12 Years Ago……Today

Jon and I got married 12 years ago today.

I’m a little late in getting this post up….as in…..the day is almost over, but hey – better late than never, eh?  And…..well…….I contemplated putting this up tomorrow, but figured that if I could at least get it up today, then all the congratulations and money that we’d get would be worth the little bit extra effort of my part….ha ha ha ha!  I’m not expecting any congratulations, but the money would be nice……..

Okay, being serious now…..I’m going to have to find a whole lot more to say ’cause I have a TON of pictures that I wanted to show you.

I may just send you to my flickr page to take a look at the pics that I uploaded as opposed to dragging this out into a super freakin’ long post of me just rambling on and on and on….how am I doing, so far…..

See, I’ve just made it to the end of one picture.  I’m doing good! 

Seriously though, we were so young, and don’t ask me what I was thinking, ’cause Jon looks like a baby…….

I was a cradle robber….well, I guess I was technically younger than him (so he was the cradle robber), but I don’t look like I’m 14 years old.

We got married at 19 years old and 20 years old.  I look at some teenagers now, and can’t believe that we got married at the same age that some of them are now.  I can’t believe that our parents let us….were we that bad that they wanted us out of the house, and were willing to marry us off to accomplish that goal?  I can’t imagine marrying Geli off to someone Jon’s age when she was my age…..It seems ridiculous, and yet we did it.

I think that the fact that we were friends for almost 6 years before we got married has played significantly into how we’ve managed to make it through the past 12 years without killing each other.  We knew quite a bit about each other, and weren’t walking into this thing called “marriage” with our eyes blinded by love or lust or whatever you want to call it.

We’ve had our hard times – in fact years 5-7 were not so happy or easy or whatever.  I know that a lot of people struggle through the first couple of years, but I think because we were friends first, that we were able to make it all the way to year 5 without too many “issues”. 

At that point, the combination of unforgiveness, selfishness, 3 kids, financial stresses, lack of quality communication, and a bunch of other things made our lives not pleasant.  I’m not trying to be a downer, but this is reality.  Marriage is work, and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to be slapped.  It’s not a fairy tale.  It doesn’t have to suck either….that’s not what I’m saying.  It just requires effort.

We had determined in ourselves that we were in this FOREVER!  Divorce was not in our vocabulary.  It was not an option when we were fighting to say – “Okay then, just leave me!”  Although at times, that would have made things a lot easier (in the moment) – it wasn’t an option. 

I remember during some of our darkest times, thinking that I had two options, and I wasn’t particularly happy with either one.  My options were to either stick it out in a very miserable marriage and just be miserable with where we were at, OR…..I could decide that I didn’t want to stay where we were at, and I could be willing to work things out.  Obviously, it didn’t make much sense to me to remain miserable, and so I basically HAD to work things out.

When your options are to be miserable forever or to getting working….it’s quite the motivator, ’cause who wants to stay miserable forever.We have spent a lot of time working on our marrige, and it’s WAY better now than it ever has been before, and it’s not perfect yet.  We still get mad at each other.  We are still selfish, imperfect people (me more than him), we still have issues with communication (him more than me), we still fight over stupid stuff…….I could go on forever…..that doesn’t sound too good does it……
The thing is, we are learning HOW to fight. We are learning what to say, and what NOT to say.  We are learning how to comunicate without killing each other in the process.  It is possible to fight, and to walk away in a better place then when you started.  I hate fighting and walking away with nothing resolved.  Even if the entire issue is not resolved, if you can take one step forward, then you’re better off than when you started.  I love that we are learning to really hear the HEART behind what each other is saying, and not just the words.

Probably the BEST book we ever read was Love and Respect by Emerson Eiggerichs.  It’s an amazing book that talks about what Men and Women want and need out of a relationship.  Amazing, AMAZING book!  I recommend that if you get it, you do so, to read the sections for you – not for your spouse.  It never works to highlight sections and then leave the book sitting in the bathroom conviently open to where you want him to read it…..believe me…..it just doesn’t…..don’t ask HOW I know that…..just trust me.

Even if you are the only one in your relationship who reads the book, and applies the principles – you will still see fabulous changes in your marriage.  Seriously!

I read the book about a year before Jon did, and although I will admit that by the time he read it – I was ready to kill him, ’cause he ALL OF THE SUDDEN had these amazing insights and revelations……..and like I said……I can be selfish and petty and…..to be completely honest….I really have to work on forgiveness.  It doesn’t come easy to me.

So, his amazing revelations were old news to me, and I was mad, hurt and not interested in cooperating, but again…..going back to the whole….are you going to live in misery for the rest of your life or start working on things……….I’m not interested in a life of misery and so…..let’s get working on stuff.

It’s been up and down over the 12 years, but I’m looking forward to where we’ll be at in another 12 years from now. 

I’m in this for the long haul, sweetheart, and I’m so glad that you are too.

Having said all of that, what would you have said or thought if you had woken up to this on the first morning of married life…………..

Author: Patricia Culley

I'm the ringmaster of my own circus. Just trying to stay one step ahead of the monkeys.

5 thoughts on “12 Years Ago……Today”

  1. Congrats on 12!! I remember that day, and all the days your mom put into making your dress. What a wonderful day it was. All the best to you both.
    Happy 12th Anniversary!

  2. Happy Belated Anniversary! Just got back in town from being at a wedding in Vancouver. I really enjoy reading your posts. I remember that our 7th year was the worst also, but it did improve. When we were first married, I thought that we were in love more than anybody else on earth. Now 24 years later, we realize that we were just scratching the surface of love when we got married. What will 50 years of marriage look like? I wonder if we can handle that much love? See you there!


  3. Belated Anniversary Greetings We were on an isolated Island no phone no email (The Blue Lagoon ,no less)and had our 55 Anniversary . Were involved in a special Church building project/ Spent the day helping to clear the land surrounding the Church location which looks out on the beautiful turquoise waters of the Blue Lagoon. Little did we realize what God had in store for us . Karen was with us also a team of nine from Port Albernie .Marriage does get sweeter as the years go by.

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