Monday is our eighth wedding anniversary.Llinda and I have been through a lot, but our relationship remains strong. Not problem-free, but strong. Is there any couple that has a perfect relationship?
One of our strengths is that we do not carry over bad feelings from one day to the next, do not hold a grudge with each other. When there is a resentment brewing between significant others and it carries over from day to day, week to week, month to month, that's when you need professional help, I believe.
We both respect and love each other. Without both aspects in your relationship, well, the relationship is in dangerous waters.
I think that dealing with extended family issues has been something of a challenge for us. I married Linda, not her relatives, and vice versa. But the my relationship with her Indiana family has improved greatly over time, as her relationship with them has also improved in tandem.
She has a much more intact family than mine; mine was decimated by my parents' divorce and alcoholism in both my mom and dad, and my mom's mental illness.
Intimacy. I am having problems with ED and have sought medical treatment for it. My next step is to lose weight and reduce or eliminate blood pressure medicine. Hope that does the trick. But this does not prevent us from being intimate. It makes me feel inadequate and a little scared, though. I am 67 and I know that sexual slowdown is inevitable, but I also think that others factors have played a role.
Mutual interests. Yard sales, family, TV, creativity, spirituality. We both have adult kids who we love. She's a crafter, I'm a writer and singer. She majored in ed psych, I have grad degrees in counseling and special ed, something else we share. We both love the mountains and ocean. We both like North Carolina. I miss New England, but that's part of my traumatic past. Not a good idea to go back there. Neither of us miss Florida.
We both love our adult kids and grandkids.
We were both divorced more than once before. Thankfully, we learned many hard lessons from these breakups.
I take medication for Bipolar, and she does for depression. In both instances, the treatment is working.
Religion. I am interfaith, she is Baha'i, but I don't feel led in that direction. I think that creates something of a strain in our relationship, but I think it would be better if I found my own spiritual community.
Politics. I am very engaged, she is not, but we both are center-left, I guess you would say.
She was raised middle-class. I was not. But we both have had a commitment to working with the poor.
We trust each other. This is a major factor in helping us to build our relationship. How do you establish and maintain trust? It's not rocket science. By being honest with each other. By keeping to commitments.
Eight growing years. I think that our lives have improved significantly. Not to say we don't have issues. Not to say we won't have challenges, things I can't even see coming. But I'm very glad we have made it this far.
Happy anniversary, Linda! Monday we will keep it low key. Play the song we played at our wedding by Vince Gill, "When I Said I Do," go out to dinner, watch a movie at home, share a prayer, and no doubt intimacy.
We're not getting any younger, but so what. We're happy together.