If I read (and believe) correctly, Ron and I have an exceptionally low risk for divorce. We did not live together before marriage. We are white. We are very close in age. We are college educated. Our parents were never divorced. Our child was born after we were married (way after, 7 years), and our income is over $50,000 per year.
Good for us.
Forty to fifty percent of marriages will end in divorce. I read it on the internet, so it must be true. This percentage has hung around for at least 28.75 years, which is the length of time I began thinking about sustaining a marriage.
My brother, Dan, married us. “Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not count wrongs,” I heard Dan say.
And, in a blink, we were married.
And I would really be tested on the patient and counting wrongs part.
Now, I am not kidding, when a family member marries you, it will often be in the back of your mind that you owe them a success, too. If my marriage was failing, I feel I would owe my brother an explanation. To me this seems like it would be an uncomfortable conversation, best to be avoided, if at all possible.
So, I have worked hard on being patient, kind and not counting things. And, while I am sure I am practically perfect in every way, I am fairly certain Ron has worked hard, too.
Ron and I have developed an on-going saying: “Anything for you, dear.” We laugh as we say it. Some times we are more sincere than other times. It is a twenty-eight year old tongue-in-cheek nod to compromise and understanding.
“Anything for you, dear,” because we are better together.
Arguments about Christmas lights are better.
Jokes about how awful you speak French are better.
Movies about time travel are better.
Dog walks in the dark are better.
$700 car repairs are (almost) better.
Breakfasts watching the cardinals and chickadees on the deck are better.
“Anything for you, dear,” because surely I will sew that teeny tiny button on the collar of your favorite dress shirt at 5 o’clock in the morning.
Because surely you will text and call me at least 5 times before I board that plane by myself.
Because surely I will bake you a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing for your birthday every July.
Because surely you possess, and probably always will, the ability to admit you were wrong much easier than I ever will.
“Anything for you, dear,” because I often still see you as 23, not 53. You are strong and vulnerable, devoted and optimistic, and still way too responsible.
Good for us.