On September 13th, my siblings and I celebrated our parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. During their lifetime, divorce has become relatively commonplace. Many people the age of my parents have divorced, so celebrating their accomplishment provided all of us with a sweet joy as we saw them act like newlyweds…giggling, laughing, getting ready, and gushing about how nice each other looked.
Seeing them interact with their friends and family and remembering the day gave us a glimpse into the love they have for one another. I think, as children, we sometimes only see the mundane living of life (plus the irritabilities and frustrations) and not the beauty of long-time love. We know that it wasn’t always easy, but we also know that time and time again, they persevered.
For me, it gave a little zing to my heart. I am 48 years old, and it would be a miracle that I have another that would last 50 years.
Earlier I used the words “accomplishment” and “persevered”…as if willpower is all that it takes to accomplish and persevere for a long marriage. Those words, while accurately describing my parents’ long marriage, could also be applied to my own marriage that ended in divorce.
Sometimes we use those particular words not realizing that they imply failure to those who do not achieve the same milestones.
I did achieve the longest marriage that I could. I did persevere in the face of difficulty. And I did choose to leave when my eyes were opened to the horrors hidden from me.
My parents’ long and beautiful marriage is just that. Long and beautiful.
My marriage was too long and too hard, and it was just that. Too long and too hard.
And I am ok with that.
There is joy for me, as well. I succeeded in getting out of an abusive, unfaithful marriage. I am thriving as I move forward with peace and joy.
Long marriages are beautiful, but it is also beautiful to witness someone step into a new life, away from something awful.