What Does Marriage Feel Like after 20+ Years

11 Jun

Cutting the Wedding Cake as one

Like all of Marriage, How symbolic is the act of cutting the cake together. Showing that everything we do going forward will done by two working as one in purpose.

So this question was asked to me some time ago. You know, I didn’t know what to say at the time. Catching me speechless was more of a rarity than the person who posed the query realized. I realized that trying to explain it was beyond me on the spur of the moment so I honestly replied “Good, very good”, flashed a smile and quickly changed the subject.

Now, after some introspection, I think I can put it into words. At the very least, I can create pale analogies and simplistic and obtuse parables. We’ve been married for what some would consider a very long time, in fact we’ve been married for all of our adult lives and over half of our current ages. When you get so close, and so comfortable, you tend to loose your perspective. The human mind has an infinite ability to interpret input the way it wants – and it has a general tendency to do so. In marriage, this is a good thing which works to your advantage. It allows your wife to overlook that paunch you’ve developed and the grey hair and wrinkles. I know when I look at her I see the same girl I married, mind you if I look too closely I can see the changes – but it’s like an overlay and I literally see her as if she was frozen in time. The twinkle in her eyes nor her smile has ever changed. My heart still races when she returns after even a short absence, and her touch and kiss still put butterflies in my stomach. Love can be funny that way…

Truth be told, it was not always that way. We had our ups and downs, some of which would have benefitted from inertial dampening. The flame between us started off like and angry charcoal grill with lots of Coleman fuel used as fire-starter – blazing, scorching, unpredictable, and hard to harness. It took some time before things calmed down and we learned how to properly bank and feed the fire to keep it blazingly hot but under control – with no more no more flare-ups or cool downs that took a good bit of work to rekindle. We both married for love, and took that commitment very seriously at the time, but not because of religion – and we had no idea just how much our commitment and resolve would be tested along the way. On the other hand, there have been too many small miracles along the way for me to believe the the Lord had not sent angels to watch over and protect us. We had started as good friends who became inseparable best friends. She was so far out of my league, I repressed my feelings and just focused on being a good friend. Then, one day – a day I will never forget, we realized that we were in love. I also dare say that our lives turned out far differently than we had planned out originally – but instead of being a source of conflict we tended to draw closer. She is my still my best friend – not just my wife, and we find that we still love doing things together. That said, we still have interests apart as well.

However, after over 20 years I wouldn’t change a thing – even the ups and downs. It was from the adversities that I learned some of my most valuable lessons, and because they were traumatic I was encouraged to stay the path and not make those mistakes again (not that I was entirely successful here either). Through it all there was always love – and love really is enough if it’s not the superficial kind. The “I didn’t sign up for this” kind of love isn’t what we had – we made a commitment and managed to keep it and stick together through the ride through the rapids and into the main stream. We saw both better and worse, and continue to see them as life buffets us like a raging storm. We also see each other as the one stable thing in this earthly life outside of God. She is the rock I cling to through the storms, while to her I am the rock that she clings to as well and by clinging together we see each other safely through the maelstrom.

How does it feel? Good, Very Good. Like your favorite pair of jeans that only seems to get better with time, more comfortable and better fitting with each passing year. Am I bored? Never. You might think that the martial embrace would get monotonous over time, and I could see that if it was just sex – but sex takes 45 mins, making love can take hours. When things become deeper there is a whole new infinite realm, the more you learn about each other the better the sex will be too. Once your eliminate the artificial barriers to truly joining together in the very messy way our creator intended, you will find that it changes you greatly to be open to the creation of life. It will keep adding both a spark and spirituality to making love, and it will keep you from falling into the trap of using her as a depository for your sexual angst. I often wish that we could have known then what we know now about it each other – but if we did we would have lost all the joy of exploration and discovery along the way. We still talk, about the day, the kids, the pets, the ham radios, about everything – but the conversations are deeper and as much is said through our eyes and body language as passes through our lips. Neither of us sleeps well without the other present., and while separation creates a feeling of being rent in two – being reunited creates a feeling of elation that lasts for hours. There is a since of well being and security that pervades things – conflicts decrease dramatically just because you understand each other and each other’s moods and feelings. I have dedicated over 20 years of my life to serving her, and I would do it all over again without hesitation. She gave me her love, her heart, her companionship, her service, and 4 beautiful children. She has been the one person who was never afraid to tell me the uncomfortable truths I needed to hear, and to whom I have been able to tell my deepest secrets without fearing ridicule.

If you do not have this then you can only imagine, it’s very hard to walk this path – especially at first – but it gets wider and more pleasant as time passes. The load is always lighter when shared, the trip more pleasant with a loyal companion, and when you stumble and fall or loose your way it can be a lifesaver to have a partner who you can trust – not just with your life, but with your heart. I see in my marriage a deeply spiritually moving experience, a sanctuary and refuge – not a prison. It is a condition where you are both a servant and the served. It is in that service that I finally found peace. Most importantly it is a symbiosis, and the most amazing things can happen when we open our hearts – for it was by my wife’s love for me that I learned to love, and be loved, by her and by God as well.

Sincerely,

Colin Corcoran
cc70458@gmail.com

**Please feel free to write or comment on this post, I’d really like to hear from those that are able to have this experience and how it is changing their marriage, their wives, and their lives.

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