From Our Readers July 31, 6: First thing in the morning, a scroll through my Facebook feed provides a few freshly-penned blog posts about life as a newlywed, or mommy-to-be. Evening falls and honeymooners take time to tweet about lifewiththeirbestfriend.
Last month, my parents celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary. Either way, it suddenly seems like a pretty huge feat. So, I decided to interview them about their marriage. Over the course of 27 years, they have become parents to my brother and I and three golden retrievers.
In a lot of ways, they are incredibly average Americans. And in a lot of ways, they are spectacular. Dad made mom laugh. Mom gave dad her home phone number. And the rest, as they say, is history. I distinctly remember one of the first times dad called me at home prior to us meeting in person and we talked for almost five hours on the phone.
He could hold his own in a conversation and that meant a lot to me. Do you think you fully comprehended what it meant? I hoped that we would, but honestly I had no idea! We had a lot of naysayers surrounding us when we got married—so many people only gave us two or three years tops.
What aspect of marriage were you most pleasantly surprised by? The comfort and security of a long-time partner. It is always good to know that you have someone in your corner who you can count on to be there for you through thick and thin—and to know that your spouse will comfort you when you need comforting and celebrate with you when something good happens. Knowing that your partner cares what happens to you is everything.
What do you think is the most challenging part of being married? It can be hard at times. Also, recognizing that we each have different needs and learning how to compromise and balance it all out. I guess just the challenges of everyday life—financial pressures, raising you kids.
We have faced many over the years, some more intense than others. Financial pressures have been a part of our lives since the beginning, some years more than others. We have learned over the years to trust that God will provide what we need and when we need it, but it still is hard at times. The loss of loved ones has been very challenging, too. I went through a stretch of unemployment and underemployment when we were forced to leave California, and that was very difficult at times.
We had our obstacles raising you kids, too. My surprise 50th birthday party was a highlight for me as I know it was for the whole family. Such wonderful memories were made that night! We were and are so proud of you kids! I was moved when mom cried after her friends from high school came out of the kitchen and surprised her—that was the most special part for me. He loves me unconditionally. He would do anything I asked him to do within reason! When I see myself through his eyes, I see just how much he loves me, and it makes me love him even more.
Also, his love for you and Matt and what a terrific dad he is. He is my biggest cheerleader and always encourages me to go after my dreams. She is the smartest person I know, and I always value her opinion.
Life requires a lot of patience and trusting that everything will be okay. Learn to forgive and to not keep score. Everyone can be difficult to live with at times—learning to move on is very important.
Let go of angry feelings as fast as possible. Forgive yourself when you feel that you have not lived up to your standards.