I wish I knew the answer to that. Today is our 41st anniversary and when I posted on Facebook this morning I got a lot of comments commending us on our "accomplishment"—as if we did something special to be married so long. It is rare, I know, but I think of a long marriage to the same person as more a matter of great good luck, than something accomplished.
various explanations for this old custom, but maybe it was just symbolic of all the things that might be thrown our way, good and bad, over the years ahead.
I have so many friends whose marriages have not survived and I often wonder why we made it work when others haven't. I always come back to luck. Marry the right person. That's an easy answer, but I think most of us know that most people who marry think that is exactly what they have done. I do remember laying in the dark, next to my new husband, suddenly realizing that I didn't really know him. "What have I done?" I wondered. I suppose he felt the same. We didn't share that anxiety with each other, but instead just moved forward, together, through all these years. We usually knew what we wanted and we worked for it. We learned to like many of the same things. I taught him about art. He taught me about jazz. We discovered foreign movies and travel. We had great children and enjoyed them as they grew and when there were problems we usually agreed about how to go about dealing with them. Did we work at this? I suppose we did, but really mostly we were lucky that we seemed to be on the same path and valued the same things.
That chilly November day was a happy and terrifying day. Today was, in many ways, a better, though definitely a simpler day. Now I know for sure that I wasn't making a mistake. I was lucky then and lucky now.