33 Years and counting!

A friend of mine has been blogging about lasting committed relationships, marriages.   It made me reflect a bit on mine.   I have been married to my husband for  33 years today  and been with him for 36 years.  People grow and change  so much between their 20’s and their 50’s.  What makes some relationships last and others not?

I think first and foremost a last relationship is based on people with the same core values.   Your core values must be fundamentally the same.  I am not saying that you have to be the same in how you get to your destination.   In fact, it is more interesting if the you see the method to achieving the core values differently.   I love the mental challenges of a debate.  I love it when my husband plays devil’s advocate challenging me to look at things from the other side, and questioning my methods.  It drives me nuts when he will argue a point of view neither of us hold, because he likes to jerk my chain and see me explain how I got to my position.

Second you need to want the best for the other person in a relationship.     Our wedding vows stated that we wanted  each other to become all that they could be, and we support one another in that quest.   It wasn’t what you  wanted to be, it was that you could be. That is a pretty tall order.  In your 20’s you think you know what you want to be, but you will change and evolve struggling to find your destiny through out the years.  Sometimes we think we know what our spouse or partner should be or we want them to be.  It takes great faith to allow them to find themselves and evolve.  To stay together through that evolution that you did not sign up for that is part of that vow of wanting them to be all that they could be.    What they can be in the 20’s will be a long way what  they will need to be when they get to their 50’s.  This is that time that the core values support you as things change and yet the core values are still the same.

Lastly  you  need to be your own person but be one half of a whole.   I find that to be an oxymoron as I write it, but if you have it you know exactly  what I mean.    It is sort like you  need to like to spend time together and  just as importantly you need to spend time apart.     Too much togetherness  or too much time apart can be damaging.   I love to spend time with my spouse, but also crave that time that we spend apart.   He likes to do somethings I can’t imagine doing, and I don’t care to try.   I have some friends he can’t figure out what our connection is, but one of the friendships is nearly 20  years old and isn’t going anywhere.   Those differences are what we bring to the table and makes us together better.  We like to do lots of things together, and are always looking to find new ways to spend time together in ways  that don’t involve sitting in the same room watching TV.  Being together is a state of consciousness not a state of physical proximity.  It does not mean all the things we do together we like equally, it means that we like each others company and want to do them together.

I don’t know if this is really the magical answer, but it has work for 33 years for me.  It is what love has been.   It is what love is for us.

I Feel Special

My husband and I don’t do Christmas, birthday or anniversary gifts, with each other, family or friends.     Instead we get gifts when we see something that speaks to us and tells us it the perfect item for some one and we want to share with them.   It is a statement that you are special.  My husband just told me I was special when I got my first bike in over 20 years.  I had been thinking about one, and looked at models for many weeks, but last Saturday it was coming to be.

I used to live in the city and ride my road bike daily back and forth to work.  It was one of my fittest periods in my life.   I made that commute  daily, and then carried my bike up three flights of stairs to my brownstone apartment.   Unfortunately I was part of an accident with someone who failed to yield.  That accident changed me, I no longer had the confidence on my bike and definitely had lost the gumption I needed to be out there with rush hour traffic and metro buses.

Over the years I have tried to get back “on that horse” more than once.   Finally I was ready and my husband let me know that he knew it too.   I now have a bike.

Today I rode it twice, taking little jaunts of 3/4 mile.   It shows that I have a long ways to go to getting fit enough to really go out there and do some serious distance.   The coolest part of it all is that this gift makes me feel pretty darn special.

30 and Counting

30 years ago today we were married in Judge Allen Oleisky’s office in the Minneapolis City Hall Building.  Judge Oleisky’s office was in one of the curved turrets in the historic building. It is a great, beautiful, historic place to have been married.    One of the things that has stayed with me in my marriage were my vows.   They  were non-traditional and stated each of us would support and want the  other to become all that we could be  to achieve our individual potentials.  That statement has been a driving force for the 30 years through all the trials and changes we have had.

When we married our license had two spots that were reflective of the changing times.   It stated here after we would be known as ?????.  Women at the time would often keep their maiden name and the form supported that, but it would have also allowed John to have picked a new name as well.   John could have chosen to change his family name back to its historic spelling, but we both opt’ed for Ericson.   It has served us well for 30 years and hopefully many more.