Not long ago my husband and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary (May 6th if you’re curious).  On that day, we had been a couple for fifteen years.  I realized a couple of weeks ago that the date also marked another significant milestone in our life together.  We turned 30 this year, so that meant that our 15 year anniversary was the day we had literally spent half of our lives together.  Even after all these years, I never grow tired of the time we spend together.

I’ve learned a lot about love in this time.  I’ve learned that when someone loves you, his face lights up every time you walk in the room, and yours does the same.  I’ve learned that blankets (and cuddles) are easier to get than watching my furnace of a husband sweat when I have the air on to the temperature I like.  I know that no one is perfect, and that no matter how many times he leaves the wet clothes in the washer, or I leave half empty glasses of water all over the house, you should never go to bed angry.

They say that love is all you need, but love involves more than standing around and assuming everything will work out.  Communication is one of two things that I know keeps us together.  My husband is a “chaser,” meaning he likes to resolve things NOW and he will brute force his way through an argument or a fight until it is done.  I, however, am horribly irrational when I’m angry, and just want to get away when we fight.  When we’d had a few spats that ended in nothing more than truces and regretted words, we talked together about what we needed when we were mad.  I explained that he needs to give me time to cool off, and he explained that I can’t ignore things until they go away… because they don’t.  Neither of us wants to go to sleep and find the next day that the last thing we shared together was a meaningless fight about who forgot to pick up their shoes.

Compromise is the other thing that gives us strength.  There are the small things to compromise on –  When we each want something different to eat, we go out instead of settling on one dish.  When we don’t want to clean, we treat ourselves to a little help instead of arguing over chores.  Then, there are the bigger things –  He wants to have three kids, and I’m not so sure, so together we decided to start with one and go from there.  We’re also holding off on the kids so that I can finish my masters degree, we can finish our black belts in aikido, and we can make that trip to Australia next year.

In many ways we are alike – we both like similar music, we both like (mostly) the same movies, and we enjoy playing video and board games together.  We love art.  He is a talented sculptor, and I enjoy sketching and attempting to paint when I have the time.  Vacation destinations are easy to pick, though both of us are pretty lazy about planning and end up winging it, then taking naps in the afternoon instead of filling every second with activities.  We enjoy the company of great friends together, have long conversations about random things like quantum theory and relativity, and don’t particularly enjoy housework.

We are also very different.  We each have friends that we like to see without needing the other to be there.  We like different food, have different religious beliefs, and while he can’t get enough of RTS (real time strategy) and FPS (first person shooter) games, I don’t particularly enjoy PVP (player vs. player) because he ALWAYS wins!  He also vastly outweighs me with his patience and his calm, centered attitude, but I tend to be a bit more responsible than him. 😉

At this point in my life, I have more memories of being with him than I do of being without him, and I intend for it to stay that way.  If it is not in the cards, though, I want to have no regrets.  My philosophy and advice to the rest of you: Live every moment like it might be your last, but don’t spend so much time trying to live that you forget to really live, and enjoy the little things.  Learn to love each other no matter what.  Your true friends love you at your best, most graceful moments as well as your worst, most foolish ones.  So, too, should your best friend.  Learn to accept what you can, and compromise on the rest.  And, most of all, learn how to work things out so that you never go to bed angry.