Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our eleventh anniversary. This past year has certainly been a wild one, what with moving into our first house, making our “big move” at the same time to a completely new part of the state, and having a new baby. Our day began with brunch at Chris’s Cosmic Kitchen in Wilmington, traversed down to Kure Beach for a bit of water therapy and a walk on the beach, ultimately ending back in Wilmington with a fondue dinner at The Little Dipper. Our server at dinner asked us, “What’s the secret to staying married that long?”
My first answer was “Forgiveness,” and Peter followed this up with, “Don’t go to bed angry.” In all our years of marriage, as long as we’ve been under the same roof, we’ve slept in the same bed, with maybe the rare occasion of sickness. (I had bad heartburn for a few days with my first pregnancy and slept sitting up on the sofa one night.) We might sometimes sleep with a foot of space between us, yet at some point during the night, our bodies forget about the irritation and we end up in our usual yin-yang-esque position. I’ve screwed up. He’s screwed up. We will both likely screw up again, but we can’t let that become a wedge between us.
I thought later, and the other thing that keeps us united and strong is laughter. In any situation, we have a choice of how we’ll react. Last night is a great example. On the way to dinner, traveling down the interstate, I blew a tire on my car. A little freaky, and somehow rather funny, given that I’d just asked him if the tire would survive my road trip today. He’s changing the tire, and we’re exploring the levity of the situation. One thing we try to do each anniversary is use the “traditional anniversary gift guide” for presents. This actually makes us be creative in our gift-giving. The 11th anniversary gift is steel. Can ya see where I’m going with this? After he got done changing my tire, Peter said, “Well, you’ll get a steel-belted radial for your anniversary gift. I’m getting you steel after all!” I laughed (really, a tire’s OK this year), and we hobbled on to dinner on the spare, getting smiles and waves when people read our back window.
What are your secrets to a long and happy marriage?