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A record-breaking year

January 26th, 2006 · 22 Comments

Today (January 25) is our 14th wedding anniversary. We’ve now been married longer than my parents were. Perhaps it seems strange to mention this as significant, in the second sentence, a sad and somber thought on a day of celebration. But I can’t deny that I entered into marriage with some doubt due to divorce, and wondering what it would take to make it to 14. Sorrows leave their shadows. Yet you can’t compare apples to oranges: my parents’ relationship came with its own set of situations distinct from ours. Although Ted and I have had crises, my mom and dad encountered incredible stress, including the Vietnam draft, the intense demands of his career, and my brother’s cancer. They had four kids while we have only three, and each day my respect and understanding for my parents increases. Life isn’t easy. Commitment is no cakewalk. I know we’ve had our moments in our marriage, times when at least I thought I was ready to leave, ready to walk out the door and repeat the pattern.

Yet I’m grateful for every promise I made while wearing a white dress one wintry morning in Massachusetts, promises to love, honor and cherish the tuxedo-clad Ted. We’re certainly older and wiser now, and better for the years we’ve spent together. I wouldn’t take back one day of the approximately 5,114 we’ve had as husband and wife.

Guy Kawasaki in one of his recent top 10 lists titled Hindsights recommended 32 as a good age to get married. While I respect his wisdom I have to disagree with waiting so long for a wedding. Besides the fertility and parenting aspect (32 may be too old, for women like me who had problems getting pregnant, never mind the energy requirements of parenting!), there are many other reasons for starting life together sooner rather than later. Marrying young has its advantages. Our relationship has shaped us. I think I found more freedom and healing in our intimacy and commitment than I would have had in my independence. Ted and I have a history, one that spans nearly half my life. We’ve grown together and have a strong foundation for our family. We’ve shared many “firsts” and experiences, and learned how to live as a team. Again, you can’t compare apples to oranges, and each relationship and situation are different. I’m grateful though that Ted and I took the risk of marrying young. I’m grateful for the years we’ve been given.

Especially year #14. It was record-breaking in a number of ways. Record-breaking busyness, crazyness and traveling. Finding ourselves in a new phase of life as a family. But also I think each year we’ve reached a deeper level of understanding, partnership and love.

Thank you, Ted, for breaking every expectation I had with your lasting and forgiving love for me!

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22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jeffy // Jan 26, 2006 at 2:32 am

    Congratulations!

  • 2 Katherine // Jan 26, 2006 at 6:06 am

    How fun to see your wedding photo posted. Congratulations and continued blessings. Keep breaking records! We’re cheering you on from France.

  • 3 Amanda // Jan 26, 2006 at 11:15 am

    Congratulations, and many happy returns!

  • 4 Lucy // Jan 26, 2006 at 1:26 pm

    So, you’re saying y’al got married when you were … um … 12 !?!

  • 5 Kevin O'Keefe // Jan 26, 2006 at 3:09 pm

    Congrats! And you don’t look a day older today than you did in that photo – marriage and kids is serving you well.

  • 6 Bob V // Jan 26, 2006 at 4:28 pm

    Congratulations Julie! I hope you two have many happy years ahead of you and that you blog about each of them!

    Regarding Guy Kawasaki’s comment about waiting to get married, I think the issue is really whether we are pre-destined to change into our middle-aged identities or our mates shape our middle-aged identities. I would agree with Guy that we don’t really know who we are early on in our adult lives (18-24). Later, our identities start to cement. But what do they cement to? You suggest that your mate might help guide that process, while Guy implies that we are going to turn out to be something that was lurking inside of us, and it could very well be incompatible with the mate who wooed us initially.

  • 7 Geodog // Jan 29, 2006 at 1:57 am

    What a beautiful public affirmation.

  • 8 Tamar // Jan 29, 2006 at 4:06 am

    Oh boy. What can I say. I come from a family of millions of divorces and have, myself, been married a few times. It isn’t easy and now I am older and wiser and happily married, I understand that everyone is different and relationships are hard work … Yeats said: “It seems to me that true love is a discipline.”

    Julie, more than the congratulations. Thank you for this beautiful piece of writing and sharing of your love story. Very moving.

  • 9 Larry // Jan 30, 2006 at 5:50 pm

    Julie,

    Congratulations on 14 years, my wife and I celebrate our 30th this year. Marrying at 18, having our first child at 19, and spending several years apart due to military service has made for an interesting relationship. We are even at that point in our lives that we begin to think like one another. We have been blessed with 3 beautiful children, and 2 grandsons who, with their many trials, tend to enrich our lives daily. Even after 30 years, and probably because I haven’t known any other way, I wouldn’t change a single thing about my life. It’s still great to hold her hand, and have her run her fingers across the nape of my neck. Best wishes for the remainder of your years together.

    Larry

  • 10 Betsy Devine // Jan 31, 2006 at 5:28 am

    Hi Julie–I love that picture of you with Ted. Many happy returns of the anniversary day with your growing-up family.

  • 11 Kai Jones // Feb 1, 2006 at 12:15 pm

    Interesting about the age. My mother used to say nobody should get married until they’re at least 25, because she believed everyone went through a major personality change at 25.

    But oh, I am dismayed that someday my sons may think that their marriages might not last longer than their parents’ (13 years). I did outlast my mother’s first, second, and third marriages, and have been married *twice now* each time longer than my mother was married any time, and longer than all but one marriage of my father’s (he’s been married 4 times that I know of). Why yes, my family does up the divorce average quite a bit.

  • 12 Lisa Canter // Feb 1, 2006 at 4:55 pm

    great post. Congrats on all that is good – you guys really deserve it!!

  • 13 Kirstin Siemering // Feb 6, 2006 at 7:43 pm

    Belated congratulations to you both! What an honor it was to stand up with you and support you as you made your vows and what a delight to be able to send love to you after so many years!

  • 14 Ernie Chen // Feb 6, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    Julie — Congratulations on a wonderful 14 years. You continue to amaze me with the depth of your understanding of what is true about the world and what is valuable. In my difficult time with my relationship, I love being able to look to you and Ted and know that you also had moments where you were near the breaking point. I am given great hope because of you. Ernie

  • 15 t // Feb 7, 2006 at 11:17 pm

    hey girl,
    is it coincidence that i just finished an entry called my marriage vows and thought of checking on your blog after months of remiss ? how wonderful i got to catch this precious moment. you are my inspiration.
    congratulations. we were there at your wedding : )
    i remember….
    t

  • 16 Daisy // Feb 9, 2006 at 3:25 am

    What a beautiful post! Happy anniversary!

  • 17 Jory Des Jardins // Feb 9, 2006 at 8:28 am

    This was (dare I use this word?) NEAT to read. Who reads about how LONG people stay together and how well it’s going anymore? Loved that you let us in on this milestone. You and Ted look like babies! Think of all the growing that occurred in those 14 years.

    –JD

  • 18 Roland Tanglao // Feb 11, 2006 at 8:33 pm

    wow! great talk today at NV. belated belated congrats and hopefully see you soon!

  • 19 :: jozjozjoz :: // Feb 14, 2006 at 12:39 am

    Congratulations!

    What an adorable photo of you two!

  • 20 Joy // Feb 18, 2006 at 4:49 pm

    Congratulations on 14 wonderful years…and MANY more to come Julie. Happy Anniversary!

  • 21 joann // Mar 1, 2006 at 10:42 am

    Congratulatons Julie and Ted! And many more years, I’m sure.
    :D

  • 22 khalilah // Mar 10, 2007 at 6:59 am

    I am just so happy for you both. I am 18 going on nineteen and my fiance is 18 as well. We are going to get married at the end of this year and you inspire us to follow our hearts and do whats right. Best of luck 2 you!!!!!!!

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