After 10 Years Of Marriage, I Have Less Questions And Answers

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.

homemade guestbook
We thought the privacy let people feel more comfortable leaving more personal notes.

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. 

Scott: Luck.

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.

10 years wedding anniversary
And I still fit in my wedding tiara.
(Yes, I’m reusing my Facebook page. It was THAT FUNNY.)

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My desk

Battle Of The Desks

While it’s true Scott and I are so much alike that as teenagers we both thought the best way to die was to push a kid out of the way of a moving bus just before it hit you, we aren’t twinsies. So when it was time to pick out desks for our newly shared office space, I cried over oval or trapezoid wood and leather beauties with minimal drawers and maximal desk space until I finally settled on 72 inches of gorgeousness:

My desk
I tried to take a more recent photo but for some reason I couldn’t get one that wasn’t blurry. I must’ve been shaking with love.

My husband, who had to be convinced it was okay to buy a desk after 15 years of hand-me-downs and makeshift tables, which barely let his legs in, bought a whiteboard desk that changes height so I can hide underneath.

Scott's Desk
Scott’s desk is everything that mine isn’t including weird.
Scott's desk
In fact, I’m actually sitting in that chair pictured in the above photo yet still under his desk because you can raise it that high. WTH, amiright?

Our differences go head to head everyday.

Battle of the Desks
Battle of the Desks. Grrr.

Our working space may also explain why we could never work together. Plus when we did many years ago, I shushed him in front of EVERYONE on rounds because he wouldn’t stop making Scott-mentary (commentary by Scott).

Oh and when he was rude to me while working together, I called him out on it.

Me: Dude, don’t talk to me like that again.
Scott: What? I would say that to any med student.
Me: Well, I’m not ANY med student. {waving wedding ring}

So had I not ended my medical career, there would still never be Drs. Iwashyna & Iwashyna unless it was Dr. EYE-ROLL-INAPPROPRIATE-SCOTT-MENTARY Iwashyna and DR. ARE-YOU-LOOKING-AT-ME-FUNNY-BECAUSE-I’LL-PULL-RANK Iwashyna. And that non-partnership would’ve been for the best because we are obviously not on the same page even when it comes to workspace.

However, I think this explains why our family room is still a dance party room and not decorated in any sort of normal way.

Dance party in the family room
This is from the first day of school and pretty much every day since…

Because whether we’ll ever figure out how to work together enough to start a business or even buy matching furniture, we’ve always known how to have fun when we’re home.

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