by Dave Markwell

Ten years ago, my wife and I were married. Ten years is both a long and a short time. Some days, it feels like a blink and some days it feels like geologic time would better suit its measure. It really depends on the day.

Through the years, much has changed. Our life and our lives have changed. A couple always consists of two individuals and here is the magic of a marriage that survives ten years: the individuals remain as such. WOW!! This is a globe-rattling idea!! It is true. ”Two becoming one” is BS. For any marriage to last, the two people must remain true to who and what they are. Certainly some compromise is required as well, but this compromise cannot compromise one person’s sense of self or their ability to express that which is unique to them.

While this may sound a little heady, it is not. It is very simple. It involves forgiveness and concession and a stubborn will to remain together. It is the gentle acceptance of the other person simply because you value them. This is not easy, but it is I believe the key to any “success” my wife and I have had in our journey thus far.

“Listen, you married me AFTER I peed in the oven. ” was a common cop-out to my bad behavior early in our marriage. Here, I tried to shift the blame from myself to my wife. This did not work as well as I would have hoped. I still was blamed for the stuff that I should have been blamed for. When I was selfish and/or over-indulgent, my wife called me out. She expected and demanded more from me. This was not bad for me. It was good. It forced me to raise my own expectations of myself.

Through this I have changed much, but not all. I am still capable of doing some tremendously dumb things, but the frequency of such actions has been curtailed to a mostly acceptable level. I haven’t peed in the oven for a long time. I should say “allegedly”, since the initial oven whiz was never actually proven. The case was highly circumstantial, though very little “reasonable doubt” existed, certainly in my wife’s mind.

The years have changed us both. Time and experience do that. My wife and I remain very different in the “process” of life, but are committed to the same goals. This, I believe, saves us. We trust that the other is heading the right direction, even if we drive in different lanes of travel. She is a fast-laner, while I prefer the second lane with a little slower pace and my head shifting from side to side enjoying the sights. She wants to get “there”. I do too, but I also enjoy the ride at a slightly different pace. We have come to accept this as “how we are” and more now than ever, kind of enjoy these differences. These distinctions make my wife interesting to me. I am able to see the world differently through her eyeballs. This different perspective opens up many things that I would not have otherwise seen. And this, too, is good.

Raising kids and owning businesses and dealing with the inevitable challenges of life has strengthened us. While this has not been easy, it has been worth it. Today, I love my wife more than I did. I value her and respect her more. I truly admire and revere the person she is. The struggles and battles and the scars of both were not in vain. The scars serve as reminders of a life lived and shared. And I would do it all again.

After ten years of marriage, I would marry my wife again. This idea stands as a testament to her place in my life. After all the ups and sometimes REALLY DOWN downs, I would do it again. Nothing was in vain and it was all worth it. I will stand on this as the anchor for our next ten years together…though, I’m not counting any chickens yet…the oven is sometimes a tempting mistress…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]


One Response to “FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: A Perfect Ten.”
  1. Lady D says:

    LOL-est! I think this is your best!

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