On Dec. 15, 1990 I stood before a Justice of the Peace in a Richmond, IN courthouse and exchanged vows with my wife-to-be, Amy. We were ready to face the world together and had it all figured out, even though, in reality (to quote Lean on Me) — we didn’t know nothing.
Although, I don’t pretend to know why some marriages work and others fail, I think ours has been strong for three simple reasons:
Mutual Respect. Amy and I are definitely not who we were 24 years ago, both of us have changed. Outsiders can debate whether the change has been good or bad, but it has created a bond between us. We both respect each other’s intellect, work ethic and commitment to personal growth. While we do not always agree, we have always listened to — and respected each other’s opinion. Two people can never challenge — and bring out the best in each other — without differing opinions.
Time Together. Our careers have created situations where the schedule has not always been conducive to a high-quality marriage. Sometimes, the schedule was severe enough that we saw each other only for a few moments each day. But, despite this, we always found a way to spend time together — and it isn’t always an elaborate affair. For this year’s anniversary we simply started the day with a great lunch at the Fuji House before watching a Christmas play at the local community theater.
Sense of Humor. Both of us are witty and, in life or marriage, laughter really can be the best medicine. I’ll admit, though, that after repeating the same one-liners for more than two decades, Amy doesn’t laugh at them as much as she used to. However, when I use fresh material, I can (almost) always get the laugh. Our life together has seen its share of hardship — from fertility issues to layoffs — but through it all we have maintained a sense of humor. Laughter can make tolerable even the most unbearable situations.
Will we get another 24 years? Who knows.
But, one thing I do know, if I would have looked through a crystal ball in 1990 and have seen everything, good or bad, that would transpire in our lives together — I would have gladly said, I do.