Today, Kim and I celebrate or 29th wedding anniversary. It seems like only days have passed since we committed our lives to each other with simple “I do's” nearly three decades ago. I would do it all over again & here's why…
When we got married, neither of us understood the magnitude of committing ourselves to being married. In a moment, we set the course for the rest of our lives.
Near Opposite Personalities
We are nearly polar opposites; Kim is an ISTJ and I am an INTP (Meyers Briggs). Kim is ordered, prefers consistency and is full of purpose. I am unstructured, thrive on variety and am full of “what-ifs”. Part of our longevity and success is due to embracing the differences, not condemning them in each other. Understanding each other in this way took us about a decade to understand and embrace.
We’ve laughed together and at each other. We’ve fought over the trivial & monumental. We’ve celebrated and cried together. We’ve faced reality and imagined the future together. We’ve said and done things that have disillusioned each other and we've enchanted each other. We’ve frustrated and thrilled each other countless times. We’ve been stubbornly wrong or right and asked for forgiveness in both.
There is No Substitute for the Significant
During our 29 years, I have had fleeting attractions – fleeting in terms of a moment – but those attractions, when weighed against our reality were, are, and always will be meaningless. I’ve never viewed these temptations as a sign our “things could be better”, instead I’ve viewed them as a reminder that without constant vigilance against the fleeting, I might trade the significant for the utterly meaningless.
There is no one on the planet who could take the place of my bride. Why? Because she completes and expands me in countless ways, she balances me, grounds me, excites me, encourages me, challenges me and most importantly, she loves me, flaws and all. She reveals my flaws and helps me to compensate or overcome; or, she compensates and overcomes them within herself in my defense when I am unable.
A Fairly Normal Life
Our oldest son was born in 1994. He nearly died twice due to medical issues uncovered during pregnancy and treated via five surgeries afterwards. We emerged from that time stronger and closer. Dan’s a healthy 6’2” college Junior now with a couple of scars that make for great stories.
During our marriage, we’ve been through graduate schools, excelled and doubted our careers, and become parents.
Along the way, we’ve lost parents and grandparents and have supported each others’ parents experiencing serious health issues. We’ve gained and lost friends. We’ve had high expectations of the person we married and learned to temper or raise these expectations as reality was revealed.
We currently struggle to balance work, the schedules of active kids, a college search plus find time to be alone and be present with each other.
If we could make it through those stressful years, we can make it through anything.
Kim is my significantly better half.
One Word: Grateful
When I said “I do” – I had no inkling what it meant; I’ve come to discover it means the above and so much more. I expect to uncover increasing meaning as we continue our life journey together. During hard times I remind myself that I said “I do” and no matter what, I keep my word, and say “I’m in”. During great times, I remember I said “I do” and say “I’m grateful”.
It is through the steadfast commitment to one another that we discover ourselves and each other more fully than we could imagine in the moment of “I do”.
My hope for you, is that you discover or rediscover that special someone who will be what you desire, what you need, what you don’t expect and so much more. I hope when that special person says “will you…” and “I do” that underneath those words is a bedrock foundation that, even though the marriage commitment is barely comprehended at the time, will take the words “for better or for worse” and live them with unwavering faithfulness and love.
Some may say that marriage is a man-made institution, but I say and have experienced it as so much more than I could have ever imagined – it transcends our limitations, our expectations and us.
Here's to the next 29, Babe.