We know the look in each other’s eyes. We know what it feels like to give everything and never feel like it’s enough. We know what it feels like to wake up and wonder how you’ll ever make it through another day, because today we celebrate 29 years of marriage.
Celebrating a milestone like our 29th wedding anniversary requires a huge shoutout, it requires a massive pat yourself on the back moment for not giving up type of party and celebration – but we don’t have that time. I am healing yet again from some seriously debilitating chronic illnesses and my husband is working the most crazy hours to care for myself and our youngest son who has autism and other intellectual disabilities. So, I feel this certainly is the perfect time for me to take a stroll back along our journey, to see how we got to where we are today establishing what contributed to our marriage success and longevity. I look at the modern world and marriages like ours that are long lasting and they are incredibly and statistically ending in big numbers.Separation and divorce rates are extremely high, but I believe in today’s world there are so many different relationship factors that constitute couples togetherness. I totally believe that anyone who has been married this long knows without a doubt how difficult and enriching it can be!
So let me begin, with how my husband Paul and I met. It was the mid 1980s and as most 18 & 19 year olds, we often were at the popular nightclubs. The Chevron on St Kilda Road, Melbourne was our first meeting across a busy dance floor. Phone numbers were exchanged, but it wasn’t for a number of months till we reacquainted. I had found his phone number, while clearing out some clutter probably in my handbag I would suggest….but that was a long time ago. We spoke, we organised a time to again meet and after dating for a year we announced our engagement in 1986 and wedding the year after on Monday November 2, 1987, because ultimately we were sure we were each other’s perfect match.
Now I am pondering what a successful marriage should look like – what do the accomplishments look like. I cannot answer you that in general terms, but I do know that I am incredibly proud of us and so fortunate to have found the man of my dreams who has given me the most precious breath that is simply called life. I don’t want you to think for one second that our life together has not been filled with issues and challenges – HELL, we have faced it all; cancer, chronic illness as mentioned earlier, failed business’s, financial hardship, many personal difficulties, parenting…the list is long and endless. These issues and challenges are not necessarily only to our family; they are just part of life and many couples face similar circumstances everyday but what makes our marriage last, is that we are committed to each other through our vows taken that hot November evening in 1987. Some marriages have not been able to withstand the stress, no matter how much time and effort is put into them, but I believe our efforts have brought us a jubilant and most powerful success to bring us NOW to the 29 year mark.
I now want to stop and pay special mention to some of the special attributes that I feel have contributed to us still being married. These attributes will be our legacy as a loving couple in marriage and life working together as a team, to raise 5 children through ups and downs. But some how making it through with compassion and strength will be our most greatest achievement.
I think in our marriage we have both lived on hope, courage and faith to keep our marriage alive at times! Many times we have needed to dig so very deep to find our answers, but here are five ways that have helped our marriage:
- Unselfishness – It is an amazing feeling when you are married to a most wonderful man that puts your needs before his. This, has been consistently across our whole marriage when he has always helped at home with the raising of our children and then across my long battle with chronic illnesses and disease. I believe it is the ultimate compliment and validation of our partnership.
- Connect With Each Others Interests – My husband Paul LOVES cricket. I have become a knowledgeable cricket learning so much more about the sport that he is so crazy about. He indulges my passion for vegan food and mindful and spiritual adventures.
- Patience – Our journey of life has been oh so full of ups and downs that I know every family will encounter at some time. However we have had to deal with an abundance of family illnesses, financial issues and the like for many years. I give so much gratitude to my husband for approaching each issue and challenge that we have had to face with such patience. He has calmed my many moments of irrational behavior through powerful conversations that were so more fruitful resulting in our successful partnership. It’s only recently that I’ve learnt to be patient, that I owe to my husband.
- Best Friend – Our marriage is a 30+year friendship. Ive heard how many couples describe their partners as their “best friend” but it is so true! I would rather spend time with him than any other person in this whole entire world. If I discovered something new or perhaps traveled to a new place, it would never be the same without Paul right beside me.
- Taking Chances Together – Across our journey together, we have taken a wide variety of different paths and chances, trying something that no one else was doing – sometimes it worked, other times not! No one grows with out challenging them self. We have both put ourselves out there, been vulnerable, shared feelings and experiences. Nothing moves forward, if we aren’t taking chances to improve our thoughts, feelings and actions for ourselves and each other.
In today’s world there is so much negativity and seriously I find it very frustrating. In stopping, looking back and sharing our love story, I hope that I can heighten other marriages and relationships to bloom with much more optimism. When all is said and done, what else really matters but that of your family? We all need to have hope, courage and faith for the future and marriage is not easy, but it is worth it.
A happy and long lasting marriage doesn’t happen overnight AND that’s why it’s long lasting. It succeeds by concentrating on all of the special attributes that I’ve mentioned and by using deep intention for love and mateship of husband and wife.
Here’s cheers to our TWENTY NINE years of good, bad, sickness, health and life in marriage my husband Paul – I love you so very much.
Snapchat 👻 @Simply_LisaRaie
“wandering towards wellness”