How Can a Marriage Last? We are Celebrating 12 Years Together

12 years ago I awoke knowing I’d marry the man of my dreams in just a few short hours. I had NO idea where this journey would take us, at 29 years old I simply knew that this guy was the person I wanted to do life with and had faith that we could face anything. I certainly didn’t know that one of the things we’d have to face was my alcoholism, nor that we’d face so many other life challenges. Over these years we’ve lost jobs, had illnesses, feared for our children’s well being, faced financial crisis…the list of road blocks is longer than I care to list but the fact that we’re here standing side by side is miraculous.



Marriage is a bitch, there’s no two ways about it. It’s THE most challenging relationship I’ve encountered and THE most rewarding. Combining two entirely different people to spend the rest of their lives together should be awe inspiring. As we sit in marriage ceremony watching 2 people vowing to love one another and to always honour one another aren’t we being unrealistic? How can marriage last when we have 2 people exerting their free will over years?

Add in the challenges of the world around us, children to nurture and love and the stress can become too much.

How Can a Marriage Last?

The key in our relationship has been being humble. Humility has allowed us to give 100% of ourselves even when the other is being a complete jerk. Yes I wrote that because over the years I’ve been the consummate jerk at times and my husband has done his best to rise above and be the man he wants to be. In those times when I’m stuck in my ego, if I’ve had nobody to rebel against, nobody to prove I’m right….eventually I’ve lost steam and have clued back into the reality of the situation.

Sitting here within the 12th year of our marriage, I’m struck by the fact that I’ve been sober for 1 quarter of our marriage. This quarter has blessed me with clear memories, both of good times and of the most challenging of our lives. We have come within hours of losing our home, we’ve dealt with my physical, emotional and financial repercussions of a car accident, the hell(and heaven) that is raising 2 daughters and so many other things. I’ve often wanted to run or hide and I’m sure my husband has as well but rather than taking that route, we’ve turned to each other.

This is the one person who gets me, the one I know will be there no matter how we rage at one another….we are together. Connected at the soul level, we know when each other is hurting and have learned to put ourselves aside to truly be the support each other deserves.

As imperfect as our marriage is, we are bound by our faith, our vows and our high regard for one another. With hard work, tears of sadness, joy and laughter we are wrapped together in this day celebrating the blessings.


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28 Responses

  1. Happy Anniversary to you both! Hubby and I were extremely young when we got married and I am sure everyone thought it wouldn’t last but here we are 37 years later we have been thro some hard times but we are more in love than ever, I chalk our happiness up to the fact that we have a similar sense of humour and that he has the patience of a saint, lol!

  2. That’s such a good thing! Sounds as though yours has lasted 12 years the same way ours has lasted 27, so I pray for a great future ahead of you both. For Joy and me, we are in this marriage to serve each other, not to see what we can get from each other. It’s all about what we have to give away. And you’re quite right; that comes only through humility. The only way we can begin the process of humility is to do humble things. This is a bottom line for me. There are humble things like taking out the trash, doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom – see, those are humble things. And the only way to move toward humility is to do things that I have always viewed as being beneath me, and not letting anything on this earth be beneath me.

    Here’s the money quote in this mess: The fewer things I see as beneath me, the more humble I probably really am. And the more things I see as beneath me, the less humble I really am – no matter what anyone says or thinks about me. And I guess theologically we can all go check this out. I know we all have different language for this and I hear this in my AA group pretty regularly. But I don’t think I’m supposed to pray for God to humble me. When I look at scripture, God commands me to humble myself. I get an option. I can humble myself, and if I don’t do it, when God does it, it’s called humiliation.
    So I’m pretty much on this one, especially in my marriage.

    Anyway, sorry for the rambling. God continue to bless you richly on your journey, from where you’ve been to where you’re going.

  3. That’s am amazing way to look at it! My husband and I have been together for 35 years, we have also been through alcoholism, money problems, illness, great loss, going from 2 incomes to one, me being a (going to be blunt) a total bitch from hell when I am hurting, there is no other way to describe it, he always steps up when I need him and vice versa, people get divorced to easily now a days you have to work on it and it’s not easy as you say, sometimes you want to strangle them. We as people make mistakes and none of us are perfect is the first thing to remember and never go to bed mad is a rule. Happy Anniversary Julie!

  4. Wishing you both a Happy Anniversary. Marriage is something you both need to work at and it sounds like you both do. Keep it up and to many more years together and may each year get better.

  5. Hi, Julie. So glad I came across your blog as I, too, can relate to so much of your history. We just celebrated our 22nd anniversary and, by the grace of God, have come through many “storms” and are better and stronger for it. Marriage is humbling and a lot of work but I, like you, have found my love of a lifetime and I cannot imagine anyone else that I could do this thing we call life. Your words are so inspiring and I believe so many of us can relate to you. Congratulations on your anniversary and all that you have achieved. Looking forward to reading more of your inspiring, encouraging words.

  6. Happy anniversary and wishing you all the joy, love, and happy surprises you two deserve in the years ahead.

  7. Congratulations on 12 years! We are celebrating 14 years next Tuesday and it has been a roller coaster ride but we have survived and each year that goes by our relationship becomes stronger!

  8. Congratulations to you both. As someone now going through a divorce I do still have hope that I will one day find someone compatible to be with. So awesome for you. :)

  9. Congratulations first of all. We celebrated over 20 recently. It is no question marriage is the hardest relationship and sometimes the easiest also. I suspect you have an amazing husband. Mine is extremely kind and tolerant and patient. I thank God for that, because I am not patient and I suspect I might even be hard to live with. LOL. I really am blessed that he is such a strong support system for me.

  10. Congratulations!!!
    Blessed are the peacemakers. That’s helpful for me to remember.
    My husband and I just celebrated our 6’th and I hope it just keeps getting better. (counting on it actually.)

  11. Happy anniversary to you both! Thank you for writing this! I loved your statement “Add in the challenges of the world around us, children to nurture and love and the stress can become too much.” its so true! Its a topic my husband I were discussing just the other day, we feel like we lose ourselves as we emerge our every waking moment in the day to either our children or work. For us it was a moment where we realized we still need to nurture our own relationship, without it where would the marriage be? I’m glad to hear that we might be slightly normal and that there is another couple out there like that, lol. We are entering 7 yrs of marriage, 10 yrs together this yr and it still blows my mind to how we found each other in this crazy busy life we live. Its another blessing in life to celebrate on this crazy life adventure ;) Wishing you another 50 yrs!

  12. Beautiful photo and couple! Congrats on 12 years and sending you two wishes for plenty more happy years ahead.

  13. Your blog is so true ,as i am coming up to 11 years of marriage and looking back i am not sure how we made it through all the ups and down except for holding onto one another.

  14. Congratulations on 12 years! We just celebrated 22 years in July but have been together for 33.Life is good

  15. TY for sharing this! My hubby and I have been married 7 1/2 years and we are still learning! I hope we can get to this point eventually! =)

  16. Forgiveness and setting aside your ego are the biggest blessings you can welcome into your marriage. Say sorry first and always remember you waste time you can be loving each other if you choose to lengthen a fight by trying to be right.

  17. I am stumbling across this post just as we finished celebrating 31 years. Hubby says that we are the envy of all our friends because we seem so connected. If they only realized how much work goes into a marriage. We certainly have had our ups and downs, but I am happy that we make it look easy. Looking forward to 32 years. Congrats to you as well.

  18. Well congrats on 12 years,I love the photo beautiful couple.Wishing you a lifetime of happiness and the strength to leap over the bumps along the way.

  19. Congratulations. Marriages are worth celebrating. It was beautiful to hear how you struggled and grew together. This is love that lasts.

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