seems to have worked so far. I guess we’ll keep doing it for the next 25 years or so.
Barbara Munson is accessible. Write to here at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org