Today marks our 25th wedding anniversary - an event well worth celebrating! I would like to reflect on the benefits of running the marathon that is marriage...
Somehow, 25 seems a REALLY big number when you are counting years married! I look back at who I was 25 years ago, and what my dreams for my union with my husband were, and realize just how amazingly unformed (and uninformed!) those dreams really were. Did I have ANY idea that marriage wasn't just a happy walk in the woods, but rather a long-distance marathon for which you are always in training and always honing your skills? That living with another person really, truly, is all about negotiating your differences - large and small - so that you may also celebrate your successes?
My 2 books and many blog posts on how to thrive in a relationship with ADHD is not-so-silent testament to the struggles we have faced as a couple, yet I really do feel blessed. I am married to a man who, when he pays attention, is a terrific partner who meets me where I am and who has the capacity to stretch me in ways I never imagined 25 years ago. When he doesn't pay attention...well, that's another story...and that is the nature of ADHD and why I do what I do. But even there, I feel fortunate, for in dealing with the ADHD issues I have learned that I am not in control of other people (most importantly my husband) and with that understanding of our limits comes increased wisdom. There is more to figure out in this realm about balancing lack of control with the efforts we all make to pursue our dreams, and I hope to learn more about this in the years to come.
So what am I celebrating? A wonderful family, with grounded, interesting kids. The fact that my husband and I have - both of us - worked hard to learn how to live with each other successfully. That the commitment made 25 years ago for "better or for worse" was real and binding, to our long-term benefit. That we have learned, finally, how to talk about anything...even if it is painful or emotional. That we have been blessed by interesting careers and financial stability. That we have grown together over the years...and that we have made it, through all the work, for 25 years. We now have a "body of work" in our marriage of which we can be proud.
And most of all, I am celebrating the potential for future happiness that resides in our relationship and in each of us individually, should we seek to pursue it. And doing just that is my project for those next 25 years!