Popular culture often fixates on falling in love. Rarely does a movie, a book, or even popular song, pay tribute to staying in love. Divorce statistics cite that about 41 percent of first marriages end in divorce. We also know that people aren’t getting married as often as they have in the past.
So how do you stay married to the same person for 32 years? I’m not sure I have a formula worked out. Mary and I took some detours, and spent time bumping along in the ditch, before we managed to get our ride back on the smooth blacktop. That’s probably common for many people when first married.
I do know that back in 1978, I met a wonderfully, special young lady who was 17-years-old. We were both too young and lacking in life experience to fully grasp the ramifications of what was about to happen.
When you get married young, you are apt to grow up together—or eventually grow apart. Luckily for us, the former happened.
In our 20s, we were struggling to be good parents, living just a shade above the poverty level, and deluded by a religious ideology that we’d eventually recognize as a dead end. Looking back, this was our marital baptism by fire. A few other crises would arise over the next couple of decades, but those formative years, all alone in the middle of the country, is where we forged a bond that hasn’t been broken.
The two of us have managed to do what many others weren’t able to—transcend immaturity, financial trouble, and all the other things in life that rob two people of the gift of lifelong love and companionship. I like to believe that there was some special design for us being together, but that might be just a tad too metaphysical for a post-Xian like me.
I’m looking forward to reaching 40 together and then, who knows what milestones await us?
Note: Our anniversary was technically, yesterday. So what did we do to celebrate? We hopped on our bikes and biked 15 miles to Day’s Crabmeat & Lobster for a lobster roll and fish tacos (my selection). That’s what you do when you’re married to a tri-athlete.
This morning, it’s off to the Greely pool for a swim.