If you asked me in 9th grade to describe the man of my dreams, I would’ve answered in one of three ways: 1) swashbuckling pirate, 2) wealthy Duke with a tortured secret, or 3) bad boy renegade with a heart of gold. Can you guess what kind of books I read back then? Well… if I’m being completely honest, I still read those kinds of books, but my understanding of real and healthy love has matured and deepened over the years. And tomorrow will be the 15th anniversary of the day I married a true partner and soulmate in every sense of the word.
Most romantic comedies are based on the premise that opposites attract. You see it in enduring hits such as Roman Holiday, When Harry Met Sally, or Pretty Woman. It plays great on the big screen, and maybe it’s true for some real life couples. Sure, Mark and I have our differences. He’s pretty mellow and I can be a bit uptight at times. He’s an intensely social extrovert while I love to stay at home with a good book. He’s super messy and I’m only sort of messy.
Romantic comedies are fun to watch because of the comedic potential, but what would a long-term relationship between these characters really look like? Where would they be after 15 years of marriage? (Before you curse my name forever, don’t worry… I believe Harry and Sally are definitely still together!)
I rather like Shakespeare’s romantic take on relationships in Sonnet 116:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
From what I’ve seen, the “marriage of true minds” – couples bound together by what they share – are much more likely to last. I’d like to believe that’s true of my own marriage. Mark and I both love to laugh and to make others laugh. We are readers and writers and teachers. We love analyzing the dickens out of any fictional text, having once spent an entire 2-hour car ride dissecting the lyrics to “Closing Time” by Semisonic. (Perhaps a future blog post if you’re interested?)
We share the same faith and the same vision for a more perfect world. We are both fiercely devoted to family and friends and we are equally enthralled with the incredible twin boys we brought into this world. We can’t believe they belong to us, and we’re awed by the fact that we belong to them.
We are both colossally disorganized. Just ask my sister about the time I famously picked up a property tax bill from a pile of papers on the floor of our study and asked: “Was this due yet?”
But what lights the biggest spark in our marriage is our shared creativity. And in 2009 we embarked on brand new creative journey together – we began co-writing a novel. And aside from raising our boys, it has been the single most thrilling experience of our marriage. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post to read Mark’s reflection on the rewards (and pitfalls) of writing as a husband/wife team.
Happy Anniversary, man-of-my-dreams! I’m really glad you’re not a pirate.
Use the comment section below to share the secret of what makes your marriage or relationship work!