The 19th Year
He stood next to me by the stove while I cooked supper. My husband with whom I’d shared nearly half my life had heard more rumors about changes at his job. We were half-way through November. Thanksgiving and family should have dominated our conversation. Instead, we were seriously talking about a job change, a discussion we’d hedged around since January.
For fifteen years, his entire career, he’d worked in the same job for the same company. He enjoyed his co-workers and felt confident and comfortable in his work. We’d expected he’d one day retire from this job.
“It terrifies me,” I confessed. “But staying isn’t really a valid option either.”
He agreed on both sentiments.
There we stood, making big life decisions while supper cooked on the stove and our kids finished their homework like it was any other night. Our lives didn’t change right away, but the winds were blowing in that direction.
Today we celebrate our 19th anniversary. We’ve lived through a lot of life together. Injuries and illnesses. Vacations and roller coasters. Births and deaths. Our lives have covered the gamut of for better or worse.
This move, these changes, have been for the better. God allowed us to all be under the same roof for quarantine. We’re both working from home and the kids have been out of school. We haven’t spent this much time together in years, maybe ever. Regardless of what the Facebook memes say, we’ve enjoyed these extra days working near each other, eating lunch together every day, and working through projects together.
When young couples get married and we’re asked to write out advice for them, I always say the same thing: there’s no such thing as a 50/50 marriage. Some days you’ll feel like you’re pulling all the weight, doing all the work, and you’re right you are. Some day it’ll feel like he’s pulling all the weight, doing all the work, and he’s right he is. That’s what marriage is. Being strong where the other is weak. Sharing the duties in ways that make sense to your relationship. Bearing the weight when the other one can’t. As long as you’re both giving and both taking you’ll be okay.