Twenty-eight years ago, he said "I do."
Twenty-eight. 28. Two decades and eight years. 336 months. However you say it, it's an astonishing length of time. I've learned so much and grown so much over those years, and I am happy to report that I am even more in love with my Sweet Hubs than I was on the day I promised to love him forever. I would love him even if he couldn't rescue me from disaster the way he does. I would love him if even he didn't get my heart pounding the way he does. That he can do these things is fantastic and adds an element of fun, hot and WOW to our relationship. So, what did I learn over the last 28 years?
- Lingerie works. You don't have to look like Jennifer Lawrence (who has uneven boobs. I heard her say so). Trust me. Ditch the granny panties and the industrial-strength bras and go sexy. Mom told me that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. She. Was. Wrong.
- Clubs and barrooms are no place to nurture a marriage. One thing that almost every divorced couple I know has in common: a lifestyle that included regular "going out"s. Going out with the girls, going out with the guys, going out with other couples, going out on a Saturday night. Good things never come from it.
- Never throw the word "divorce" around carelessly. Words have power, folks. If you whip that "D word" out in every argument, it will become the sword that kills your marriage. Keep bringing it up, and it starts to sound like a good idea. So just don't say it.
- It is a mistake to put the children before the marriage. Your loving marriage is the greenhouse in which to grow healthy, happy, balanced children. The children are there because of your love, so don't let the children upstage that same love.
- Love is a chameleon. Your love doesn't look like ours. Ours doesn't look like my parent's, and nobody's love looks like what you see in movies, novels or television. You have to see your own relationship on its own merits and quit comparing it to anything else.
- Treat every parting and every homecoming with the respect it deserves. I think about the parents who sent their child to school and never saw them again. I think about a colleague of mine whose husband died of a heart attack at work one day. I hope they kissed goodbye that morning.
No one can do everything they should do all the time. If we could, then we'd be perfect and no one could stand us. It's still worth striving for. My husband is my heart. He has seen me at my best and my worst and all the shades in between and loves me anyway. If nothing else, 28 years has taught me the value of that.