Someone asked me this week how my husband and I have stayed together for almost 30 years. There’s no secret or luck, my friends. We invest in our relationship every single day. There’s no resting on our laurels, phoning it in, or taking a day off. We work at it, but it doesn’t feel like work because we enjoy being together. We dig one another. We genuinely like each other and find each other interesting. We are fans of our relationship. His face is my screen saver and he keeps a 29 year old picture of us in his wallet. Don’t get me wrong, our relationship isn’t perfect. We are flawed human beings incapable of perfection. I’m so grateful to be in an amazingly imperfect, loving relationship with my best friend.
Mike and I are opposites in a lot of ways. He’s a calm, steadfast, neat, organized, rational saver. I’m a little tornado, an emotional, impulsive, creative dreamer. He’s a night owl who has trouble falling asleep. I’m an earlyish bird who can fall asleep in a middle of a conversation. He has a loud laugh that comes from deep within. I laugh on the inside. He’s not a huge fan of PDA, but I make him kiss me in the middle of Target anyway. He keeps me grounded and I encourage him to fly. He is a fantastic verbal storyteller and I’m a writer. He’s the driver and I’m the trusty navigator. We are strong and weak at different times so we are always there to catch each other when we stumble. He’s an optimistic ball of anxiety and I’m a deep pit of depression and pessimism. He’s quick to forgive and I hold a grudge. But we love each other for our differences.
We are the same where it counts—our values and priorities, our love of home and family, and our love for other imperfect humans in this world. We are kind and generous to others, as well as to each other. We make decisions together (except when I spent $3,000 dollars on Mary Kay without telling him). We talk it out after I try giving him the silent treatment. We are equals in our relationship and give each other 100%. We are Team Cokeley.
Mike and I laugh a lot (when I’m not irritable and moody)—with each other, at each other, and through the most difficult, dark times. We share inside jokes. I cheese sandwich you, Mike. A lot of our conversations are pieced together with movie quotes.
We understand romance isn’t always about grand gestures. It’s also little things like holding hands in bed while watching T.V.; stealing kisses in the kitchen; Starbuck surprises; leaving a towel out for the morning shower; making sure we never run out of toilet paper; running errands together; and remembering to pay off the credit cards (except when I forget to pay Mike’s, but that has only happened a few hundred times). Romance is about saying I love you every day, making sure there are kisses goodbye, texting during the day just to say I’m thinking about you (and your hot body).
So, you see my friends, it’s not luck, except for our incredible chemistry, but don’t worry, I will spare you the details (unless you want them, you perv).