When Marriage Works

I am tempting the fates by writing this post, I feel it.  Maybe tomorrow I will come home to Mary Tyler Dad and his mistress stretched out across my favorite bedding found at a trunk show in Soho and purchased for next to nothing. Maybe he will start to send flowers for no known reason.  Maybe he will suddenly have business travel on weekends in sunny locales like Hawaii and Catalina Freaking Island.  Maybe he has a family shacked up somewhere in the suburbs.

Maybe, but I don’t think so.

My marriage seems to work.  (I am writing this at Panera and people are now staring blanky as I run around knocking on every piece of wood in my sight line.)  Sunday we celebrated twelve years together.  A dozen years of wedded functionality, if not pure bliss.  Hell, I’ll take function over bliss any day, especially when those days stretch into 4,382 in number.

Wedding 3

I love my husband.  I love him more today than the day I married him.  I love him more today than the day I sat across him at a diner eating pancakes, which is the exact moment when I knew I would marry him.  He didn’t know it for a few more years, but I did.  I knew it.

What a lucky gal I am.

Our marriage isn’t perfect.  Every relationship takes work to sustain itself, but the work we put into us feels not so much like work, but a vocation.  Work that is meaningful and reaps the most amazing rewards.  I am so very grateful to find a love who knows me, sees me, forgives me, values me.

On Sunday I spent some time going through wedding photos.  We looked so young.  Our faces were free of stress and full of naivete.  They are beautiful faces.  I recognize them and even missed those young faces for a moment. Today our faces are a shade wider, my husband’s hairline a shade higher, but we still look at each other with love.

Wedding 1

The song we chose for our ceremony was “Come Rain Or Come Shine” (Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen).  Words are so important to both of us. They factored heavily in our wedding, even down to the blue embroidery that ran along my wedding dress hem.  Words have always mattered to us.  I think, maybe, that is why we don’t hurt one another with them very often.

I’m gonna love you like nobody’s loved you, come rain or come shine
High as a mountain and deep as a river, come rain or come shine
I guess when you met me it was just one of those things
But don’t ever bet me cause I’m gonna be true if you let me

You’re gonna love me like nobody’s loved me, come rain or come shine
Happy together, unhappy together and won’t it be fine?
Days may be cloudy or sunny
We’re in or we’re out of the money.

But I’ll love you always, I’m with you rain or shine

Rain or shine.

Those words are a promise from one love to another, much like the laminated wedding vows we carry in our wallets.  We had no illusions on our wedding day.  Eyes wide open, you know?  We entered our marriage knowing life is hard, relationships are hard — how hard, we had no way to realize, but we were game.

Wedding 2

We know things now I wish we never knew, things we can never unknow, but those things — the deep and profound understanding of being in hell, but being there together, holding hands close and tight — to have that knowledge about your love, that they will be there with you no matter what, is the most amazing comfort I have ever known.  It holds me every day, just like my husband.  I am profoundly grateful for that knowledge, that knowing.

Happy anniversary, my love.  I love you still, even more than before.  May we always remember the day we chose one another.  May we keep choosing one another every day.  

Wedding 4

(All photos courtesy of Sandra Goldfield Photography)

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