On May 13th this year my husband had spent half of his life with me. For me, that milestone date was already in November last year. I had once calculated those dates just for fun, but in the bustle of daily life I had forgotten my own milestone date.
Yet I kept in mind my husband’s milestone. Earlier in the winter I planned that we could have a nice weekend together. We could leave the children with a babysitter and do something fun, just the two of us. But the tiny virus shot down my plans: there were no babysitters available. We therefore had to be more creative about our celebration of the festive date.
Half of one’s life sounds like a long time. Ultimately, however, having started courtship quite young and having married soon after that, we will likely spend much more time together than on our own, if that is God’s will. In my prayers I often ask that God would grant us a long life together. It seems impossible even to imagine life without the thoroughly familiar companion by my side.
The painful separations among our friends remind us that we should not take a good spousal relationship for granted. We should rather actively nurture our relationship with tenderness and compassion, together forgiving and asking for forgiveness. One person cannot alone salvage a mutual relationship. We can also pray for health and a safe life. Sometimes one of the spouses is taken away through a disease or accident so early that, from the human viewpoint, the other spouse’s life remains seriously incomplete.
I am sure that there are moments in each long marriage when one questions the sense and value of the relationship. I remember how, in a meeting with my therapist many years ago, I complained how difficult it was to live with my husband, wondering if we had even been meant to each other. The therapist asked me how we had met.
I began to tell her a long, meandering story full of occurrences and coincidences. When I said, maybe for the fifth time, how ”things had been meant to go”, I suddenly realized something. If things had gone the way I had meant them to go, none of those coincidences had taken place. The Heavenly Father’s hand had been arranging things long before our paths crossed. I am quite sure that we really were meant to meet and to take hold of each other’s hands. To walk this path together, to carry each other, to battle and rest together.
While telling the therapist about how we had got to know each other, I began to smile. My voice became softer and warmer and my eyes began to shine. I recalled moments that had taken place decades ago. The feelings of frustration and disappointment, the brittle layer of ice around my heart melted away then and there, and my bitter tears dried up. All those things were replaced by overpowering tenderness and gratitude. When I met my husband later that afternoon, I hugged him hard and told him about my experience. I am sure it also touched his heart. Our will to love and respect each other was once again renewed.
And how many times it has been renewed since that! I have sometimes said that the experience of falling in love again with one’s spouse is much better than youthful passion. When my husband comes home earlier than expected or walks toward me across a car park, my knees seem to go soft and my heart begins to beat faster. There you are, the one that was given to me by God! Thank you, dear Heavenly Father!
Text: Paula-Maaria Itäniemi
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
You will find the original blog post here.
Kansainvälistä ja valtakunnallista muistiviikkoa vietetään ensi viikolla. Ihmisten eläessä yhä pidempään muistisairauksia sairastavien lukumäärä kasvaa joka puolella maailmaa. Muistisairaus liittyy myös yhä useamman suomalaisen elämään joko läheisen tai oman sairastumisen muodossa.