Privilege Blog

On The Fifth Anniversary Of My Second Marriage, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:46am

I would like to take this opportunity to say Happy Anniversary to my husband. On Monday we will have been married for five years.

When my children, or other young people, struggle with careers, I feel confident that I can give good counsel. Or good enough to be useful one way or another.

But I am always aware that I know very little about how to choose a partner. When it comes to marriage and choosing someone to love and be loved by I rarely feel qualified to opine. Opine, what a funny word. I mean that my reaction to people flirting and courting and falling in love and staying in love and partnering for life is most often something like, “If you are happy, what do I know?”

But that’s not true. I do know something. If you are a project person, like me, find someone who can be just that, a life project. For me it’s about a spectrum of respect. This is hard to explain. I’ll try.

I find it easy to respect and admire someone for their strengths, their allure; the trick has been to feel the same way for an entire person. To admire and feel rewarded by someone so much in their glory that you find yourself able to respect how and why they put their self together as they did, all of it – even in the inglorious moments.

I am guessing having children also changed my relationship to relationships. Learning to cherish – is that the right word?

In any case, for someone who really knew nothing, I’ve been very lucky. Happy anniversary, my life project, and much, much love.

57 Responses

  1. How can it be five years already? Happy anniversary!
    I agree that respect for the whole person is key to building a successful relationship. But I think you need a better term than “life project,” as that sounds like you’re going to try to change him (although the context makes clear that that’s not what you’re saying). I have no suggestion for an alternate, however. Hope you have a wonderful celebration.

    1. @MJ, Five years. I know. And I agree, I thought the same thing about the terminology, but I couldn’t come up with anything better! I suppose it depends on how you define “project,” something you alter or something in which you invest and find a way to grow inside of.

  2. How wonderful! and congratulations. I love that statement (in the comments though) of a project being something in which “you invest and find a way to grow inside of”, it sounds like a good way to build a relationship as well.

  3. Five years? Hard to believe – time is going by too swiftly for my liking. For someone like me (who has an opinion on my things) I feel like you do about offering my advice or opinions on this subject. I’m just thrilled that we both finally got it right! A very Happy Anniversary to you both. XO

  4. Happy, happy anniversary Lisa… to you and your significant husband. Ha. I’ve been reading long enough to remember when you had to change his moniker on the blog.

    I love that someone as wise as you is so humble. It’s very easy to toss off advice to those in need of a little counsel. I think people would be surprised by how much our words can help or hurt those who come to us for advice. I always remember the first time a student, all grown up, told me that some small thing I’d said in class had changed how she looked at writing. Really? I couldn’t believe it.

    I think we’d all be surprised by the effect we can have on others. I was going to say on those younger than us… but sheesh… at 62 I still need lots of counsel, and it doesn’t always come from my elders.

    Hope you and your guy have a wonderful day doing whatever makes you happiest. xo

    1. @Sue Burpee, Significant Husband! Exactly. I really appreciate your point about our words having more impact than we expect, and am humbled again ( I thought someone with your sense of human would approve of that remark.)

  5. What a lovely sentiment. I always think myself lucky; in all the world, to find a partner to love and grow with for days and months and years. Some days it feels like pure chance. Congratulations!

  6. So beautifully and well said, Lisa. Happy anniversary and wishing you many more years of love and joy.

  7. Five years? That went by swiftly. I’m so glad you found your person. Happy Anniversary. You mention respect, and I do find that is key. The one thing I’d add is the respect needs to begin within one’s one being, and then radiate out. When I think of my parents long and happy marriage (their anniversary was 14 August, close to yours), that is the trait between them I notice more than any other. They were opposites who fit like puzzle pieces, and each respected the gifts, desires, and quirks of the other. I wish you many more years of shared respect and cherishing and love. xo.

  8. Happy Anniversary! And I echo those who marvel at the five years passing so quickly. As one with oodles of experience in married life (44 years this month!) I’d still be loath to offer any advice at all, my experience being limited only to one partner, and chosen at the ridiculously young age of 20, at that. So much depends on luck, but love and respect and kindness go a long way (physical chemistry doesn’t hurt either ;-)
    And I think that Katherine makes a very important point above. Respect for one’s own self is also key. . .

  9. Happy Anniversary. We are all each other’s projects in a relationship. I’m coming up on 30 years with my husband, and I think we have changed each other for the better. I struggle with things that are his strengths, and vice versa, so we have always both learned from each other. It makes life fun and (mostly) interesting.

    1. @Kristina, “We are all each other’s projects in a relationship. ” :). And learning from one another to me is what makes it that kind of project.

  10. Congratulations on your 5th Anniversary!
    Like others I am surprised at how fast the 5 years have flown by…
    Like Frances I was married young and we celebrated our 44th this past July.
    Have a fun day, week and year celebrating your marriage !

  11. Congratulations, Lisa! And congrats also to the lucky man who holds your heart.

    The one bit of marriage wisdom this old crone allows herself to share: Marriage is not a noun; it is a verb, an action, an activity, something you live out every day.

    We’ll be celebrating our 53rd on August 28th – and although I doubt you remember, you were there, all those years ago, along with your elegant parents and your two adorable younger sibs. Ted and I still recall those three pairs of big blue eyes, focusing on the wedding cake! (And you three received the first slices, after our own.)

    Enjoy your love and your happiness, dearest Lisa – you deserve it!

    1. @Victoire, Congratulations and happy anniversary to you both. I have a vague memory, of cake.:). I love your memory of me and my two middle siblings, thank you so much for sharing it.

    2. What an incredible memory to share with us – thank you! And a very Happy Anniversary to you and your husband. xo

  12. Happy Anniversary! I will have been married for 19 years on Monday :-) (Also, I forgot so I have plans that I really can’t cancel. Fortunately, he forgot too!)

  13. Happy anniversary and many more! I do not give advise when it comes to love and marriage. I do ask questions when queried. The old saying “love is blind” resonates with me. (Been there, done that.) When in that ‘love is blind’ state, sometimes a question or two sheds light on what is to come. With divorce rates as high as 50%, marriage is hard. May happiness continue to rein with you and yours.

  14. Seems like just yesterday we were looking at band-aid dresses, shoes, make-up, San Francisco City Hall. Time just flies! Congratulations.

    1. @RoseAG, The Christopher Kane dress! Still have it:). Should make another occasion to wear it – the Jimmy Choo sparkle toes are pretty easy to reuse;). Thank you!

  15. A very happy anniversary to you and Significant Husband. Cannot believe its already five years! I can’t presume to offer any clues on marriage, except to have a sense of humor. That has been quite helpful for us over the last four decades.

    Enjoy your special day!

  16. Hello Lisa, It seems that we were just congratulating you on your marriage! The issues you obviously care and write about–environment, home, politics, heritage, education, children, relatives, and so many others all must hone your special relationship with your husband.

    Happy Anniversary, with many more returns.

  17. Congratulations! Marriage, given its inherent complexity beyond mere love, is one thing I find difficult to account for with words. Yours, as always, were quite well chosen! Enjoy your anniversary!

  18. Tomorrow, my husband and I will celebrate 41 years of marriage. I am happy for you that you have found your life partner, as have I.

  19. Congratulations! Your hesitancy to pontificate, while you endeavor to think hard and write clearly about important stuff (all while avoiding sentimentality and excess “sharing” like a good Sturdy Gal) is appreciated. I think it’s rare. People tend to hold forth, or won’t touch the topic, pile on platitudes or give TMI. I love your effort and restraint. Hope you two have lots of fun celebrating!

    1. @Wendy, Oh thank you! It’s not my natural chemistry, restraint, I work at it like a yoga practice, so it means a lot that you appreciate the results. <3

  20. Lisa, what a thought provoking post so personal and yet,for me mysterious.
    I too have grown cautious about giving advise because I fear being wrong.

    With every wish for your happiness,


  21. Happy anniversary! On Sept 15 my husband and I are getting married. I will be a bride for the first time at 61 after being together for 26 yrs! So my struggles are not at all that I picked the right person to share the rest of my life with, but finding the right way to share the day with our families and friends, and my “new” husband and enjoy the day without being focused on myself. I am stressing about the wedding planning just as any bride, but really hoping to be able to enjoy our day!

    1. @Terri Crothers, Congratulations!!! I hope your wedding planning is going well. I loved my wedding like crazy, I documented it here and over on A Practical Wedding, and I hope you love yours as much or more.

  22. We share the same anniversary date! Congrats to you and your best bud. I remember the lovely pictures from that day. It’s year 35 over here (or up here, I should say, as we live in Oregon).

    Overall, I am chary of dispensing wedding advice. And that’s despite the fact that I have had “gut feelings” and have been proven right, more than once.

    1. @Jean Shaw, Congratulations on your 35th.

      As it turned out I had the date wrong, it was Wednesday! If ever I wish I could use the laughing until you cry emoji it was at myself right here;).

  23. Sorry for being late to this (been on vacation), but still wanted to add my very best wishes for a Happy 5th Anniversary!!! I have no advice either. We will have been married for 45 years this coming November and I attribute that to dumb luck as we were really young and dumb at the time we chose each other! Some times things just work out. An older gentleman at the time told me that young marrieds were like two rocks rubbing against each other until they wore off the the rough edges. I had no idea what he meant. I guess he was right though because we fit together well now :). Love to you both!

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