Monday, October 12, 2009

Ten Years

"Just think," Greta said the other day. "If you and Dadda hadn't walked down that hallway at work and seen each other... I wouldn't be here today."

Steve and I have our ten year anniversary this week. It seems like a really long time in many ways, and yet it also went by in a blink of an eye.

We met at work, 16 years ago. I had been working there about a year, when a new cute 26 year old single guy started. Greta's right -he caught my eye right away. Although, truth be told, another co-worker was interested in him, and I was already involved with someone, so I graciously set them up. We were good friends for a couple of years, long enough for my relationship to end and for my prayers that his wouldn't work out to be answered.

Looking back on it, I'm grateful for the six years we dated before getting married. I know now that it helped us build a strong foundation we would need in later years. If you asked me at the time, though, I would have bounced up and down in frustration that we didn't get married right off the bat.

We married in 1999, were both working at terrific jobs, happy, mostly carefree, and ready to take on the world. We hung out with a huge group of friends, most of whom were still single or just settling down. It did, truly, seem that those freewheeling days would never end.

I had Greta two years after we were married, and we were living in a suburb west of the city. Steve had a great job in downtown Boston, and I was ready, I thought, to settle into being a full time stay-at-home Mom.

Welcome to Adulthood.

Three years later, we moved into the house we're in now, he started a new job, and I gave birth to Finn.

The real work of keeping a marriage and a family together began.

By this time I was slipping ever so slowly into the grip of addiction, and was overwhelmed by motherhood and holding down a job working from home. The daily grind of working, taking care of the kids and paying bills was in full swing.

We had to dig deep, figure out what we're made of. There were more than a few times when we both wondered if we'd make it.

When I hit Rock Bottom and went to treatment, we honestly didn't know if our marriage would survive. In the end, we drew on our deep friendship, our mutual respect for the people we had been, and the people we hoped to become.

And today? I have a deep, abiding respect for this amazingly strong man I married. We can go for days without really seeing each other, appreciating each other. But we work harder now to remember that small gestures of love and support mean a lot. We have gratitude.

The other day I was thinking that if someone had shown me, back at the tender age of 24 when we first met, a snapshot of our life today I would have thought: wow, really? Do I really get to have all that?


  1. i'm a new reader of your blog. what a wonderful post. all of your writing is inspirational and so honest, thank you. i've been married for one year now, and sober for almost 4. i, too, am most grateful to be married to a man who understands the importance of those small gestures. 4 years ago i would never have been able to believe my life could be this wonderful as well. we truly have no idea what is in store for us...

  2. Aw, what a great post. Happy anniversary to you both!

  3. Happy Anniversary! We celebrated 10 years this year also and we dated for 6 before we married. Must have been the thing to do back then, haha!

  4. Happy 10th Anniversary! What a great post.

  5. Such a beautiful post! Happy anniversary. (did you celebrate?? Oh I think the Bermuda was that??)

  6. Happy Anniversary! May life continue to bring wonderful answers to your challenges. Your partnership is a treasure that everyone appreciates! Much much love to you both from all of those who benefit from your love for each other.

  7. Congratulations! I celebrated 11 years this year.

  8. Congratulations and happy anniversary! I'm so happy for you both! :)

  9. This is an awesome story. My husband and I are going to celebrate 5 years of marriage in a couple of months and we are kind of in that "are we really going to make a go of this?" stage. It draws upon every ounce of strength and fortitude in each of our reserves...I think we have a great chance. Hopefully 5 years from now I will be writing a story similar to yours. :)

  10. Felicitations...on finding & recognizing what so many people miss! My T-hub & I will celebrate our 10th next May by renewing our vows & doing a small wedding in BoraBora w/our closest friends & family who came to the first one. Why? B/c in today's era to still be madly in love, happy & cognizant of what we have after ten years...well that deserves celebration! People ask us how we do it, first I say: we made sure we changed together--waiting thru 2yrs of dating & 5yrs of engagement (we met in college) to be sure we'd follow the same path then I say: it isn't easy & shouldn't takes work, but the benefits are worth it to the Nth degree!! Love the pics thru the yrs! :) L

  11. Congratulations! What a wonderful chronicle. Here's to many more happy years -- joys, challenges and all!

  12. Happy Anniversary! Hope you share many more wonderful years together!

  13. Happy Anniversary!!

    You deserve to be happy. Yes, you really *do* get to have alllll that. Enjoy it, You've earned it.

  14. Kate from the Atlanta burbsOctober 17, 2009 at 2:46 PM

    I agree with Catizhere, you earned every bit of your happiness. It was a decision you made to be happy--something I have realized takes some effort. You and I must have been on the same timeline. I was married in '99 after dating for over 5 years. It DOES allow you time to develop a deep friendship that you will need later. I am so inspired by your recovery and honesty. If more moms like you (and Liz) were more forthrigth on how hard parenting is, there would be a lot less depression and addiction among the motherhood. Not to mention in-fighting and snarkiness!