Thursday, August 16, 2007

Twenty Two Years Married

On Friday, August 17, my husband and I will celebrate twenty-two years of married life. I'd like to say it's been many years of joy and bliss...but alas...that is not the case. We have probably spent more years pondering the purpose of our marriage and whether we ought to remain married than we've had years of being happy. It has been a rough go of it.

What has made it difficult? Well, a number of things. My mother. As I've mentioned in a previous couple of posts. Thankfully NOT his family, who have been wonderful, and who have been real family to me, us, our kids. No. The challenges have come from things like: alcoholism and, thankfully, recovery (not me); illness and death (FIL and BIL and my mother); finances - that's the big one. I keep thinking, it's only money - but the lack of really sucks. I mean REALLY REALLY REALLY...; and of course raising kids.

But through it all there has been: friendship, love, mutual support, kindness. We don't always see eye to eye. I like to read, he likes to watch TV - that's a big one too.

And, he didn't marry a priest, but in time his wife became one. THAT was huge. However, over time, he has become my biggest supporter. My ministry in the parish is really a team ministry with my husband. He works almost as hard as I do to help us live into our hopes, dreams, and goals. While I'm at the altar he's at the door welcoming folks in and making sure people have what they need. It's really amazing. And, he listens to all my sermons. Sunday after Sunday for almost 10 years. He's become a pretty good "critic"...and I take seriously what he says about others when they preach (like our students and deacons).

Anyway, here we are. 22 years.

Friday, he has to work most of the day and then also at his second job that night. I think we'll have some time to take the dogs out for walk in the afternoon. On Sat. we'll go to an art fair (kind of an annual anniversary tradition) between the funeral I have in the morning and his night time job. Then on Sunday we have a family birthday party.

That's life. Twenty two years of marriage. I've known him for 24 years, almost half my life, half of his.

I'm glad we've made it past the years when I thought the only answer was divorce. Yeah, I've been there several times. And, this is not to dish divorce, it's sometimes the right choice or at least the choice that is made. I could have made it, I would have been ok if I had. It's not like I made the "better" choice...it's just the decision I made...But. At least I can say, our marriage is strong, not perfect, but good enough.

So. Here's to 22 years and 22 more, 'cuz now I'm sure I'm in it for the long haul...

16 comments:

Diane said...

you sound clear-eyed and thankful...I'd want you for a pre-maritcal counselor any day, not some of these "everything is beautiful" people.

Thanks.

Barbara B. said...

yes, here's to 22 more! congrats!
(and I like the 'team ministry' you've got going--very cool)

Katherine E. said...

I love this post, mompriest. The honesty of it--yes, like diane said, you're so "clear-eyed."

Your husband sounds like a great guy. You mention that he works two jobs and is in recovery. Big things there.

My husband jokes about being "the preacher's wife." And everyone kind of laughs when he says that, but like your husband, he's really my biggest supporter, too. In this culture, that's really something. I love it that you have a team ministry with your husband.

Congratulations on 22 years, mompriest! Heartfelt!

mompriest said...

Thanks, everyone.

cpclergymama said...

Congrats! Our 5 yr is the 24th and we have had several of the same "talks" money is always in the mix, but we both try to remember that richer or poorer thing. Since he was a minister, and I was well on my way to becoming one, we laughed at the thought of richer! I hope that I can stay as honest and true to myself and our commitment as you seem to have in your 22 years. Blessings!

Serena said...

Beautiful "clear-eyed" reflection about your marriage and the "mix" that a real marriage is ... and what I had hoped to have. Blessings on you both today and always.

Mary Beth said...

Hooray for you!

I was shocked to learn that it gets HARDER as you go, not EASIER.

duh, I guess.

I'm going to bookmark this and come back to it.

hip2B said...

Many many happy congratulations!

mompriest said...

I think marriages, at least mine, cycle through good and difficult times. These are influenced by other things going on: the stage of child rearing, the stage of career(s), other family influences, world events (our financial situation is the result of 911 and small company fall out from loss of business and the long journey to rebuild a career, which may in fact never be rebuilt) (sigh)...so. I can't say it gets harder with time, just that some times are hard, others not so much...

Mother Laura said...

Congratulations on staying together through so much....and thank you for the honesty about the struggles, which is often in short supply especially in church circles. We too have had a good but very challenging 18 years and stayed together more than once for the children (not that they rule out a divorce--as you point out, it's sometimes the healthiest option for everyone--but for us they raise the stakes to where it had better be clearly better for everyone apart and thankfully it hasn't been). Prayers and blessings that the good grows and continues and the hard keeps dropping away...

mompriest said...

thank you. so, our simple day, we took a long walk through the forests preserve. good thing we brought along the DEET - woa, so much rain and made for so many bugs, especially mosquitos...wow. I made it out with nary a bite...now, he's getting ready to go (back) to work and I'm going to have a crack at my sermon for the funeral tomorrow and also the sermon for Sunday. how fun is that...(i'm being a good sport, really).

the reverend mommy said...

I hope your celebration is wonderful. Here's to the long haul...

Nancy said...

Congratulations!

I've decided there's not much that is easy about being married, but I think overall it's making me into a better person.

mompriest said...

Yes, that's a good way to put it, I think it's making me a better person, too...

lj said...

Congratulations and thanks for the honesty. As someone recently separated there are so many feelings. We made it for 15 years, why not another 15? Looking at old couples together and realizing that won't be us. But there's also relief.

I appreciate your honesty in recognizing you had hard choices and staying together was one you made. Good for you. And may the next 22 bring more joy than frustration and the comfort of being known and loved for the long haul.

mompriest said...

I understand that feeling of relief. I think (often) it is not a matter of the "right" choice or the "wrong" choice, but our ability to live with the choices we make and let them be (and become) the "right" one 'cuz it's what we thought best at the time.

Blessings on you as you move into and through the days ahead.

I will with God's help....uncomplicating the complicated

I was baptized when I was nine years old. I have vivid memories of the baptism itself, of being terrified, as I was fully immersed three ti...