Friday, May 18, 2012

A Decade

Tomorrow will mark our 10th wedding anniverary.  Holy cow!  Time really does fly by.

Looking back, Adam and I were so young when we met: he 23, me 25.  We have both done so much growing since then.  Fortunately, I think we have grown closer together, not apart as commonly happens to couples, particularly those who meet young.

Marriage is tough.  Well, relationships in general are pretty tough.  Just like any other couple, we've had our ups and downs.  But I'm really lucky.  Adam is a wonderful husband and father and marrying him was one of the only smart things I did in my 20s.

Based on my counselling experiences so far, I can see that many people get married, and stay married for reasons besides love.  I have counselled individuals who literally cannot stand their spouse, but will never leave because of financial, cultural or religious reasons.  Others care for their spouse but cannot connect, have grown apart, or just simply cannot communicate effectively with one another.

According to Statistics Canada, more than one-third of marriages in Canada will end in divorce before the thirtieth anniversary.  Well, one decade down, two more to go.  I'm confident we'll make it.  Why?  We make each other a priority.  We have the same values and interests.  We still get silly and have fun together.  We don't fight over little things.  That's right.  No toilet seat left up/underwear on the floor type of arguments.  It's not that we are both perfect or that we aren't irritated by a couple of each other's foibles, but we tolerate each others imperfections and recognize their insignificance.

We also don't fight about money, which is one of the main reasons couples split up.  In this regard we are basically just lucky that: (1) we came into the relationship with no debts, and (2) we share the same philosophy with regards to spending, saving and investing.  Essentially, neither of us tolerate much risk, we believe in living frugally and do not EVER buy what we cannot afford or carry a balance on a credit card.

I will always be eternally grateful to Adam that he supported me while I made my big career change.  This past year I had the lowest annual income I have had since I was an undergraduate university student in my late teens/early twenties.  This has been a very difficult pill for me to swallow because this is the first time I have ever had to rely on someone else financially since the days when my parents did so.  Even so, in the 12 years since Adam and I have been together, I have been in school for half of those years.  Now that my counselling career has begun I finally have money coming in, but still a pitance compared to what I used to make.  I'm banking on the fact that this will change, of course, as my practice expands.  But now that I am doing what I love, I am so thankful that Adam stood by me and my decision to leave the corporate world. It certainly put a greater burden on him and he has never been resentful about it.

As one of Adam's friends used to say, our romance could be called, "Once Upon a Stairmaster" since we indeed met in the gym at the JCC.  Within 3 months of dating I knew he was my soulmate and everyone who knew us commented on how we are "Two Peas in a Pod" (AKA two fitness obsessed, A-Type personalities who both spent way too much time in school).

To you, my other Pea:  Happy Anniversary, I love you!