By Kearsten Shepherd
I was recently talking with someone about the fact that my husband and I had been together for nearly thirteen years (married eight) and the look on her face was one of both wonder and horror. Now, to be fair, she was much younger than me and probably couldn’t imagine a relationship lasting that long, and then I realized that in reality many don’t. I immediately thought how lucky I was to have had the strong, loving relationship I’ve had for the past thirteen years.
Now, obviously they have not all been great years. There have been many hard times – definitely some ups and downs along the way – but we’ve managed to get through it and stay together. It hasn’t always been easy. I know we’ve both probably wanted to leave, threatened to leave, even actually left a few times in the last decade; but we managed to always find our way back.
The truth is relationships are complicated. There are schools of thought that say marriage shouldn’t be hard – I personally disagree – I can’t imagine anything more difficult at this point in my life. I do believe that it shouldn’t make you miserable, it shouldn’t make you compromise yourself – your dreams – or your integrity – but relationships are hard. They are complex and require two completely different people, with different personalities and backgrounds to forge a future together.
I consider myself lucky to have found my soul mate at twenty-two. I have gotten to spend the last thirteen years with a man who makes me better. He pushes me to achieve my goals and my dreams, to find my passions even when they are not the same as his. He loves me unconditionally and supports me in every way. He drives me crazy and makes me laugh – we laugh a lot – I think that’s important. Without him, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I am very, very lucky.
A wise man once said, “The days are long, but the years are short.” I’m looking forward to another thirteen years together – even more if we are lucky.