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We were totally taken with each other, instantly. We ended up spending a whole weekend together and made the rather rash decision to just go for it- whatever that meant. Two weeks later, we were able to meet for a long weekend in California, and at that point, we decided that I’d get into the truck with him.

It was a pretty crazy decision on my part, and my parents were really upset. I felt this way- I didn’t have much to lose in the way of career or home at that point, I felt what I had with this guy was pretty special, and I do love to travel. If I didn’t at least give it a try, I’d always regret it. And if it didn’t work out, I wasn’t an immature teenage girl who couldn’t take care of herself. I had the resources to get myself back to my family if it didn’t turn out as I hoped.

It was actually a smashing success. We got along really well from day one, and that’s saying something when you’re stuck in a semi-truck sleeper 24/7. We just turned out to be extremely compatible. We seem to agree on all of the major things, and where we don’t, we respect each other enough to have no problem with disagreeing.

My parents came around pretty quickly once they saw I was happy and got to know my husband better. We got married on Thanksgiving Day, 2011 and have been together for four years now. We’ve had to cope with some major adversity, especially in the first year, but every challenge has only served to show us how good we are for each other. There’s no question that he makes my life better in every way.

What are your secrets? Mutual respect seems to be one of the key things in a good marriage. Beyond things like sexual attraction and intense liking, we admire each other as people. We’re a true partnership, have each acknowledged the other’s strong points, treat each other as equals, and discuss every major decision. We like to make each other happy; there’s never a question of what’s in it for me, because the benefits are extremely clear.

Does marriage feel like a life sentence? Definitely not. I come from a family where 50-60 year marriages are the norm, and have had a front-row seat to the ups and downs that are just part of life, and how they are handled by a successfully married couple. That being said, the final years of my first marriage did feel like a life sentence. I was very much in for better or for worse, and the worse was very bad. At the time he died, I was trying hard to figure out how to make it bearable for the decades I was sure were still ahead of us.

How do the ravages of time affect your feelings about your partner? If anything, I’m more in love and more convinced of his worth. Our physical connection is very strong, but much of that seems to flow from the mental and spiritual. Since we’ve been together, we’ve both gained some weight and some gray hairs. My health is improving- thanks to tons of tlc from him- but more slowly than I’d like. Honestly, it’s impossible for me to separate the physical part from the rest of him. When I see him, it’s not just a face and body; it’s a complete person.

In looks, we’re both very average, but it’s safe to say that we seem beautiful to each other.

35J February 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm
Sometimes I glance at my husband and feel a jolt of surprise that his hair has gray in it now. Nearly always I see it as the light brown color it was when we met.