This is written in response to Sadje’s What Do You See weekly prompt.
When I saw this week’s prompt, I couldn’t get over how appropriate it is for me. 3-15-23 is my 20th wedding anniversary. Look at these beautiful clueless babies:
We picked invitations with a castle, our theme was happily ever after. We bought matching cocktail napkins and matchbooks. Our favors were candy bars with personalized wrappers. And this, 1 Corinthians 13, was one of our readings (us and probably like 70% of other married Christian couples).
Married 20 years and I want to tell you, you can be happily married, but it ain’t a walk in the park. Ray is my best friend, he is my teammate, and my absolute favorite Pokemon, however the love you have that’s still kind of brand new and shiny is not the same love 20 years later. It is no longer brand new and sparkly, but worn like your favorite jeans. Comfortable. Familiar. Safe.
In sickness and in health, yikes, ‘in sickness’ can be rough. I still remember a Thanksgiving when everyone in my house had the stomach flu, we have 1 real bathroom, one horrifying Pittsburgh potty, and 2 small kids that couldn’t remember why they had buckets near their beds. In sickness can test you. That doesn’t count these new old sicknesses we are collecting, like how I am now pre-diabetic or how when Ray sneezes he pulls something in his neck.
Overall, love is patient, but it is not always LOVE that is trying to get to a family anything on time. Maybe patience flies out the window, as does sanity, as we try to depart in a timely manner. Love does not boast? Does boasting cover “I told you so?” Because, every now and then either of us rejoice in being the right one. As for the keeping of records of past mistakes, that one is iffy. I used to hit many things with the car. There is definitely a list because 1. I got us kicked off the insurance and 2. Ray never lets me forget it.
But seriously, being happily married takes some work, together and separately. Loving each other is easy, but growing and staying connected with all the hectic-ness of life can be hard sometimes. Being honest is vital. The only secret I keep from Ray is how much secret $$$ I am stashing at any given moment (he’s in accounting, do you know how tiresome responsible budgets can be?). Being best friends helps us go the distance. If I have piping hot tea, I want to serve it to him (and then Jillian and Bre). If something hilarious happens, I want to share it with him. The amount of laughing we have done in the last 20 years (24 with dating) is an astounding amount. I swear we could have fun with just a cardboard box. I used to worry about when it goes back to me and him in a few years, as the girls grow older. Then, we get a day to ourselves, a few stolen hours, and we talk non-stop, or cuddle up and watch a show, and I know we will be fine. Those babies that fell in love are still in here somewhere.
Really, finding someone you can go through the hard parts of life with is vital. Jillian and I discuss all the time how hard it must be to be married to someone who isn’t your match. Sometimes we prop the other up through the hard parts, sometimes we crawl together, and sometimes we stop and just feel the enormity of whatever is happening and stand up and move forward together. Life is hard. There is no simple happily ever after promised to you when you marry, it is something you work for and fight for because you know what you have is worth it.
If I had any wisdom to impart after 20 years it would be to stay teammates, grow and change together, take small pockets of time together to stay connected, help each other through the hard times, and laugh together through the rest.
Today I am celebrating 20 years of love with my best friend, my favorite Pokemon.
-Nicole Smith, Momoetry
6 thoughts on “20 Year Wisdom”
Specially and specifically made for each other!
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A beautiful post, full of love and wisdom Nichole. Thanks for sharing this and for joining in. A very happy anniversary once again.
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A beautiful post. best wishes for the 20th wedding Anniversary.
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Thank you so much!
Such wise and beautiful advice. It’s hard work and its worth it.