9,125 days

Yesterday’ s newspaper was replete with folks who were celebrating milestone wedding anniversaries of anywhere from 25 to 50 years. I love looking at the announcements as they show photos of each couple when they first got married and today as they prepare to celebrate their big anniversary. Amazingly they are smiling in both photos…after 25+ years they are still smiling. I am not sure how this is done – all those years and they are not only still together, but in addition they are smiling about it. Well, my hat is off to them…they have greater intestinal fortitude than I do.

I have not been able to commit to any relationship for 25+ years (with the exception of the relationships with my children). 25 years is a dreadfully long time. I have upon multiple occasions entertained the notion that I could get married and stay married. It hasn’t quite panned out yet, but my current husband (Mr. Carol) seems to be motivated toward a milestone anniversary. A milestone anniversary for me at this point would be 10 years and to even get to that milestone I probably will have to be in a coma or in an institution for at least three of those years.

It is not that I don’t like commitment and marriage – clearly “I do” (and “I do” again and again). I am currently on my third marriage and I had a couple of long term relationships in between those marriages as well. One of my colleagues told me there is a name for a woman like me – a serial monogamist. I like the ring of that. It makes it sound like I am purposeful in my dysfunction.

I like the thought of being with the same person for decades in theory, but in practice I cannot seem to make it happen. I really admire those who do achieve long-term marriages. One thing I have learned from my experiences is that marriage is not easy. It requires compromise, patience and diplomacy as well as medication some days. Perhaps my problem is that my skills in these areas are weak (and I also don’t have the requisite medicine).

I love talking to couples that have been together for decades. I am so impressed with their commitment and stamina. It is heartening to see that there are people who are actually doing the whole marriage thing well. They are actually happy and content – imagine that.

The youngsters in the anniversary section are those that have been married only 25 years. They still have their training wheels on compared to those that have been married 50 years. God must have a special place in heaven for folks that stay married 50 years. I don’t think I’ll see a 50 year anniversary – highly unlikely given a) my past history; and, b) my age. 

I will likely be hard-pressed to get to a 25 year anniversary. Do you know how many days there are in 25 years? I bet you have no clue off the top of your head, but I do because I think about these things. There are 9,125 days in 25 years. 9,125 days…each with 24 hours in it.

I have 595 days in with Mr. Carol – holy moly – that leaves 8,530 days to go if I am going to have any hope of getting to a 25th wedding anniversary. If I don’t get this long-term part down this time around I will likely never have the chance to have a 25th anniversary – unless I can add the years from all the marriages together – a sort of cumulative 25th anniversary (I’ll keep that in the back of my mind for a plan B). I can see it now – three snapshots of happy couples with one common denominator – the serial monogamist – side by side with the current picture, me with my cats.

Gee…maybe 8,530 days isn’t all that long.

Day forty-three of the new forty – obla di obla da

CC
 

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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3 Responses to 9,125 days

  1. PrairieWoman says:

    You know this concerns me. My grandparents were married for 63 years when my grandfather passed away. I just don’t know what has changed within two generations of people. The common fact that 50% of all marriages end in divorce is sad; but I wonder how many of those marriages are re-marriages. How many of those people get remarried and stay remarried? I’m not saying you are right or wrong, only you would know that. I’m just wondering how society is going to change with the shift in marital demographics…

  2. Avatar of Ms. C Ms. C says:

    Pw~
    63 years – that is something! I think it has become too easy to give up on marriage and move on. I think it is problematic for society. I am hoping that it is the type of societal ill that will see a pendulum swing. If it does not the damage to the family unit over time will be profound.

    My failures are not societal – I came from great role models who stayed married for decades. My failures are just me, but I am concerned with the effect my role modeling might cause my children. So far, my kids are more relationship savvy than me. So, perhaps the pendulum will indeed swing back, let’s hope.

    CC

  3. Buffalogal here: speaking as one who has been married over 50 years as of April 16 2010. I have my theories as to why couples stay married. One criteria is if both members have a strong Christian faith…..we do and we are committed to that as much as we are committed to staying married.
    2. When we married both of us were committed to staying married…..come hell or high water and both of those things do come in a long marriage but if you have an attiude of strong committment to staying married and working things out…..it has worked for us for more than 50 years.
    3. We were devoted to our 3 children and would not have left them bereft of the two parents who gave them life…this was not a casual thing. We were more than devoted to making our kids know that they were part of a committed family…no splitting up over anything. It helps when both members of a couple have this devotion/commitment.
    4. We have b een each other’s best friend since 1958…..you have to make your spouse the most important person in your life.
    I too loved to look at the “Celebrations” page and see the couples “then” and “now”

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