Twelve years, 1,200 little adjustments
By: Shayna Englin
My husband and I are approaching our 12th wedding anniversary. One or the other of us was in graduate school for four of those years; we’ve been parents for eight of them. David was in the U.S. Air Force for eight of those years. I’ve been the primary breadwinner and he the primary caregiver for four years; and he won elected office just over two years ago — making this the third year that Caleb and I rough it on our own for January, February and March while David braves the halls of the General Assembly two hours away.
A dozen years. How many kisses, loads of laundry, loving glances and annoyed sighs? How many tiffs over nothing, and how many arguments over important things? How many “just a couple more minutes” to snuggle after the alarm rings in the morning, and how many minutes feigning sleep so I wouldn’t have to give up the covers? (Sorry, honey!) How many innocent flirtations… and how many that crossed a line?
We’ve been married through 12 years of change and growth for both of us; and we’re married still because those dozen years included countless little adjustments. I gave a little, he gave a little. We’ve both forgiven some and promised not to forget that we chose each other for reasons that endure.
In 12 more years Caleb will be a college student (fingers crossed), and I have no clue what that will mean for David and me as individuals, or for our marriage.
But this I know: if there’s going to be an “us” after another 12 years, we’ll need to keep learning how to keep track without keeping score, making sure we tend the bonds that have held strong this long.
I’m looking forward to thousands more little adjustments, and remembering just one great big truth: I’m in love with my best friend; married to a tremendous partner; and lucky to have had a dozen (mostly) amazing years with him. I’m hoping for 12 more years of love and luck.
Tell us: What’s the secret to keeping a marriage fresh?