Tomorrow my husband and I celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. Through those years, we have had some really great times and some really bad times. We raised three children and they have been such a joy for us. They have given us eleven grand children and we love them all. They range from 2 months to 23 years old.
We have moved twelve times and had numerous jobs. We have been without and we have had abundance. We lost our retirement during the recession and will probably have to work until we die. We have been blessed with good health and we love to bike on the weekends and enjoy the outdoors. We spend time together and find things we like to do together.
God has always been a big part of our lives and we would not be together today if it was not for Him. We have had two years of counseling to help us work through our stuff and figure out how to adapt and accept each other. We have both changed and grown in a positive direction.
This last weekend we went to a couples retreat with 7 other great couples and had a wonderful time. We all had a chance to tell our stories of how we met and we laughed as each story was unique and special. I would say that we all bonded before the weekend was over. We went Geocaching one afternoon and took a walk to some beautiful falls on the McCloud River one morning.
Staying connected to others has been a vital part in keeping our relationship on track. Couples that isolate themselves have a higher rate of divorce, because they do not have anyone to help them when times are tough and we all experience hard times. We need people to reach out to and to reach out to us.
Staying in love is a choice and in order to do that we need to always turn toward our spouses emotionally even when we do not feel like it. If we do not, walls get built up and we turn toward other things and people to meet our needs for love and validation. Being married is hard work, but the rewards of doing the work and putting our own ego aside and thinking about the other person helps the relationship stay healthy and safe. We are responsible for building the safety in our relationship and what we say and what we do when times are hard has a huge impact on how the other person responds to us. We need to be kind and thoughtful and guard our words and actions.
My husband and I have always supported each other in the things we want to do. It is important to have our own identity and continue to grow and learn no matter how old we get. We always try and find the positive in everything and make the best of life. We are grateful for everything we have and life is an adventure for both of us. We love each other more now than we ever have and as we grow old together, I pray that we can always maintain a positive attitude and continue to live life to its’ fullest.
Vickie Parker, LMFT
vickiemft.com, Online Counseling