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July 25, 2012


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Karen (formerly kcinnova)

Exactly! It's work and you are building something and hopefully you are both putting forth the effort (even if you aren't both putting in the same amount of effort at the same exact time). Sometimes we drive each other nuts, but most of the time we can make each other smile and laugh and be grateful for this other person who "gets me."
I'm grateful for the mortar that holds our bricks together: commitment, unconditional love, and trying (at least some of the time!) to put the other person first.

I really appreciate that you pointed out the things that empty (and almost empty) nesters face:
"Even if you have been staying together because you still love one another, the kids leaving changes everything."

My own marriage is coming up on 25 years, and in the midst of this we have one kid getting married, we are settling into a new town, our youngest just became a teenager, and my husband is newly retired.
Life changes. Sometimes it changes a lot!


We are coming up on 21 years. He drives me nuts occasionally, and I drive him nuts occasionally, but that is part of the deal, I think.
But 21 years of marriage, and five years of dating before that, I think has really made us into 'one". What one doesn't think of, the other does. What one doesn't remember, the other seems to recall.
And I think that the true test is not the butterflies in the tummy, but the up in the middle of the night illness. It's all the little things that build a life.


We are 42 years and counting. I thought of chucking it all many times in the first 15 years, work, kids, extended family made for a lot of stress. Then we began that thing called honest communication and my mind changed.
At 28 years married, with an empty nest, my husband just retired, I faced a life threatening illness. He stepped up, he really was my rock. He kept me going through it all even though he was afraid of loosing me. He gave me love, strength and a soft place to land. I can never repay him. This is what a marriage is, every day stepping up, taking care of one another through the little every day pot holes of life and the big black holes too. He is, by far, the best person I know and I'm glad I stayed all those years ago.

Cassi Renee

This is so true. Building a partnership seems to me to be the true reason for marriage. It's a lot more than the giddy happiness and lust of the first year or so. You build something solid that can protect you and your family whenever it's necessary.

However, if your spouse isn't willing to hold back your hair when you're really sick, or doesn't care to give you emotional support when you need it, then I think it's worth getting out even if you've survived it many years.

gary rith

Almost 20 years married here ourselves, soooo schweet :) Sure, ups and downs, but gosh I am lucky.
I like how in this blog you lay it out realistically and unsparingly!

Busy Bee Suz

Yep, it's not all rainbows and lollipops!
But it is worth it to have the partnership in life. Same goals, virtues etc.
So 10 ten dollar dresses = $100.00?
If I ever saw the Coach doing laundry while I was in town, I'd probably have him checked out.
LOL :)

mrs. g.

Yep, as the song says, I'm in this crazy love for the long haul.

But just to be safe...knock wood!

Smalltown Me

Going on 35 years (29 married). We had a driving each other crazy moment this morning, but that's life. Where it counts, we're rock solid. He still makes me laugh.

mom taxi julie

We've had a lot of times that I've felt like I've just been staying in it for the kids. But as time moves on I'm in it for myself and him too. We've grown so much together, I really can't think of anyone else I'd rather be with :)

Aunt Snow

We are at 25 years, too, and while it's not perfect, I have to say that I can't imagine not being with him. It's trust; it's knowing that person; it's liking and admiring him as a human being even with all his flaws. And knowing that he does the same.

We just spent 3 weeks together traveling, and were together all the time. No conflict, no snapping - a few random eye-rolling moments, but otherwise great.

This morning I put him on a plane for his HS reunion and a visit to his family (I couldn't go because no more time off on the books) and although a secret part of me delights in the solitude, I already miss him.

Slow Panic

We're almost 20 years in. Sometimes it is the loneliest place in the world and sometimes it is the best place. Thankfully it is mostly the best.

Cha Cha

I'm 15 months into marriage, and I love to read all of the comments!

I never knew I could love someone so much.

Also? I want to teach a mandatory high school course for guys on how to load the dishwasher. Seriously.

Deborah J

When we had our 25th anniversary our daughters insisted we put a piece in the paper, a local tradition.
It included a photo of us, 25 years younger in our wedding finery.
(My dress aged well. Considering I got married in 1982 it could have been a puffy meringue disaster.)
Anyway...short story long we need a quote, so I insisted on this one.

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.

Still true...30 years in September.


I'm very glad you hit publish. And I'm really glad you wrote at a time when you and your husband were each a teensy bit peeved with each other. Marriage isn't about constant romance, indeed; it's about how happy you are when there's no romance in sight.

We've had friends breaking up in recent years, and the more I serve as sounding board during those break-ups, the more I realize how lucky I am.

My mom divorced my dad near the 40 year mark of their marriage, speaking of how things play out once the kids are gone. My dad was awesome, but he didn't make her happy. I wish she'd done it decades earlier. With it lasting as long as it did, I've had to go back and recast my entire growing up--to rethink the tensions I didn't even know existed.


I think it's funny the things that couples fight about. We're told the biggest problems are finances, sex, in-laws, (and two others I can't think of), but some of my husband and I's biggest fights have been about nonsensical things. One of our biggest recent ones was about the supposed noise the ceiling fan was making!


I tell my husband stuff like that about laundry all the time and he just doesn't listen!!!
On the other hand, I'm happy he actually does the laundry. I can only imagine that if I did it alone the clothes would pile up so high I'd have to climb over them to get to the washer and dryer.
15 years married and I find it romantic that he does the laundry and washes the floors and does the dishes...I'll take that over butterflies any day. Although, I do get butterflies once in a while.


You are ahead of me in life and I love reading your posts and your perspective on life.


22 years married this September and we still can drive each other crazy and get mad for stupid things, but it never lasts long. We are best friends and pretty much do most everything together. I don't let him do laundry but he will kick me out of the kitchen after dinner once in a while and do the dishes for me. He's a keeper. Hope I feel that way next year when we have an empty nest.

The Girl Next Door

Jenn you hit me in the heart and so now you know just how bad it must have been for me to call it quits after 20 years. Of course, after 10 years he asked me for a divorce, but the kids were 3YO and I said no. And he asked me every year after that until we finally decided we'd stay married until they went to college. I gave out when they were 15.

But I thought about seeing the kids 1/2 time and grandbabies and neighborhood parties and all the things that would be missing when we separated. It nearly killed me.

And now I have the Captain, who is that true confidant, who makes me laugh, strangely never makes me mad (it's only been a little over 4 years though), talks to me about EVERYTHING, and truly shares things and loves me. We are older so it's not the giddy love I thought I had when I was 20. This is way way better love. And I know for a fact the Captain would hold my hair while I vomited. Meanwhile the Ex laughed (yes he did) AND told me to drive myself to the doctor when I had strep and a 103 fever. (yes he did).

So very happy for you and all the others who have commented on their long relationships. But those of you who merely envy Jenn and the others? Don't give up - learn from the past and hope for the future!!


I've loved reading this entry and everyone's responses. As someone who is getting married next year, I'm not in the club yet so I can't speak from my own experience. However, my parents have been married for 43 years, and they went through a rough decade. We joke about it now (not very often, but still!), but I admire both of them for working through a really difficult time.

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Almost 20 years married here ourselves, soooo schweet :) Sure, ups and downs, but gosh I am lucky.

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