The Miracle of a Lasting Marriage

Love & Sex 29

My husband and I are hiding in our 6-year-old's bed. His comforter is pulled over our faces, and we're lying in the dark breathing stale, slightly pee-smelling air. Somewhere off in another corner of the house, we hear our kids giggling and yelling, "18, 19, 20 ... ready or not, here we come!"

Soon the boys are bumbling through the hall, laughing and pulling open doors, looking for us. My husband feels around in the bedclothes for my hand and takes it. "This is our life now," he whispers, and I can hear the wry grin in his voice.

We are quiet and still in our son's bed. Buried under a blanket, listening to the voices of our children.

* * *

We started out with a few wild booze-soaked years before saying our vows, and eventually we had a mortgage and a dog, and then a baby. We've been together for 13 years or so now, and over that time, so much has changed. My god, so much.

Do you ever stop and marvel at how flexible a marriage has to be, as two people move through the years together? You come together when you're in one stage of your life, and you go from there. We went from no responsibilities whatsoever to becoming the parents of two children. A million different successes celebrated along the way, a million seemingly impossible hurdles.

There is so much to be gained in a marriage, but something no one talks about is how there is loss, too. You lose the electricity of being with someone new. You lose that all-encompassing burn, the skip in your breath and the lurch in your belly. The dizzying ride slows down over time. You reach over, click on the seatbelt. It's safer, it's comfortable, but it's not quite like it used to be.

So a marriage must accommodate that change, too. The bond of marriage has to bend and stretch to keep pulling two people together, so matter where they are. It can't be neglected or it will start to fray. It can't be taken for granted or it may suddenly cease to exist. It has to stay strong as lives changes, bodies change, interests change, circumstances change.

We often focus on the miracle of parenthood, but wouldn't you say there's something equally miraculous about a good marriage? I think about the chances I had of meeting someone, falling in love, and embarking on this years-long journey together. Of ending up in such a different place from where we started, still holding strong. Of living every single day with my best friend, and creating two beautiful children together.

* * *

There's a rush of shouting and the kids are suddenly on us, joyously pulling back the covers, and in the brief moment before we let go of each other's hands and scramble out of bed, I am engulfed in noise and touch and laughter, chaos and craziness and pure love. This is our life now.



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nonmember avatar KathyT.

That was so sweet, Linda, and beautifully written. Thank you for starting my morning off right : )

jenni... jennifert39

Love this! So true!

elibee elibee

Count your blessings. You are one of the lucky ones.

AngiDas AngiDas

in love 

What a positive but realistic article. The Stir needs more content like this.

Amber... Amberleigh81

I know the "thrill" is gone in a long marriage, but my husband fits me like my favorite jeans... and he never wears out! The longer we are together, the better life gets... we were 18 and 20 when we met... just had a baby at 30 and 32... went through war deployments, job losses, father's death and so many things that were stressful. Luckily for us, we drew together for strength every time!Tim's

nonmember avatar Alyssa

I love this! So true. I think about when my husband and I started dating at 19 and it's crazy to think how far we've come. Our boys make it different and fun, and really make us love our time without them! I always try to remind myself that a good, strong marriage is a great gift to our children, and it's the center of our family.

nonmember avatar Kt



Such a true and vital insight into a good, lasting marriage! Wish we heard more stories like this instead of always being bombarded with marriage-demise stories in the media...

You are so right about the marriage relationship bending and stretching to accommodate itself. All of which takes great love - of both self and that other person- to get through..

Thank you for the Beautifully written view of marriage!!

nonmember avatar Gertie

Yes! This is completely true! :-)

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