There are other such mini-celebrations coming up: the first time we had sex, 15 or 16 December; engagement on 30 December (well that was when Noreen dropped the bombshell on her mother anyway); Noreen moved in with me the following May; and we married in September 1979.
If you think that’s all a bit quick, well we had known each other for at least 3 years. We both knew, but didn’t tell the other, how we felt for each other. And then we almost lost contact after a disagreement when we both thought we’d screwed up and lost the other. But somehow we managed to stay in contact; just. Then unexpectedly Noreen asked me to her birthday bash in early October 1978. The rest, as they say, is history!
But hey, I realised properly last night that it is just as good as it always was. We’ve had our ups and downs – who doesn’t?! The first 2-3 years were hard – we fought; I was depressed; we had a crummy rented flat. When we bought the house in mid-1981 mortgage rates were very high – people today think they have it hard, we started our mortgage paying 14.5% interest, and after 6 months it was up to 17.5%!! That hurt. Many couples would I’m sure have thrown in the towel. But we stuck it out; somehow. And it’s got better; we don’t fight any more; we discuss, compromise and agree a way forward. By diligence we managed to pay off the mortgage seven years early. And we still have great sex; it’s different now from the early days but it is still great.
How have we done it? We don’t really know; we ask each other this question fairly regularly. But there are a number of key factors: a shared sense of humour; shared interests but also our own separate interests; doing things together but also separately; but perhaps most importantly we talk – all the time! And like all good relationships it is multi-faceted varying between friend-friend, parent-child, adult-adult, child-child, lover-lover. Even when, say, lover-lover is missing (as it will be sometimes) many of the others are there and keep things ticking along. Where relationships hit the buffers seems to be when many of the roles are missing and they degenerate into child-child, parent-child or enemy-enemy. (I’ve written more about this on the Theory of Relationships page of my Zen Mischief website.)
If we could make another 30 years we’ll both be getting on for 90. And who’s to say we can’t? Onward and upward! Here’s to many more happy years together.