I had the craziest thought the other day. I couldn’t complete the end of that sentence with anything that Mike and I hadn’t experienced in marriage. The good, the bad, and the ugly were all accounted for in the almost thirty years of “us.” We have laughed, we’ve cried; we’ve loved, we’ve feared; we’ve lived and we’ve died a few times, too. We can say with satisfaction that we have made it to date, through it all. When someone asks me what I think the secret is to a satisfying, sustainable marriage, I don’t have any great wisdom to offer. We just stay married. And we choose to be happy. When the bad comes, and it still does occasionally, we get up and dust ourselves off and try again. I am drawn to the question, as if it is a mystery. What is sustainable, anyway? Nobody has a promise of tomorrow, but I feel very comfortable where we are today as a couple. I couldn’t always say that, so you might wonder what changed. I can almost pinpoint the day when we looked at each other and had an epiphany: we were in this for the long haul, and our only option was to choose happiness. God is God, and the rest of us are mere mortals living out the joys and hopes of this world, one day at a time. So, daily, we choose each other and choose joy. And with God’s Grace, He will see us through another day, another year. I’d love to write a hopelessly romantic post but I’m a more practical type. Perhaps a good Harlequin should be on my reading list, but it is a good spot. There is something deeply satisfying in being at peace with each other, resting in a love that grows each year—some years more than others. We brave this life together hand in hand.
Happy anniversary, honey. I’d choose you all over again. What a wild and sweet journey it has been! I guess I can think of a few things, short of murder, that we have not experienced in twenty-eight years. Maybe we need to check those things off the list also.
How about you? What do you think the secret of marriage is? What makes it work, or more interestingly, what goes wrong? Or even broader, what is the secret to a satisfying life? Every answer unlocks the mystery a little more. Bless you on your journey. May you also discover the secret of happiness. Regardless of circumstances, choose to be full of His joy, which is like no other.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4