So … during date night … last night, out to dinner, feeling proud after 26 years of marriage, hard work, raising kids, building duel careers, etc., approaching our empty nest … when we never knew each other without sharing parenthood (with not one single regret) … this is the conversation:
Me: We should be so proud of all that we’ve accomplished together, the ups and downs. We worked hard. We’ve achieved so much on multiple levels. Like you said the other night, there’s no more dwelling on the past. We are moving forward and ready to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Who knows how long we have on this earth?”
Him: A smile and head shake, and a “Yes.”
He squeezes my hand and I feel like I’m racing over the finish line. Wind in my hair. Sun shining. An Olympic champion in the event life signed me up for … one I feared that I couldn’t possibly win on the day I started. A determined underdog in the big race.
ME, feeling triumphant: “Yes! We’re a power couple!!! It’s so awesome! We complimented each other and both made it in the way we were each most comfortable. We ultimately stayed true to ourselves yet evolved together.”
HIM: Another smile. He loves seeing me so happy. I’m so proud of him!
ME, overwhelmed with pride: “We’re like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie!!!”
We stare at each other … processing our great power couple connection.
SUDDENLY, simultaneously … we both get it.
ME: CRAP!! THEY GOT DIVORCED! Our hearts sink slightly … then we laugh.
ME: Well, we don’t need to compare ourselves to anyone. We’re unique.”
He thinks …
HIM: Maybe we’re like Katheryn Zata Jones and Mike Douglas. They’re still together, right?
ME: True …. He’s a lot older than her and she has bipolor disorder, I think … but they’re still married …. I think ….
HIM: There you go.
We smile. We’re good. We’re still having fun.
A huge key to a successful marriage:
Find someone who never, ever stops making you smile … and laugh.
And don’t forget … it’s a long game.