Thirty years ago today I was a 20 year old bride, walking down the aisle to be joined to the man I'd loved since I was 15 years old. It seems like an eternity ago, yet at the same time I can't believe how quickly the years have flown by. Even the bad years (oh yes, we had them) now seem like minor imperfections in an otherwise blessed union of two hearts and souls. During those bad times however, we drew upon the strength of our faith in our vows, and never considered divorce to be an option. When we took that option out of the equation, we had no choice but to persevere and work through the numerous problems, arguments, disagreements and transgressions that are inevitably part of every marriage. In fact, our marriage actually grew stronger because of the work we put into it during those difficult times. Truly passionate and permanent love is the byproduct of blood, sweat and tears, not lust, pride and the general sense of selfishness that today's society promotes. Whenever one puts one's own wants and needs first, true love suffers. If that happens often enough, true love dies.
When I entered into my marriage, I was under the assumption that marriage was a 50-50 union. With today's divorce rate, maybe those are simply the odds of a marriage's survival, who knows. But if we're talking about the ratio of the effort either party brings to the marriage table, I learned quickly that 50-50 is rarely the case. There were times during our thirty years that it was 100-0. And, I'll admit that sometimes I was the zero. Sometimes it was him. In the end, if you were forced to average it out, that's where that 50-50 starts to make sense and ring true.
My card to him:
We are not the same two people who once met and fell in love and married.
Life has changed us.
Who we are now and what we have together
Are different, and better
Than I could have ever imagined.
His card to me:
We've got forever written all over us.
(Yes, I cried)