Relationships- Joy and Pain

Well...this month is kind of a mile stone for me. My husband and I will have been married 20 years on our anniversary this month. It hardly seems possible. We shake our heads at each other, knowing it just doesn't seem like that amount of time has passed.
And then we look at our twin daughters that turn 19 this year, and know there is no getting around it, we've gotten old when we weren't looking. Not that we are OLD...grin, but older. Probably a little bit fuddy duddy.
Although, one of my twins will tell me every time that she has a sexy mom...grin. (I think I'll keep her...)
Our relationship has never been perfect, although I would say it was close. I love him more now than I did then, and that always amazes me. I think he is truely more handsome now than he was then, and I thought he was ohhh so good looking then. sigh. Now his face has richness and character that I just love to gaze at all the time. It's simply wonderful.
He claims he is a lousy husband and an okay father, and I have to argue. He is a wonderful father, simply because he loves our children with a deepness and intensity that they have no clue. Some day they'll understand, and then they'll appreciate him more.
While he is perhaps, not the most perfect of husbands, I wouldn't trade him for anyone else. He loves me in such a way that I know he is missing me. I know he wants to spend time with me. It is a wonder and something I'm always thankful for. He loves me.
At the same time, I wonder if he realizes how much I love him. I was reading The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks the other day, and thinking about how couples fall into routines during the child raising years. One of my husband's fears is that we won't have anything to talk about when our last child has left the home and we are alone with each other.
I count the days sometimes...
That is one of the things I fell in love with. Our ability to talk about anything. There was no uncomfortable, heavens-what-do-I-talk-about with him--I remember laying on my bed, listening to him talk on the phone and being amazed at the conversation. That was before we even started dating.
After a while, I began to really respect him and his integrity. It is a quality I admire and look for, and he has it in spades. If my husband says he will do something, you can count on him to do it (at least if it's outside our family...grin-sometimes the simple stuff gets lost in the shuffle). He is also extremely loyal, especially as an employee. I am so impressed with how he handles himself and works at doing his job. How he provides the best he can for me and the children. I thank God in my prayers every night for the blessing of having him in my life.
He supports me as best he can in my endeavors, such as writing and painting and whatever else I mention I want to do.
Unfortunately, I have to admit I don't feel I've been as good at it with him. He has had to point it out a couple of times, and it makes my heart ache. I never intend on being selfish, I never thought I was that kind of person, but there are times in our relationship where I feel that is what has happened. It's all about do I get out of things? I want things a certain way...I want to spend money on this and money is tight. He hates having to say no, so sometimes he will say yes just because he knows it's something I want. Even if it's just a trinket that I could simply live without. He would buy me the world if he could.
On the other hand, I tend to be more concious about the money when HE is the one spending it. But, in my mind, I feel he won't accept spending money on himself. He's told me several times that he doesn't feel right spending money on shoes for him when one of the kids needs them, etc. Even though he hasn't gotten a new pair of shoes in at least two years... let alone Sunday shoes that he's had since his mission...sigh.
So...then I try to find him what he wants in the least expensive way possible so he doesn't feel guilty, and he feels that I'm trying to spend as little as possible on him. He tells me that there's no way I can win, but he loves the effort.
He's a little depressed about our anniversary. He wanted to take me to Hawaii, or somewhere else really special since our honeymoon was pretty basic, thought I loved every minute of it. We simply can't afford it. However, my sister owns a condo in a ski city nearby, and we're going to spend a couple of nights there.
My biggest excitement is that my mother-in-law is taking us on a cruise a month after our anniversary. I figure that counts...although he's not paying for it, it's still a chance to be romantic. We're trying to figure out how we can avoid his family for the seven day cruise...
Anyway, I guess what I'm rambling on about, is it's amazing how our perceptions, our desires and our characters change over time. You get married, you think life is at it's best and can't get any worse. Then you have children. Unimaginable stresses come upon your relationship and you have to work at staying together. Then, you do something else...loose a job, or remodel a home, etc. Those add even more stress, and it's not unusual to have couples fighting over the color of the bathroom tile when it seems a trivial thing. (trust me...I had no idea my husband would have definite ideas on what he wanted the house to look like, I thought it was all up to me!)
Marriage relationships take work and dedication--more than any other thing you will work on in your life. An nothing else will be as meaningful in the long run.
Except perhaps sharing that relationship with your children.


Heather said…
What a beautifully written post! It sounds as though you have a wonderful marriage and family. I hope that when my husband and I make it to our 20th anniversary, I will be able to say the same.
G.Ellen said…
Thank you so much for reading. You will do just fine!! It just takes determination and lots of love. ;)

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