Forty-two years ago today, with stars in my eyes and no inkling of what lie ahead, I married my husband, Mr. Smith. Under a flowered arbor and wearing a crown of stephanotis and gypsophila and a flowing white dress, I said “I do.”
Some statistics suggest the average American marriage lasts eight years. With my 42 years of experience, I feel entitled to pontificate away on what keeps the magic alive, or at least what keeps a marriage intact. At the very least, at some point to be able to post Stormy’s Top Ten Tips for Staying Married. What I have learned over time is that what is right for one couple, may not be right for another. Many, many people say it’s important to marry your best friend. Interestingly, I have never thought of Mr. Smith as my best friend. In fact, the concept of marrying your best friend always seemed a little disconcerting to me.
On our morning walk yesterday, I inquired of Mr. Smith if we were friends, if he thought of me as his best friend. He said “Well, we like spending time together and if that is the benchmark of being friends, I’d say we are friends.” When I pushed him as to whether he considers me his “best friend”, he acknowledged that we both need others in our lives to add dimension and depth, but I am his primary person.
This gave me much to ponder. I didn’t marry Mr. Smith thinking of him as a best friend, I thought he was hot and interesting. Perhaps over the years we have grown into friends. He certainly embodies many of the characteristics of a best friend. He admires how much I love being a mother and grandmother. He accepts me with my flaws but encourages me to be my best. He has loyally stood by me during my biggest challenges and most painful failures. He listens to me when I need him to but backs off when I need him to. And he still thinks I’m pretty!
We have certainly had our ups and downs during our 42 years. Fortunately, we have been able to deal with the tough times as a team. Sometimes one of is captain of that team, and sometimes the other steps up. There are times I have to filter the stars in my eyes with rose-colored glasses and I have no doubt Mr. Smith has his own coping mechanisms. Yet I know for sure we have made a life together that combines romance and friendship.
Forty-two years later, he’s still the one.
C’est la vie
That’s a beautifuuly long time. Me and my husband will be together plus married 16 years next month and between you, me and the trees I have thought of running for the hills but he will do something that chases those thoughts right out of my head! He says I’m his best friend and he’s mine. Best things of all he’s loyal and still thinks I’m pretty:)
Forty-two years is a loooong time, but sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday we were getting married. I doubt there’s a married person who hasn’t thought of running for the hills sometimes. I’m sure your husband is glad you stay!
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Sweet photos! From what I read in “About Me”, you and Mr. Smith had the great opportunity to live in 5 different states. What kind of work allowed you to move to such interesting places? Or did each move represent a different kind of job? Or no job at all! Maybe someone said, “Hey, babe, let’s try Atlanta!! I ask because, while I’m not all that big on traveling, I LOVE living in different places. I KNOW the midwest and I KNOW the west coast. I KNOW Mexico and I KNOW Spain. Moving is difficult and disruptive BUT the process of coming to know a new place to the point of calling it your own is my definition of EXCITING. Which state did you enjoy most? If you could relocate again to anywhere of your choosing, where would it be? Barcelona calls me but then so does Scotland (and sometimes even Rolling Prairie!).
My first trip abroad was to Scotland and I loved it. My husband was in England on business so I met him in London and we took the train to Inverness. Then we rented a car and drove around for a week. It was beautiful! I haven’t made it to Spain yet, but spent some time in Portugal and would love to go back. But hands down, Paris is my favorite!
Paris is on MY bucket list. I found the Scots AND the Portuguese to be the nicest people; both countries are soooo beautiful. Driving through Scotland is the only way to go; it had a magical quality – great, if you can remember which side of the road to stay on!!