Scott and I celebrated 10 years of marriage on Friday, November 22, 2013.
We had breakfast at the Jefferson Hotel where we spent our first night as husband and wife, and a friend surprised us with a card and gift.
And even though they didn’t believe we were old enough to be celebrating a decade of marriage, we convinced them to sell us the newest Christmas ornament before it was officially on sale.
We went to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, where we got married, and sat in the pews reading through our entire church service together. We re-discussed the homily on The Good Samaritan and how being “the neighbor” meant both being the Samaritan and the broken man on the side of the road.
We read through every message in our homemade guest book from the wonderful people who attended our reception that day.
We look at photographs and read the newspaper announcements.
Then we saw the new movie, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Aw, snuggles!
Over weekend, I’ve been thinking on and off about what keeps a marriage going even though we don’t have the title of the longest married couple (although I told Scott that we were in the running since we only have to live to 106 years old, and I’m pretty competitive).
When I first got engaged, I believe marriages were held together by great faith, but I know secular marriages that have stayed together and divorced people of enormous faith. Even Scott and I had crises of faith over the last 10 years and stayed strong in our marriage.
Next, I decided it was humor because Scott and I can laugh almost any argument away, but I’ve seen some very unfunny couples stick it out. And sometimes things just aren’t funny.
The longest married couple, celebrating their 81st year in 2013, said it was always agreeing with your wife, which sounded great to me, but when I let go of all the shoes and trips to the city and late night Thai food runs I’d send Scott on, I know it would be awful to have someone agree with me all the time. No one is that smart.
I wondered if it was merely about working hard and taking your marriage seriously, but I don’t do that every day. We all take our marriages for granted sometimes, and I know people who did work very hard, and they’re divorced today.
In fact, someone, who worked at her marriage, wrote that the key to not getting the divorce she is going through, is “getting each other.” I ran to Scott: See. This is it. This is why we made it and keep going. We totally get each other and have from day one.
Scott: I don’t think so. And that’s not scientific at all.
Me: Well, we do GET each other.
But for all our soul mate moments, we had to learn about each other, too. And I think about those weeks in our marriage when we aren’t on the same page. Heck, we aren’t even in the same library sometimes and I’ve almost broken my eyes from rolling them so often.
Me to Scott: What do you think keeps people together because the last scientific paper I read concluded that happier marriages were due to the wife being better looking than the husband. But they only studied the first four years of marriage so who cares.
Me: Oh, that’s real scientific.
I think that’s it though. There isn’t a special, specific answer, which will be bestowed upon us. It’s like finding happiness. Some people find it in the strangest of places. On freezing cold mountain tops. Or in making their first million dollars. Or in having eight children. Or in selling a painting of two blue lines. Or in not selling that painting. I’m not even sure if answers are something we should be seeking. Trying to find happiness has never made me happy, and it wasn’t until I stopped looking for love that it appeared in the form of a 6’2 handsome, medical student who kept showing up in the library.
Scott is my strange place.
I love being married to him, and because of that, I want to offer and receive THE ANSWER TO THE FOREVER MARRIAGE. But I can only give and take suggestions for specific situations within a marriage. In the grand scheme of love and happily ever after, I know so much less than I did ten years ago. I love Scott, and, even more than on my wedding day, I can see how I lucky I am to have him. To have all of this in my life. I think that’s as much of the big picture as I get to see.