I have officially spent more than half my life so far (knock wood) with Mr. Wonderful. We have been together for 24 years, married for 20. I was 22 when we met.
What this means is that I am A) Old and B) Mr. Wonderful is a candidate for sainthood.
The life test
Certainly we have been tested. Children. Travel for work. Unemployment. A wife who sells your life story for fun and profit. Renovating bathrooms together. All is fraught with stress.
The truth, however, is that marriage can be a whole lot of good times, too.
At first it’s fun getting to know someone as deeply as you can once the state has decreed that they can’t flee in horror without considerable time and effort.
Later there is a level of adventure, comfort, and support. Through good times and bad you’re a team. It has been said that marriage involves falling in love many times – always with the same person. I could not agree more.
Changes in life
The man I woke up with today is not the man I married. He is literally, of course, but in spirit he is so much more. He is a husband, father, friend, boss, employee, handyman, jokester and jack of all trades.
I would like to think I’ve expanded my romantic resume beyond our first date when my main selling points were sarcastic wit and looking good in crop tops. (It was the 90s. Be kind).
Another popular internet meme says “I love you today more than yesterday. Yesterday I didn’t like you very much.” There is some truth there too.
Staying in love
Marriage means staying in love even when you don’t like someone in a particular moment. It’s sticking to it and staying in the path even in rare and powerful moments when you wonder why you started the journey in the first place.
To people contemplating marriage: If your boyfriend or girlfriend requires excuses and explanations to yourself and others to make sense of their behavior and treatment of you, consider passing on that.
Marriage is hard
Marriage is work but you shouldn’t have to start the heavy digging while dating. When you find yourself claiming “you just don’t know him (or her) like I do” remember that needy and flawed are not love. This is not a pet from the pound that with proper training can learn to love you and meet your needs. This is a potential life partner and possible parent to potential future children. Choose wisely.
I’ve learned so much in life and marriage. It’s easy to love in the beginning, it’s fun to love in the middle.
Never stop wondering what it’s going to be like next. Life is an adventure.
It’s important to pick the right partner if you plan on doing 20 years to life.
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