I’ve been writing a success story each week, using the exact words sent to me by the person in the successful marriage or relationship, so you can see it through their eyes. Some stories were short. Some were longer. We all know (hopefully) that one couple that seems so very much in love after many years together. You know the one. They still hold hands and kiss in public, and you think their life is idyllic.
I am sure that they still have arguments, but they have found a way to hold on to the magic. Sometimes people might not realize that their marriage is a “successful” one, but I think that if they are still together after many years, and have not killed each other or left each other, then they must be doing something right!!
This week was Joanna’s week to share… she must have just discovered our blog, because she has been commenting on all the posts this week, and gave us all her favorites. Since I knew that she has been married for a very long time, I asked her to share her story with us, and here it is in her own words.
Success story? You mean because I have hung onto my marriage for 16 years? LOL that is not success. We just made a deal that the first person to walk out the door has to take all 4 kids with them. Neither one of us can handle them all on our own. (Just kidding of course…well mostly)
I do not think we are anymore successful than the next person. Believe me, we can fight, but we just decided that when we got married that was it. And we have 4 kids that depend on us and they come first. Well and it helped that we were friends before we started dating, so even when I am mad enough to throw his clothes out on the front lawn, he is still one of my very best friends.
So yeah we have our moments when friendship is all that has held us together for the kids. And other moments that are amazing and we can fall back on to bring us back together. I guess we just figure what is out there is no better than what we have, so we might as well make it work. I doubt that is a story of success for you. Sorry. I am just a plain ol’ minivan driving, carpooling, soccer mom. I love my kids more than life itself and my husband is a pretty decent guy that puts up with me when I am being a *itch.
What makes our marriage work: LOL well.. sense of humor has to be #1
How did we meet?
We do agree that it was at church, but I am pretty sure that it was after a Sunday meeting and he thinks it was a weekend dance. But I was trying to find out if a guy I wanted to ask out was available. A mutual friend thought Steve knew the guy.
We were friends through mutual friends and activities for about 8 months. Then my boy friend invited me to go camping, but his old girl friend showed up and he ignored me (we all belonged to a large singles congregation).
Back then I was anorexic so did not take up any food. I last ate on Thursday lunch and had planned to be up there for dinner on Friday, but got there just as they were clearing it away. By Saturday I was hungry, so Steve drove me to the nearest gas station. They were remodeling and only had twinkies and snow.. what are they.. the coconut cream-filled cakes. I knew that I could not eat those.
I gave up, but when we got back Steve shared his dinner with me. We ended up sitting by the fire all night talking and well **blushing** kissing (we had volunteered to be sure the fire went out safe so Steve’s buddies stoked that fire so that it would never go out).
He was not the sort of guy that I dated but I wanted to make my boy friend jealous (which did not work.. that one was over). Well, Steve had lots of good friends.
Another friend gave him tickets to the play “Chess” and being a bit superficial, I accepted because it sounded fun. And after every date, I decided it would be the last, but his friend gave him Really Good tickets every week. Before I knew what was happening, we had been dating for 2 months.
At about that time he told me he was going to marry me and I laughed at him. Then I proceeded to do my best to drive him crazy. (Poor guy) I finally called it quits. But my dad (!!) invited Steve for dinner for Valentine’s Day. It was an invitation that Steve could not refuse and he drove 3 hours to come to dinner at my parent’s while I was visiting (we had stayed friends and my dad broke his computer so Steve would have to fix it).
Then Steve’s fire stoking friend pulled me aside and told me I was an idiot and that Steve was the best husband “material” I would ever find and if he has a sister he would make her marry Steve. I was the closest he has to a sister so I told me to call Steve. I did. Crazy? Probably.
I guess I sort of proposed to him. I told him if we were getting back together, we might as well plan on getting married. We just seemed to keep coming back to each other and had been dating (off and on) for a year (he had been chasing me for almost 2). Not really romantic
So he took me to several jewelery stores and let me pick out 5 rings I liked. He asked my dad’s permission (my dad gave him grief).
Then one day I came home from work (I sort of knew something was up). He had moved my dining room table into the living room and had borrowed his mom’s bests; china, silverware, and linens. When I walked in the door, there he was standing in middle of my living room, dressed to the nines with dinner from my favorite restaurant on the table.
He dropped to one knee and proposed. I could not speak (even though I knew it was coming I was stunned). We enjoyed a lovely dinner and evening just the two of us.
So we started at the fire pit in June 1992. I broke up with him in January 1993. We got back together and engaged in June/July 1993, but we had to keep things quiet because his brother got married in July. We announced it in August and married in January 1994 after a long negotiation. (I wanted April but he wanted to get married before he turned 30) After some well place fortune cookies we agreed on Winter break (he was still in college) and it gives us a 3 day weekend for our anniversary every year.
I do not know that our marriage is a success. We just decided when we finally married that that was it. Maybe a sense of humor. We do kid each other that the first one ot leave has to take the kids. But we have had rough times and I guess what has kept me coming back is he is my best friend. Well that and when we were young newlyweds a wise women warned me against complaining about him. Everyone has little things that drive us crazy, but her husband had died early and she told us how much she wished he was around to snore at night and leave the cap off the toothpaste and his socks on the floor. I guess it is perspective. And I try not the complain about him. The more you focus on the positive the more you see. Well all that and he puts up with me. Not too many guys would do that.
That was a beautiful story Joanna, and I am so glad you shared it with us. I think many people would love to have the kind of marriage you have. I know I would.