Geo and I have been married for approximately 3,459 years and counting* I would say that we have one of the strongest marriages I've seen. We've dealt with a lot in our many years together and have managed to stay not only in love, but also in like. We really really like one another still. Geo is the first person I call when I'm having a good day, a bad day, even a mediocre day. A lot of people don't understand the friendship we have; we truly are best friends. Everything we do is based on what is best for the other one. Yes, we are TRULY that annoying couple with the picture perfect marriage that makes other people gag.
Ok, that's not entirely true, well, maybe the gagging part, but not the rest. (no, actually, we are kind of annoying and we often unconsciously match each other when we get dressed, oops)
We have our share of issues, maybe more, than a lot of other couples, but for some reason, we've managed to stay married and provide a united front in the face of difficulties-and we've had a LOT of difficulties, specifically when it comes to Gabriel. Unfortunately, most parents of special needs children do NOT stay married. Some studies I've read suggest that upwards to 90% of marriages dissolve in the first year after a diagnosis is made. Geo and I have always had the "us against them" stance when it comes to pretty much everything.
A while back, I read something somewhere (how very vague of me ha ha)that says to see how in tune you are with your partner, you ought to take a piece of paper and a pen(cil) and write out the top six things that you feel are important in a marriage/partner. Thinking it would be interesting and insightful, I asked Geo to do it after I did it.
My list was: loving, supportive, humorous, amazing, faithful, and hopeful
His list was:love, patience, kindness, hope, faith, friends
Is there any doubt why our marriage works? We both value the same things, we both see the same thing in one another, we both have and work toward the same goals.
Geo and I have a VERY strict policy regarding one another: we do NOT criticize or belittle one another in front of anyone; regardless if we are with friends, family, or even on facebook. Too often, I think, people are quick to point out the ugly things about their spouse and do it in front of others who have no business knowing these things. Even in jest, we don't pick at one another in front of others. It's no one else's business if he doesn't pick up his sock or if I leave half full diet coke cans all over the place (it's true, I do, it's a horrible habit)
I always wonder about people who tear down their partners in public and on public forums; are they that bad when it's just the two of them? Do they really have that little respect for each other that they'd air everything in front of people? What does it say for the person themselves? Here you are, telling us that you married a huge moron who can't do anything right...what does that say about YOU?
When Geo and I got married, we asked that the traditional "love, honor, and obey" part of our vows be omitted and instead wanted to say "love, honor, and respect" each other. Respect has always been a very big part of our relationship; I respect him for so many reason-he's smart, he's a hard worker, he's an excellent father, a great son and grandson, and he's just a really respectable guy. He has morals, he is ethical, all the things that make up a GOOD person. How could I NOT respect him? By respecting him, I show him that I love him, and vice versa. I honestly think if we didn't respect one another, our marriage would not work the way it does.
I have a challenge for all of you married/partnered people out there...can you go ONE week without disrespecting your partner in front of people/public forums? (This means Facebook too! lol) How hard will it be for you? Do you think you can do it? I'd love to hear how it went...or how your relationship in general works. What needs improvement? What area are you strongest in?
*that is totally and utterly false, it's been eight years and seven months. It just feels like we've been married this long