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Anniversary time to appreciate marriage

POSTED: April 9, 2014 3:31 p.m.
 

I love being married.

It helps that my husband, Paul, is also my best friend, in addition to being a really good husband — well, most of the time. But hey, nobody is perfect, especially me.

Back to marriage. We just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. While most may consider it not very “glamorous,” it was a perfect evening for us.

I cooked a yummy dinner. I always cook Japanese to celebrate our first date, which was at an authentic Japanese restaurant.

We had been acquaintances for a few months, and I definitely had a crush on him. He seemed only mildly interested in me.

He would tell you it was because I was a financial planner and was interested in investing money he didn’t have. But I knew he didn’t have any money, and couldn’t have cared less.

Our date was amazing. He spoke Japanese to the waiter and told me of his numerous adventures in Japan while stationed there with the U.S. Air Force.

I sampled everything he ordered, except for the whole, baby octopus. Yes, I know that’s gross, but I already said nobody is perfect.

Just because I love being married, doesn’t mean marriage is easy.

The divorce rate remains quite high, hovering around 50 percent. I suppose in light of that fact, it’s easy to see why young people are waiting to tie the knot or, in many cases, not marrying at all.

In 1990, the year we got married, the average age for women marrying was 23 and for men it was 26. In 2013, the average age for first-time brides was 27 and for grooms it was 29.

The economy and challenging job market could have something to do with that, as well as the general negative factors that seem to be so prevalent for young people.

How many of us know someone in their 20s who is unemployed or underemployed? Sadly, we likely all do.

Maybe this latest study will encourage our young people to marry and offer validation for those of us who are married.

About 3.5 million men and women were studied and it was determined that married people are less likely to suffer from any type of heart or blood vessel problems.

The study didn’t really say why this was so, but some doctors offered theories that perhaps spouses encourage either other to take better care of themselves.

That must have been a male doctor, because any female doctor (or married woman) would surely articulate that if not for women, men would pretty much never go to the doctor or pay serious attention to their ailments. Similar to asking for directions, seeking medical help just isn’t in the male DNA.

I’m not advocating for all young people to run out and “get hitched.” I just worry that with all of the messages in the culture, the case for marriage is weakening.

I remember when we were a young married couple with one, two, three and then four young children. There were days I didn’t think I would make it through, much less survive to be an empty nester.

Yet, somehow, here we are with just one child at home. Suddenly, we no longer have to jump through hoops to go out on a date.

I can’t believe how fast the time went. But I know for sure I’m glad we weathered all of those big and little storms — and did it together.

 

Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at contact@adlenrobinson.com.

 

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