Are you marriage material?

There are some people who seek marriage and children. They were born and created for it. Then there are others like me, who were not. Honestly, I never really cared for marriage as an institution. I always felt it was just an extra layer of complication to human relationships. In fact, the whole concept of marriage made me want to run for the hills. So no, I never thought I’d be married, certainly not twice!

I never really planned for kids either. As I mentioned before, there are people out there who were built for this. I remember how some of my friends would lay out their life plans to me, included in those plans were the number of children they wanted and the assigned ages at which they planned to have them. If you’d tell me 25 years ago that at 44 I’d have a kid who was now the age I was when he was born, I might laugh at you. Like marriage, children were never on my to do list. Frankly, I didn’t even like kids. I always felt that they were too unpredictable and made me nervous. These days, I’m a bit better and there are actually a few kids who I kind of like to be around. Hell, I’d even go as far as saying that I like my own kid. Lol.

Continuing along the path of things that a 20 year old Angel would have never envisioned, I never thought I’d have a 5 pound cute and fluffy dog who dominates my entire world on a daily basis. I absolutely love dogs, very, very much, always have. However, to me having a dog was too much of a commitment and required too much personal time that I was not willing to give up. I was far too self involved with my own interests and pursuits to willingly take on more responsibility. I love dogs, but I really, really like my freedom and personal space. Furthermore, if I were planning to get a dog, I always thought I would get one of the bully breeds.

When I was younger, I thought I’d reach 44 years old and still be out there clubbing and having those crazy wild parties with different beautiful women every night. That’s the vision I saw for myself when I was younger. Yet as you get older, things start to change. I still love to party and dance, but I can’t imagine going to a club at 44 years old. I’d feel so uncomfortable and out of place with all those young people. So these days I get my clubbing and dancing fix when I teach my Zumba classes several times a week. So while things do change, they don’t change all that much. I am still dancing on Saturdays!

Today marks my 11th year of being married. My wife and I have been together since 2006. That’s 16 years together. At this point, this is the longest I’ve ever been with any one person. 16 years! That’s not an easy thing to do when you are a guy like me. I’m sure it’s not easy for my wife either, I’m not always an easy person to live with. Over the years I’ve gotten much better, but I can be very stubborn and set in my ways. My wife is fairly easy going, but we have our moments here and there. One thing I can say, is that in all our time together, though we have had disagreements, we have never raised our voices at each other. We’ve never had a horrible fight, we always talk things out when necessary.

One of my flaws is that due to my tough life experiences, if I don’t get what I feel I deserve, one way or the other I would walk away from the situation. I have very little tolerance for conflict or nonsense in my personal life. This may not be a flaw per se, but in relationships it can be. I’ve had to curb this behavior in order to remain successfully married. You are not always going to have your way when sharing every aspect of your life with another human being. If just doesn’t work that way. The struggle is determining whether you are being fair in your assessment of things or are your expectations unreasonable? Coming to an objective place when your feelings and personal wants are involved is tough.

Marriage presents us with unique challenges and it requires a level of compromise that you would probably never make under any other circumstances. You have to be extremely patient and tolerant of each other. You have to try and work around your different interests and needs. This compromise part is not easy for me, I do it, but I must confess that compromising or simply accepting certain things has been the most difficult aspect of marriage for me. Staying here when I don’t feel I’m being treated the way I believe I should, that’s a tough one for me. Do you remember what I said about getting what I feel I deserve? But we work through it and I’m still here. We both are, working on our relationship and hanging on to each other. I can’t speak for my wife, but I’m sure she’d have plenty to add about being married to me.

So yes, 11 years later, here we are, still together, still chugging along the great road of life and doing the best we can with what we have. I am not perfect, we are not perfect, but here we are. I love you my wife.

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