Is it possible to stay happily married for 10 or 20 years? Or even longer than that?
I’ve been thinking about that recently, as my husband Ben and I celebrated our 20th anniversary. We shared the breakfast table at an exceptional B&B with newlywed couples, people who were just like us when we started out.
The time between being the newlyweds—asking the long-married couples around us “how did you do it?”—and being the older couple offering advice, has flown by.
While my husband and I were celebrating our second honeymoon in the rainforests of Puerto Rico, I got word that Jeff Moore recently got married (congratulations, Jeff and Danieta!).
Jeff being Jeff, the first question he had for me was “how did you do it?”
Well, my friend, here’s how:
1. Have faith you will meet that person.
At 22, I was holiday shopping with my mom when she found a rack of Hanes briefs for men. “Oh,” she said, “stop here for a minute with me—your dad needs new underwear. I’ll get him some for Christmas.”
She shopped so casually, so lovingly, for the man who’d been in her life for decades. Watching her, I felt a kind of longing. I’d just emerged from the latest of my short-term relationships; I was lonely and worried about the future.
“Mom… what if I never get to buy underwear for somebody?” I asked her, my voice low and sad in the high-pitched holiday fervor of Jordan Marsh in the 90s.
Mom stopped, put down her stack of skivvies for Dad, and took my hand. “It’ll happen for you.”
“But how do you know?”
“I just do. Enjoy your single time. It won’t last long.” Mom gave my hand a quick squeeze and, businesslike, resumed shopping.
My mom never lies; something in her look communicated safety and faith in the future.
So I did. I relaxed and enjoyed my