Wednesday, November 30, 2011

For Better or for Worse

Yesterday was our twentieth anniversary.  We celebrated by going to a very fancy restaurant and we did enjoy it but I'll be honest, this has not been a good year for our marriage.  Below is a picture of us shortly before our wedding. We were so happy!

Here we are on Thanksgiving.  I was pissed at him for something and am elbowing him away from me.

Our marriage is not one that's all sunshine and rainbows and saccharine facebook statuses. Those lovey-hubby posts always irritate me anyway.  On the other hand, this is no Kardashian marriage.  When we stood before the priest and vowed "for better or for worse" we didn't know how much "worse" we were in for.  A lot, it turned out.

We spent our honeymoon driving to Michigan where Jon was in graduate school and had to return to class.  We didn't care that we weren't getting a proper honeymoon.  We were in love!  We'd have a honeymoon someday.  (Hasn't happened yet.)  Our first anniversary was spent driving from Buffalo to Michigan in a snow storm with a crying baby.  We got to our ice cold house late in the evening and--I remember this particularly--ate vegetarian hot dogs that looked like scalded human fingers and freezer burned wedding cake.  I was already pregnant again.  Our second anniversary was the day of Jon's brother's funeral.  He died tragically young of a brain tumor.  We had two babies by then.

And so it went, an opera of mishaps both comic and tragic:  home renovations, deaths, illness, road trips, DIY carpentry, hurricanes, blizzards, leaky roofs, being robbed, shitty landlords, mice, rats, squirrels, birds, ants, fleas, poverty, broken down cars, puppies, the occasionally appalling behavior of our children and much much more.  Much of this blog is a catalog of our more comic disasters.  To give one example, here's the story of how I had to help him find the suitcases so he could leave me.

Lately we've been facing a new crisis and seeing a counselor.  She gave us an assignment for the night:  to go out to dinner and discuss what we'll be doing twenty years from now.  It's always fun to make plans for the future and the exercise served its purpose--for us to visualize ourselves together.


  1. Happy anniversary. I'm sorry that this has been a challenging year and hope that 2012 will be a better one for you both.

  2. Love your honesty! Marriage is a tough gig and to stick it out for as long as you have is a testament to your strength. I hope you make it another 20 years! Just remember, men don't live as long as women!

  3. Thank you for sharing the hard stuff too. Happy Anniversary.
    I too disdain the lovey-hubby posts- blech. Cynically, I always assume that it reflects the problems of the marriage when someone has to continually update that his/her love for his/her spouse. Perhaps that is because I do a lot of divorces in my practice.
    Commitment is a hard/wonderful/messy thing.

  4. Happy Anniversary! I'm sure a sense of humor and good communication has saved many marriages, and you seem to have both. You were babies! We married young, too - 20 and 24 - and have been married 22+ years now. I attribute our relatively low drama marriage to the fact that we were married for 8 YEARS before we had kids!


  5. Power to you for working on it. I think the anniversaries we're able to credit mean more than weddings. Happy anniversary--and I hope you both weather the worse weather so you can enjoy balmy times together.

    p.s. your husband ROCKED the 80's hair.

  6. The pictures are worth easily 2000 words. Sorry for the both look great in spite, and I'm glad you were able to enjoy your fancy dinner!

  7. I cannot believe that you and your Jon have ever been anything but best of buddies.

    My Beloved and I have never had a fight. She's never thrown a paper knife at me, she's never locked herself in the bathroom while screaming that I'm an unfeeling bastard, she's never run out of our car holding our baby after I didn't cricise her driving, she's never cut off the power cord of my computer because I wasn't using it too much and ignoring her.


    Happy Anniversary.
    That counselor's idea was a good one.

  8. Youse guys are a great couple, especially because you don't hide all of the imperfections. Besides, complacency leads to boring blog posts.

  9. It must have been hard to have kids so early in your marriage. I got married late (we were both 35), and we waited two years before having a kid. We'd never had a fight before Emma came along --how to raise her is not the basis of every argument, I swear. I imagine that trying to reconcile parenting styles breaks up more marriages than anything else!

    Here's hoping for a better 2012!

  10. When we stood before the priest and vowed "for better or for worse" we didn't know how much "worse" we were in for. A lot, it turned out.

    Thats why it's in the vows, and thats why they are vows.
    None of us would get through it without some conviction.
    Hang in there, it gets better.

  11. If you ever want some free therapy, you can call me and we can swap stories -- laugh some, cry some. It's been since 1999 for me and Dave, and boy do we have some whoppers. Loving him I can do, but liking him (his habits & history) sometimes is much harder.
    I'm hoping it gets better and that someday, in 50 years he will still look at me like Grandpa always looked at Grandma.
    It's going to take more work and time.... time without little kids, sky high daycare costs, and his parents around before we get there.
    Hang in there!

  12. Oh, my gosh, you guys look like BABIES in that first picture! How old were you?

  13. Marriage IS a tough gig. James and I have been together for eleven years now, and it's about 70% good. The rest varies between awful, sad and funny. And like other people have said, we don't have kids yet. I can't wait to see what fun will be had then.

  14. The fact you are elbowing him away is a good sign- he still wants to get near! Time together and visualization hopefully will help. All else fails I suggest you both watch the kids while each take a vacation alone! Seriously! I found a hiking meet up that has vacations hiking to awesome spots and it is so good for the spirit. If you each take time away completely alone I bet you both come back rejuvenated and appreciating each other all the more. ( Writers retreat perhaps for you. Whatever John would find self nurturing for him.)

  15. A bravely honest post. Marriage is not easy and there's a certain sense of failure for those of us who end unhappy marriages. I'm always quick to tell everyone that the divorce wasn't my choice but really, it doesn't absolve me from guilt or blame.

  16. I don't do lovey-hubby posts because I don't want him to get too cocky. Also, that crap is corny and I'm too cool for it. (Insert cool emoticon because I am also too cool for emoticons.)

    Happy belated anniversary! I've heard the first 20 years are the hardest. (Insert winky emoticon.)