My husband and I celebrated 30 years of marriage this year. Thirty-six years together if you count the years of dating prior to the formal “I Do” in front of witnesses. But I knew that we would be together forever well-before that date in June 1990. I knew it in my gut on a cold winter day in March 1984 at the corner of Cavendish and Fielding, as I was walking home from my aerobics class. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was already cold, but the shivers that went through my body were enough to stop me in my tracks. “I’m going to marry that guy. He’s my person.”
I wasn’t even twenty-one years old. My one serious relationship before him had not been a resounding success. But, somehow, I knew that this guy, this person, this human being who I had had only known for a few short weeks was it. Not my soulmate. Not my best friend. Not my man. Not my lover. He would be my husband. He would be the person who would be with me through thick and thin (if you read my first article, you know what I mean), from apartment to duplex to house; from childless to one to two kids; through the death of grandparents and parents; through surgeries and illnesses; from camping to cruising; from Kraft Dinner and hot dogs to vegan chilli and black bean burgers; from blonde to grey to white.
Those transitions and milestones didn’t happen overnight. We had the luxury of time. We grew together. We learned together and we leaned on each other. We invested in each other.
Over the course of our six years of dating, we eventually moved in with each other but still knew that the ultimate goal would be marriage. We talked. We planned. We had the serious conversations that people do before that big commitment. Kids? Yep. Baptism? Nope. Savings? Important. Debt? To be avoided (mortgage excluded). How to handle major holidays with the in-laws and outlaws? We settled that as the kids came along. We nurtured common friendships, we traveled, we bought a second-hand car (no debt!). We listened to each other, to the fears based on experiences lived, to hopes for the future, and worked to build our life together.
Each day that I wake up next to him, I marvel that we made it against the odds. According to Stats Can, the divorce rate of those married in 1990 is 13.21%. Just ten years later, that…