Wednesday, July 31, 2013

20 Years Down!

I've done few things for 20 years consistently.  Actually, I can't think of much that I've done that long.  Maybe drink Diet Coke?  Nope, I used to drink the RED CAN if memory serves me.  Heck, I haven't even always been a Miller Lite fan (yes, I know... shocked).
I've been a mom.  That's a pretty big accomplishment.  And I've had the same best friend for 20 years.  That's kinda huge.  And now... I've been married.  For 20 years.  In a row. 
Yep, I'm astonished, too.
In these twenty years, I've learned a lot about not only love but life in general.  My marriage has most definitely shaped me into the woman I am today.  More confident.  Courageous.  Free spirited.  Brave.  It's the things that I like the most about myself that came directly from having the love of a good man.  I've been pondering how in the world I could summarize 20 years of marriage in a single list, which seems impossible....  but I'm going to give it a shot anyway. 
Compromise is cornerstone to a long marriage, as long as I get my way. - Mr. Davis
We didn't live together before marriage.  Once I moved into Hubs' apartment, I very quickly learned a valuable piece of information that otherwise may have made me rethink my commitment.
He slept on my side of the bed.
After 20 years, he still has it.  And it's still mine.  And I STILL want it back.
If that's not compromise, I don't know what is.  I should earn a medal.
Fight Fire with Fire
Lots of self help marriage books will tell you that if you have to fight in your marriage, learn to fight fair.  Never go to bed mad, that's one of my faves.
Whatever.  I think that's all hogwash.
Our method?  If we're going to fight, fight with passion.  Fight with abandon but don't hurt.  Fight with determination for what you believe. 
The make up is that much sweeter.  We just have to try not to kill each other in the process.  Oh... and leave out the eye roll, shoulder shrug or giant sighs. They only exacerbate the argument and get us nowhere.
Giving Hubs the silent treatment makes him happy.
My momma perfected the silent treatment.  She could go DAYS without talking to my father when she was mad.  I never really understood how much restraint and stubbornness she had until I became an adult myself.
When I give Hubs the silent treatment I'm not sure he even notices.  And if he does notice, he probably just likes the quiet.  I'm not really punishing him, I'm rewarding him.  I guess I need to develop a new signature move in the next 20 years.
The score is officially even.
I was a BIG scorekeeper.  I bought you this, what did you buy me?  I did the dishes for three days now it's your turn.  You wronged me doing this, so now I'm the better one (this week).
We are officially even.  Score keeping is absolutely stupid at this point.  I know that Hubs knows I do all of the work in the house.  I also know that he thinks he pulls at least half of the weight if not more than me.  We are both wrong.  The real slacker is our kid, who we drive all over God's green earth to activities, spend all our hard earned cash on and he doesn't pull ANY weight in the house.
It's always been us against them {the kids}.  As soon as I figured out we are on the same team, the score became even and we both win.
MUCH better way to live.
Men really are superior drivers. 
As we have tooled around town in the many cars we have owned, I have always had one constant complaint.
Davis drives SO SLOW.  He has always driven slow, since the moment I met him.  He brakes well ahead of a stop sign, coming slowly to a stop.  He accelerates slowly up to the speed limit and stays there.  He hits his turn signal the proper 50 feet from the stop sign.  He follows all traffic laws perfectly.
It drives me crazy.
One day many years ago I just couldn't take it anymore.  I screamed at him because we were running late (again) and said if he would just drive faster, we could maybe get there in time.  Why didn't he just GO??
His response was one I will never forget.
"It's because you are in the car.  I always drive safely when my family is in the car.  You're the most important people to me."
Communication doesn't have to be spoken.
Davis and I have our own language.  I'm thinking it's much like twins.  It's a mutual understanding of unspoken words... eye contact, gestures, facial expressions.  We have it down.
Chivalry does exist.
I've been told I have heavy feet.  I slam them as I walk, mostly because I'm always in a hurry.  I barrel through people in stores because perusing is just a waste of time.  If I'm out with my family, I'm always 30 steps ahead of them.
But when I slow down, interesting things happen.  Hubs puts his hand on the small of my back.  He grabs a hold of my hand or fingers gently as we walk.  And my biggest revelation?  He holds doors.  Every single door.  He even walks me to my side of the car if given the chance. 
Slowing down really does have it's advantages.
Will is stronger than oak.
It took me a VERY long time to learn that although I want to make Hubs do certain things, I will never, ever win.  His willpower is immense.  He is going to do exactly what he wants, when he wants to do it and how he wants to do it.  Sure, I can push.  I can rant and rave.  But it won't matter.  He is going to do what he wants, period end of story.
So the key is to learn what he wants.  See, even old people can still learn.
It's okay not to like the ones you love as long as you love the one you're with.
Man, we have really disliked each other from time to time.  Oh, and it is no secret.  I'm pretty sure even the Pope knows when we dislike each other.  I've learned that it's totally okay.  Love always carries us through those times until we can find our way back to one another.
Making fun is his way of showing affection.

I am constantly picked on.  In all fairness, I'm such an easy target.  I am gullible and naive to a fault.  I believe everything anyone tells me.  Seriously, who would lie?  That seems like a giant waste of time!  Hubs has perfected testing my vulnerability.  He doesn't hurt me but he certainly picks on me.  And he laughs hysterically at himself when he does.  In those moments, I see love in his eyes.
Our marriage comes first.

This is a tricky one... and one I haven't completely perfected yet.  When Bubba moved out of our home and the constant of high school sports finished, a lull came upon our house.  Little guy was 6 and hadn't really started to eat up our time yet with his own activities.  We stared at each other a lot.  We had a different appreciation for one another.  We started to see what unfortunately few married couples achieve:  life after children.  Quickly we understood - the marriage should come first.  Oh, I get that when kids are involved they have physical and emotional needs that must be met and spouses have to learn to wait a bit.  But ultimately - if your partner doesn't feel like they are the most important person, once the kiddos are gone they might be as well.
When all else fails, drop a John Cusack line.
I absolutely, completely love John Cusack.  From Lane Myer (Better off Dead) who is shamelessly dumped by his girlfriend for the high school jock and tries to kill himself, to Lloyd Dobler, the aspiring kick boxer who falls in love with a smartypants to my all time fave Martin Blank, professional assassin who seeks out his high school girlfriend, the characters he portrays have always made my heart smile.
So it's no surprise that when I'm down and bothered TD can drop a JC movie line and snap me right outta my funk.  Another super secret trick only 20 years could have taught. 
Stuff can wait.

I am constantly scrambling.  Rushing to get to work.  Rushing home to start dinner.  Running out to take little guy somewhere.  Running around the house picking up, doing laundry, doing dishes. 
Hubs enters the house at the end of the day calmly.  Usually having picked up the mail, he slowly goes through it at the kitchen bar.  As I run past him with maybe a quick peck on the cheek, I ask the same question every day.
"How was your day?"
I am guilty of often not hearing his answer.  Because of course I am running somewhere.   This is a HUGE work in progress for me.  But honestly, most of what is distracting me can wait.  It can wait 5 minutes for me to give my Hubs uninterrupted eye contact.  It can wait long enough for him tell me he missed me.
Because when we rush, we miss all of that.
Intimacy is not a distraction.
The sooner I figured out how to go with the flow and allow spontaneity into our (bedroom) marriage, I won.  Enough said on that front... you get the drift.
A united front is the strongest against enemies.
Or the children.  Or our families.
When I first married TD, I struggled with separation a bit from our family.  I gave them WAY to much involvement in my decisions.  And often times, I put some of their opinions before my husband.
And then I learned.  When Hubs and I lock arms, we can fend off the world.  When we work as a unit, we can accomplish anything.  And when we have a common goal, we are guaranteed to exceed it.  Wonder Twins activate.
We are different and that's okay.

Two people couldn't be more different.  We make decisions differently (I'm rash, he's a thinker).  We dress different (He prefers camo, I prefer hipee yoga comfy... yes, that's a style).  He likes radishes (EWW!)  We have learned to accept and rejoice in each other's differences and have stopped trying to change each other.
 I am worthy of forgiveness.
A stubborn, unforgiving, unyielding Scorpio.  That's me, always has been.  I have withheld forgiveness many times in my life to many people.  It is a serious fault of mine, holding grudges.
And because of this, I often don't feel I am worthy of forgiving either.
I make a lot of mistakes.  Every day.  And I carry guilt, shame and fear often because of my words or actions. 
Hubs always forgives me.  When I say the wrong things, do the wrong things or say the wrong things.  Big, small and everything in between.  He shows me I am worth forgiving.  It's helping me to learn to forgive others.
 Children define us for awhile, but not forever.
I will always be a mom.  Hubs will always be a dad.  But individually, we are men and women.  Children are physically exhausting, teenagers are emotionally exhausting and marriage is HARD.  But somewhere after all the dust settles, two adults will become their own people separate from the definition of parents.  I love the father my Hubs is but cannot wait to meet the man standing behind the title.  The glimpses I catch when we are alone make me very, very happy.
 He is my port in a storm... my one true love.
As much as I want everyone to think I always have it together, I don't.  I'm vulnerable.  I'm sensitive.  And I panic way more than people even know.
Hubs is my calm.  He has my back when proverbial shit hits the fan.  He is my biggest fan and my strongest supporter.  And has always been my one true love.  Destined soul mates. 
 I think our time for annulment has expired.
For years we have threatened each other with annulment (as you know we can't use the D word).  We have had moments of selfishness, of perceived unhappiness or even anger toward one another.  We've watched many people fall in love, marry, get angry and get divorced.  We've witnessed many friends never marry to later find themselves lonely, desiring what we have created (however amiss they may be).  We've commented how lucky we are to not be trying to date in the 21st century. 
In the end, we didn't give up.  We made it across an important threshold.  If nothing else, I think we have run out of time for an annulment.
Or maybe that was after the first year?
What I've learned the most is that neither of us are perfect but we seem to be fairly perfect together. 
We shall see what the next 20 years holds.
I love you, Mr. Davis.  Happy Anniversary! 


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