I got pulled over on my way to meet my parents for breakfast one morning.
It was their 42nd wedding anniversary and to be completely honest I was already a little anxious about it.
I was stopped at a red light, scrolling through my phone, when I looked up to see a motorcycle officer staring back at me in my rear-view. Shame on me for trying to book a hotel room in the thirty-seconds I had before the light turned green. I haven’t had a night out with my husband in six years.
Can you really blame me?
Wedded bliss is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think about my parents celebrating another year together.
That wasn’t always the case. But it’s been a rough road over the last five years.
My dad’s mental illness has taken a toll on everyone. — Mostly himself, my mom and their marriage.
It’s staggering to stand by and watch the two people I look up to the most, and model my own marriage after, crumble from the weight of trying to maintain a picture-perfect union. — When in fact, it doesn’t even exist in the first place.
I wish I would have known that fourteen years ago.
My parents’ many triumphs over the years have taught me how to be a better human, wife, and mother.
Their failures have taught me things too.
15 Lessons I Learned On My Parents’ 42nd Wedding Anniversary
- It’s my responsibility to maintain my own identity, separate from my marriage. (If I make time to do it, my partner will love and respect me more for it.)
- Bad days don’t equal a bad life.
- Hard times doesn’t mean it’s over.
- Cheating is a symptom, not the problem itself.
- Divorce is never off the table.
- It’s not always easy to keep your sh*t together. Do the best you can that day.
- No one’s marriage is perfect. (Not even your parents’.)
- Life is beautiful if you let it be.
- Married with kids doesn’t equal automatic happiness.
- Things don’t always turn out the way you thought they would. — That’s okay.
- Take care of yourself.
- Put some make-up on and order those crotch-less panties you’ve had your eye on.
- Do whatever it is that makes you feel good about yourself.
- Encourage your partner to do the same.
- Keep. hope. alive. no. matter. what.
The officer let me off the hook with a warning. He told me to wait until I’m off the road to look at my phone and wished me luck on my romantic getaway.
I am grateful for the many lessons I’ve learned. Thank you for allowing me to share them with you today.
Nothing is perfect. My own marriage has certainly had its ups and downs lately.
Some days it’s hard not to lose hope. Some days I gain it all back again, and then some.
That’s just the way it goes.
Today was one of those and then some days.
Thank you for listening. ❤
Previously published on medium
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