20 years

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life172 Comments


It was a very cold and blustery day 20 years ago, the day I stood before man, woman, child and God and swore my love and fidelity to my handsome, loving and loyal partner in crime, Daniel Ezekiel Zielske.

The thing I recall the most? My lack of worry.

What we were doing that day was the right thing to do. There was no other action that made more sense. This man was my soul mate. He was The One. What we were about to do was as natural as breathing.

And we settled into a life together and the years started to roll by.

We bought a house. We had a baby. We had another baby. We worked, we loved, we fought, we marveled, we laughed, we connected, we disconnected and re-connected time and again.

We wondered why we seemed to have it so easy.

But a few years ago, the disconnection seemed to be more the norm than the exception. The arguments that never resolved themselves. The lingering sense that things weren't what we both really wanted them to be. The longing and hunger for something more in our relationship filled us both.

So we did something about it.

For the past two years, we've been working with a woman who has been helping us see that in order to create the life we both want to live, we've had to make a few personal changesโ€”some big, some small and some a bit brutal, truth be told. We've spent the past few years looking at ourselves and seeing where each of us played a part in the disconnection and taking responsibility for our actions. We've been examining what reality looks like, and we've been adjusting our misconceptions and expectations that were leading us down a road of discontent.

We didn't want to be two people growing older and growing apart.

During the past few years, I've learned how my own attitude has slowly sown seeds of discontent and disconnection. It has been illuminating, sometimes painful, and very, very necessary.

Today, we are here. We have a house. We have a girl. We have a boy. We laugh. We cry. We work. We marvel. We connect, we disconnect, and we re-connect, but now we understand why.

We also know that we chose very, very wisely 20 years ago.


I just wanted to share this with you today in the celebration of truth and the idea that people can change and grow.

I believe that if things aren't going the way you'd like them to, you can take action to make changes and create understanding and a renewed sense of purpose in your life. I believe it with all of my heart.

Happy anniversary, babe. Here's to a redefining the next 20.





Cathy Zielske20 years

172 Comments on “20 years”

  1. #1

    Happy 20 years to both of you. What a great feeling it must be today for you, to know all this and to look forward to 20+ more years together.

    The road is long and bumpy for all marriages, it is about changes and growing up still but not growing apart and finding out how not to. So happy you are both fighting for something good and not giving up.

    The photos are beautiful too, love your dress and the church filled with everybody you love. Sending hugs and laughs and peace your way today.

  2. #5

    20 years is a great accomplishment, well done! The secret is no secret, things that are worthwhile are worth the effort.

  3. #6

    Happy 20th Anniversary, Cathy!

    I applaud you and Dan for roughing it out and knowing that even if things don’t go smoothly, you each have a responsibility to go through life together. That is what commitment is all about.

  4. #10
    Barb M.

    Happy anniversary!! I love your words of wisdom. Take action is such a key thing to remember. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. #11

    You seriously define the meaning of vulnerable.

    We, too, have stepped before the therapist and it changed the trajectory of our relationship. But it still means it’s hard work. We still have to ebb and flow with our words, our actions and our behaviors.

    And there is still pain and disappointment. On both sides.

    And moments of immense greatness and connectedness– and utter gratefulness that we’ve shared a life built on hope, joy, struggle, pain, success and commitment.

    But, we get up and do it again. And again. And again.

    And I’m inexplicably grateful that we put the oar in the water and pull, pull, pull, because together, we really do move in the same direction.

    And, like you, I arrive with the only person I’ve ever wanted to travel this journey with.

    Cathy, you are incredible at sharing your thoughts and feelings. Thanks for, once again, being transparent with your friends… I only wish we lived near one another cuz I swear we’d be BFF. Guess you can thank your lucky stars that I live in Chicago, huh? :0

  6. #12

    Cathy, You have no idea how your post hit home with me. My husband and I have been married for 17 years and oh how I can relate to those feelings. Thank you for your honesty and your wise words. Happy Anniversary.

  7. #13
    Kendra B

    Congrats on 20 years!!! Thank you for the wonderful post . . . thanks for the honesty and some words I really needed to hear. Here’s to your next 20!!

  8. #14

    What a wonderful blog post! So thankful that you have shared your marriage so openly. You and Dan are committed to making your time together, Work. Sharing one’s life with another can be hard work but the rewards for that commitment are plain to see every time you post a family photograph. It takes a lot of time, patience, energy, love and joy to be happy and contented and you share that with your family and us, your blog readers.
    Happy Anniversary to you both!

  9. #17
    Missus Wookie

    I was going to type an almost identical message but Mary got there first. Thanks Mary ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Happy Anniversary Cathy & Dan. Congratulations on learning, growing and sticking together.

    Here’s to another 20 years!

  10. #18

    Happy Anniversary you two. I’m guessing that two of the keys to your successful marriage are honesty and openness. Thanks for sharing that with us, your faithful blog readers too. Now, go out and party you two. You deserve it!!!!!!

  11. #19

    I could have written this post word-for-word except your 20 is 17 for us. Knowing when you need help and not being afraid to ask for it is the key. Along with love, commitment and taking responsibility. Thank you for this post! We have even more in common. Now to get the state of IN to move north so we can be running buddies. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. #21

    Happy, happy anniversary to you!!!! Thank you ever so much for sharing yourself and your story with me. Life is hard sometimes. Hope you get to celebrate today!!!!!

  13. #22

    Happy 20th to y’all! And how awesome for you to let us in on the fact that y’all are really working on your marriage. It does take work, every day. Marriage is like the Peace Corps… it’s the hardest job you’ll ever love.

  14. #23

    Congratulations on 20 years of marriage. I have to say…it is so refreshing to see a couple like you and Dan work at staying together, when I see all too often couples just throwing up their hands and giving up. When you work together at trying to make things work, I think that makes your bond even stronger. I hope you have 20 more wonderful years together! I have really enjoyed reading your blog over that past couple of years. I found it in relation to scrapbooking, but have enjoyed reading about your family, marriage, kids, dogs, etc. as well as scrapbooking. You have such a zest for life! By the way, you look amazing! You give me the boost I need to “move more!”

  15. #24

    What a beautiful post, Cathy – I so respect your honesty and openness. Many congratulations to you both xx

    PS You were such a child bride!! And a beautiful one ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. #25

    Mary, so interesting that you use the word vulnerable. That comes up a lot in therapy. The idea that not being vulnerable has been one part of the problem. Yes, its work. Ive seriously learned so much about myself the past few years. Life is certainly a journey.

  17. #26

    once again, reduced to a snot slobbering mess by CZ!
    Knowing you’re with the one God designed specifically for you is a fabulous feeling! Here’s wishing you a very Happy 20th dear one!!

  18. #28

    Congratulations on 20 years! Thanks for such an honest and real post. I am sure many can relate.

  19. #30

    Happy anniversary, and thank you for sharing part of your life and how you two are hanging on and trying to make things better. So many just give up too easily these days. You are a role model – now even more than you were before ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. #31
    Sue in Grapevine

    Happy Anniversary & bravo to you both! To quote one of our favorite passages on marriage, by that sage – Clint Black:
    “Love isn’t some place that we fall; it’s something that we do.”
    I’m proud of y’all for not settling for the just getting by, for fighting for your marriage & for realizing that tough times don’t equal the end of love.
    Give yourselves a hug from me! And thanks for sharing – you may just give someone else the push they need to start fighting for their marriage.

  21. #32

    Happy Anniversary to you and Dan, Cathy. This was such a moving post, and I can’t even imagine how hard it was. Thank you for being so honest with us. It is even more special to meโ€”as with some of your other readersโ€”because I can relate. Only difference is, my second chance came differently.

    Is there something about that 17-year mark? That was the point for me when things got terribly off-track, and I see some others have experienced it too. Unfortunately in my case, even though I knew I had made the right decision all those years before, my husband at the time didn’t see it that way. So, we did not face the problems TOGETHER. Instead, we began going our separate ways, and 5 years later, we parted completely. In hindsight, I can see where we both had the same problems you write about here. I definitely had an attitude problem and unreasonable expectations.

    ErikaB said the keys to success are honesty and openness. I could not agree moreโ€”a lesson it took me too many years to learn! Neither one of us was willingโ€”or knew howโ€”to be either. We were always on the defensive.

    But, happily, I was given a second chance 9 years ago. When I met my soulmate, we both knew about the hard work that would be needed, and upfront we discussed our previous shortcomings and problems. Aside from our public vows, we made private ones to each other: to try, try, try. To take those hard steps of openness and honesty, to reach out, to attempt to overcome the defensiveness. To make the journey TOGETHER.

    I’m not saying it’s all perfect; there are bumps. I occasionally have to pull myself up short and say, “Hey! Don’t take that attitude.” Yes, that is sometimes very hard. But it works! That’s the lesson I’ve learnedโ€”that it does work. I know how much better it is to feel I’ve reached out than to pull back and let something fester.

    And guess whatโ€”we both tell people we’re still on our honeymoon! The magic is still here. And I expect it to stay because we’re in it together this time.

    Sorry this is so long. It just really struck a cord with me. I’m so happy to hear you and Dan are succeeding. I wish you 20โ€”no, make that 40โ€”more years together!

  22. #34

    this post made me cry, cathy – the last words hit home.
    thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
    and happy anniversary!!!

  23. #35

    Cathy thank you for sharing personal details about your private life. As you can see many women can relate you. I have only been with my husband 13 yrs and married 9 but perhaps this can be a lesson for me that if the roads gets bumpy in the 4 years then I will know what to do . Thank you again!!

  24. #37

    Thank you for sharing. I am currently going through the worst down time and it’s time for us to make changes and face out shortcomings. Your post gives me hope that we can get through this.

  25. #38
    Marcie L

    You never cease to amaze me. Happy Anniversary to you and Dan. What a beautiful example you are not only to your family, but to all of us!

  26. #39
    Christine H

    Happy Anniversary….i love that you shared the hard part. I teach high school juniors at my church and when we talk about the sacrament of marriage i always bring up that getting married is a choice and staying married is a choice you make everyday….love is a choice, an action, not a feeling…and that ugly/hard times will come but they don’t have to be the end….i’ve told my husband on more than one occassion over the last 20 years “honey i love you everyday of my life, but today i don’t particularly like you. go somewhere, go visit your mom, go fishing, but come back tonight and we’ll talk more.” 20 years and going strong.

  27. #40

    Wow, wow, wow!!! My husband and I will be 20 in February and sometimes I wonder what is wrong with us. There is nothing “wrong” with us, it is just the standard malaise that occurs with time. Every blog I read seems to show these perfectly wonderful couples with perfectly wonderful lives. Thanks for the reminder that everything that has any value requires work. Happy Anniversary to 2 of my favorite people that I don’t know IRL.

    P.S. Dan’s middle name almost spells his last name. Kinda’ cool!

  28. #42
    Rebecca Street

    Lovely post, Cathy. Happy Anniversary! What a wonderful accomplishment in this day to honor the commitment you made. Marriage is hard work. I don’t always feel love and warm feelings for my husband. But I CHOOSE to do whatever it takes to make our marriage work.

    Not only is it better for you and Dan to keep working to make it better, but it is THE BEST THING you can do for your kids!

  29. #43

    Loved reading this, Kay. What you wrote struck a chord with me. Ive spent a lot of years on the defensive, looking for ways to get my way, or get my advantage. Ive also had expectations that are bordering on crazy, but that comes from living in a culture where we think the man in our lives will provide ALL of our needs, emotional and physical. Im learning to take care of myself, and not think that he has to do it all for me. Quite a shift in attitude. For sure. So happy to hear youre found someone to work it all out with!

  30. #44
    Bec Kilgore

    Thank you for sharing. Congratulations on the 20 years but even more so on recognizing changes and doing the hard work to move forward. Many of us, I am sure, were not so wise.

  31. #45

    What an incredible piece of truth to share with us.
    Lovingly written. Happy Anniversary. God Bless.

  32. #47

    Okay, I never made that last name connection. WEIRD.

    You know, i was hesitant to post this. Weve been working on our marriage for a while now. I havent written about it, and a friend who I shared this with said, Would you be okay with Aidan reading this? and at first, I thought, maybe not, but then the woman we are working with said, Why wouldnt you want her to read this? It shows her real life and that people can work to change what isnt working. God knows this family is far from perfect, but we definitely have enough love to work really hard to make things work.

  33. #48

    Cathy, there aren’t many wedding photos that bring a tear to my eye, but the one at the bottom of your post did just that. What a powerful sight to see your friends and family circled around you in support of the vows you took that day (I assume that’s what was going on). Thank you for your post and Happy Anniversiary.

  34. #50
    Carol Clayton (Carol in SLC)

    Happy 20th Anniversary to you, both, Cathy! May you continue to grow and learn together!

  35. #52

    Yes, that was our goal. Wed seen it at another wedding and really liked what it symbolized, all of these people around us, supporting us.

  36. #53

    Cathy, as has been said many times, Thank You for your honesty! We, too, at 2 kids and 22 years in, have had our ups, downs, and sideways days. It’s been totally worth it but Hard Work. I, too, married my soul mate and Thank GOD, he’s willing to talk and willing to work to make sure our marriage lasts. Gosh, I LOVE that man! I think I’ll go tell him right now. Thanks Again Cathy!! Happy 20th Anniversary!

  37. #54
    Kelly Holbrook

    Happy Anniversary, and congratulations! 20 years is wonderful, I wish you many, many more! I loved reading this, love/marriage is definitely a choice you make everyday ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. #55
    Amy Jacobs

    Congrats on 20 years! My husband and I will be celebrating our 13th soon (but together a total of nearly 21 years!). I know very well of that which you speak…and agree, totally.

    Marriage is HARD. Marriage is WORK. And, mostly, marriage is an active commitment, every, single, day.

    Good marriages aren’t just created out of thin air. They are fought for and sought after, purposefully.

    I totally respect your choice as a couple to work on it. Sadly, today, in our modern world, I see over and over people who say it’s important, but then don’t even try to save it. That is a shame and very sad.

    You made the best decision ever to both marry him and to stay married to him. Keep up the good work! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  39. #58
    Ellie A.

    Oh How wonderful & Beautiful post to you on your wonderful 20th Anniversary. I was just thinking of WOW I’ll be w/my Husband for 10 years (in March) & each day I am in awe. With the ups & downs we have been through one things has been for sure its been together which has made us that much stronger in the long run which is pretty cool in my book ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. #60

    What a beautiful blog post! Congratulations to you both!! What a huge accomplishment!! Celebrate and enjoy!!

  41. #61
    Jennifer Levin

    Happy Anniversary, Cathy and Dan! Thank you for such a beautiful post! 20 years is something to be very proud of. Congratulations! ~Jen

  42. #62

    Congratulations Cathy- you were a beautiful bride and are very wise woman. I know your blog post will strengthen many marriages! What a great anniversary gift!

  43. #63

    Thanks for sharing this with your blog friends. I can totally relate–I’ve been married for 15 years– and disconnected WE ARE

  44. #64

    happy anniversary and thank you for sharing from your heart with us. it is a treasure that you would trust your readers with this part of your life to offer insight and encouragement. also, i adore the photo of and the idea of the wedding guests all gathered around you during the ceremony. priceless.

  45. #65

    Congratulations on your anniversary and on your hard work to reach this point in your lives. I appreciate the honesty of saying that marriage is hard at some points. My ex and I parted ways just over four years ago after a lot of years. I do believe it’s the best decision for us, especially for me. And I do believe in the possibility of a new relationship when the time is right. Thanks for sharing.

  46. #66

    Cathy, I’m fairly new to reading scrapbooking blogs regularly, and I often get this gnawing sense that everything is too happy and sweet to be real. Your blog, especially today’s post, is a breath of fresh air–real life struggles with a good dollop of hope and hard work thrown in. Thank you so much for your transparency.

  47. #67

    Cathy, your post left a lump in my throat and a warmth in my heart. My husband and I have done the “too busy to say more than a hello to one another” scene for a while, but recently things have started to swing back the other way. I am taking to heart what you and some of your commenters have said about honesty and openness. We try, but our communication is far from perfect. We’ve seen lots of couples we know drift apart, and while it surprises us to hear of it, I’m certain there are stories like yours on the inside of their relationships. I love that your story is a happy one, and I thank you for sharing it with us.

    Happy anniversary to you and Dan! <3

  48. #68

    Congratulations to you and your husband, Cathy! In today’s world celebrating 20 years with the same person is a great accomplishment. Thanks for keeping it real, too. It’s hard sometimes to make relationships work. Glad you have found someone to guide you both over the hurdles.

  49. #69

    Did you really not notice Dan’s middle name & surname?? I thought it was an anagram! Anyway, thats hardly the point. As a 18month married soul, I feel I have a long journey ahead, I’m learning slowly & we are both realising that talking sensibly together in a non-argumentative manner works really well. I think 20 years is a fabulous achievment and well done for working so hard at it. I only hope I can achieve the same.

    And on another important point, I was like “seriously, is she wearing my wedding dress???” – the top is nothing like it but the lace detail & train is exactly the same as my own wedding dress from 2010 – The House of (Cathy) Zielske was obviously streets ahead in fashionable wedding dress-wear!!

  50. #70
    Julie aka MaggieMae

    Happy Anniversary!! May you have many, many more years of connecting, disconnecting and reconnecting! My husband and I are about to celebrate our 49th anniversary and are still doing the same! We have fun, have fights, make up, laugh together, cry together and fit just like a comfortable pair of shoes!!

  51. #71

    So often, when people write about their lives online, the life they present is so carefully edited. I know that part of that is the process of writing, itself. That when we sit down to craft the Story of the Day, it can be hard to write about what is real, without a giant spew of stream-of-conciousness nonsense that no one else wants to read. Most people tend to write things like “stuff is going on, but I can’t get into it now,” and then they proceed to write about the great lasagna they’ve made, their awesome new purse, silly kids, and new bathroom fixtures.

    Thank you for not doing that here. And thank you for this post. Much I could say here, but now I’m going self-censor, for brevity.

    Happy 20th Anniversary!

  52. #72

    This post brought tears to my eyes. Your ability to be real and honest makes it easier for the rest of us to think about the possibilities for our lives too. Happy Anniversary!

  53. #73

    So great to see your anniversary post. Today my parents have been married 67 years. It’s had bumps, but they keep teaching me by their love and devotion. My husband and I have passed 46 years. I love him more now, but we aren’t the same people. We’ve had to be in a continuous state of change. Congratulations to you…you are almost newlyweds compared to my family.

  54. #74

    Blessings to you & Dan on your anniversary. What you have with each other is enviable. That you know you chose wisely is huge. Cheers to many more years of all that “We laugh. We cry. We work. We marvel. We connect, we disconnect, and we re-connect”.

  55. #76

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Cathy.

    My husband and I were older (38 and 34) when we married, each for the first time, and I assumed that having led lives as adults before meeting Mr Right would mean that our marriage wouldn’t have some of those ups and downs that others have. Boy was I wrong! ๐Ÿ™‚ For me, trusting and yielding control were really big. After a certain number of years, I assumed that I’d be single all my life, so I entered our marriage with almost two decades of independence and handling my own stuff. Releasing the tight grip I had on finances and everything else remains a daily challenge even after 12+ years.

    For us, it wasn’t a gradual realization that things were not what they should be between us; it came in a single moment that sort of hit us both hard right between the eyes a few years ago. We sought immediate help and it has been a process, but the result has been a new bond that is forming as we pay more attention to each other (as a couple) and also to ourselves (allowing breathing room to be individuals).

    I appreciate your honesty, Cathy, and wish you and Dan many more happy years together!

  56. #77

    I see that I don’t have time to check all the comments now. I hate to be repetitive, but it is a beautiful REALISTIC post. Marriage has next to nothing to do with a wedding, except they are both work. Some choose to do the work and others don’t.

    I just have to comment on the last picture. Would love to hear the story behind it, but will just say that to me it is a beautiful symbol of those you love wrapping themselves around you on this special day. I love it! Have a dear niece/newbie photog. and will share this with her.

  57. #78

    Cathy, I have a lump in my throat – what a moving story to share. That your children can see the work that you and Dan have put into making your marriage last these years is so important and a lesson that has so often been missing for people of our generation and younger, when so often it seems that if everything in a relationship is not perfect you should just move on and find something “better”. I am 23 years married this year and really relate to your connecting and disconnecting. I hope that if ever the disconnection becomes anything more than short term that I have your and Dan’s courage to face it head on work to fix it. Congratulations and very best wishes to you both.

  58. #79

    Cathy, as much as you share with us (your faithful blog readers), you are still a very private person, so today’s post was a bit of shock to read. The very little of Dan that we know thru your posts indicate that he is very much committed to making your marriage work. I suspect that he would undertake the time and expense of an ‘outsider’ working with you very seriously. You’ve alluded to ‘floundering’ a bit for awhile and I suspect a lot of this MMEW campaign is part of the growth process. Congrats on that. And Happy 20th!

    I’ve been thru 2 unsuccessful marriages (in that I didn’t stick around long enough to make them work), but am now with my soul-mate (& in a very committed 3rd marriage). Sad as the heart break of the first 2 were, I have 3 unbelievable children & lots of wonderful memories, so all is good. Ironically, my DH was THE guy prior to my first 2 marriages, but it just wasn’t meant to be at the time. So fairy tales do come true. ๐Ÿ™‚

  59. #80
    laura kate

    oh, cathy. you have a great way with words and sharing thoughts in a way that just makes sense and gets the point. i’m not married. i hope to be after not too long. i’ve been with my beau (or manfriend, as i like to call him) for a bit over 2 years. everyone thinks we’re weird in that we sail along with only minor waves in the sea and also that we want to get married. most of our friends are either against the idea or just not interested. i love hearing about people who celebrate marriage and make it work. i know it’s going to be work. quite frankly, i’m looking forward to it. it took me a good number of years to find this man and it’ll take a hell of a lot to consider doing anything close to letting him go. it’s all about making a good choice and standing by it. but right now i’m all teary from reading and in love with that photo of everyone encircling you at your wedding. you’re an inspiration to me. thanks for that. here’s to another 20 (and, with health, 20 more after that, too!)

  60. #82

    Congratulations to Cathy and Dan Zielske on 20 years of marriage! What an encouraging post to anyone – those not yet married, those that are happily married, those that are unhappily married, and those that have been through it all. My husband and I are in our 23rd year of marriage, and the one thing I really remember our pastor saying at our wedding was that marriage is an activity you choose – just like love is. They are actions, not statuses (is that a word?) they take work, and we need to choose to do those actions carefully and with the other person foremost in mind!
    Congrats again, and thank you so much for putting your life out here for all of us!

    (PS I noticed Dan’s middle and last name letter similarities too – kinda freaky!)

  61. #83

    While I didn’t read all posts…most praised you for your commitment to making it work. And while I couldn’t agree more, I would like to also say, it takes courage to walk away. I walked away from 20 years this past summer. It was the hardest decision I have ever made. We too entered our marriage full of hopes and dreams. We created 2 beautiful children. But ultimately, we coulnd’t make it work. Both people have to have their eyes open to the issues…both people have to be committed to make it work. Sadly, in my case my partner didn’t see what was wrong…While I greatly commend you for addressing the problem and working together to find a compromise…sometimes you also have to be know when to make your happiness a priority. It isn’t quiting…and I feel I am providing an example to my children that you don’t have to stay in an unhealthy relationship just to say you didn’t quit. Sometimes quitting is winning. Just another point of view.

    Cathy…happy anniversary…and thank you for sharing your struggles. I know how hard it was for me to finally admit to others our problems.

  62. #84

    I actually had a conversation with my therapist about this yesterday, about whether or not I should post this. I want as truthful a life as possible. Were here for such a short time, really. Why not?

  63. #86

    Good for you, Julie. : ) The idea of control has been a big one for me. Im learning that control is an illusion. Life actually doesnt offer control. Not a drop of it. : )

  64. #87

    I believe in marriage. So happy to hear the both of you two, do, too. Congratulations on 20 years! (15 years for hubby and me next month!) Just loved the honesty in your post today (and everyday!)

  65. #88

    Jill, we had seen that at another wedding, and loved the idea of being surrounded by family and friends while we said our vows. : )

  66. #89
    Carolynn F

    Thank you. This post really resonated with me because it was so honest and heartfelt. Relationships are complicated, people are complicated, I am complicated. We all struggle with something but often tell ourselves that other people have it better or easier. It is always a good reminder that everyone has challenges to overcome and if you take responsibility for your own life great things can happen. {virtual hugs}

  67. #90

    Kristen, I couldnt agree with you more. The one thing I can say, if we were not both committed to making changes, we could not do this process. Knowing when it is over takes courage and grace and wisdom. I wish you much peace and happiness. : )

  68. #91
    Christy P

    Thank you for telling this story and for your open honesty. I wish more folks would share their true genuine selves instead of trying to keep up with the Jones ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s nice to know I’m not alone!

  69. #92

    Congratulations on being committed to one another for 20 years. I do think that around that time seems to be a make-it-or-break-it point for many marriages. It definitely takes both partners being committed to the heard work and changes needed to keep things going. One of the keys I learned the hard way was to truly accept my partner for who he is. Of course that needs to work both ways. May your next 20 years together be the best yet.

  70. #93

    Happy Anniversary to both of you! the tears came to my eyes when I read the part about the therapist asking you if you’d be ok with Aidan reading this. Good for her and good for you! That’s true parenting. Being clear that there are some Not So Very OK days, but ..we can do our best to work through them and come out the other side. Even at 55 and 60 respectively, we didn’t quite get that. It took a big glitch in our marriage to realize ‘hard work’ applied to us too!

  71. #94
    Stacy Simpson

    Happy 20 years! Thank you for your sharing your story. I can relate – we are at the 16 year mark and I feel like there are more just-hanging-in-there days than good days with us. Your post has opened my eyes to “get off the couch” and do something about it. Thank you.

  72. #95

    There is this song by Ben Harper, called Better Way, and it has a line in it that goes, Everyone I know is in the fight of their life. Always resonates with me. Always. Life is hard. Life is awesome. But it is always an adventure, both in the good and the not so bad.

  73. #96

    Oh, the Joneses left our neighborhood YEARS ago. ; ) I think most people are more united in their similar struggles than not.

  74. #97


    I was reading Cathy’s comments and came across yours and had to share this recent NPR segment I heard on quitting. So often, the culture and our “get-ahead-at-any-cost” world make the word quitting seem like a bad word. Chris Neary did a recent segment on the upside to quitting, knowing when and how and where and why. Knowing that quitting may be the best thing you’ll ever do was incredibly encouraging to hear in this piece.

    I feel your pain in your post and know that you have probably had a significant amount of anguish before, during and after deciding to move one.

    Listen to this – it put a lot in perspective for me. I hope it helps you embrace your decision and not make excuses for it. Sure, we’d all love for our relationships to work – to ebb and flow, work past huge hurdles, come out on top – but the reality is that they don’t always. Often for reasons outside of our control.

    Quitting is often the most frightening, liberating, confusing, fear-invoking thing we can or must do. It’s definitely not for the weak.

    Celebrate your strong – and all the possibilities that lie ahead of you because of that courageous decision you made!


    Okay – sorry for hijacking, Cathy. Being a quitter myself, I was so encouraged to hear this!

  75. #99

    What a brave and beautiful post. The way you articulated what you’re feeling is perfect. I do think in the world of bloggers and scrapbookers we get to thinking everyone else’s life is perfect somehow– which of course is silly. Thanks for being so authentic. It’s inspiring! Happy Anniversary too.. Malia

  76. #101
    Sherrie M.

    Thank you for your brutal honesty, as always. You’ve put into words things that I have been feeling lately, things I was afraid to think aloud. Thanks for making me look inside myself yet again.

  77. #102
    Janine Rutherford

    Congratulations to you both Cathy. 20 years is a fantastic achievement. Thank you for your honesty. We sometimes look at other couples and think they have it all together but we never know what is truly happening in their lives. Bless you both xxx

  78. #103

    Like everyone else Cathy your post resonated with me also. We have been married for nearly 23 years have two gorgeous children and we are just reconnecting now after 3 pretty rough years, buying a new property, son struggling with anxiety, an illness that left me with some hearing loss this resulted in depression and increased anxiety with me.

    There were days i couldnt bare to love myself let alone my family. But im so pleased to say that us being so close and open has reaped its rewards in that we have all reconnected again especially my husband and i.

    I have found a new job that has me excited and we are working as a family making our mark again on the world:)
    We were scared the kids would leave home and we would be two people sharing the same house…while things are not perfect being happy has certainly opened our eyes again to what we can have.

    Sorry ive rambled on but thankyou so much for sharing with us. Im not sure that i would be too brave even though hardly anyone reads my blog:)

    I also feel for the women who have walked away, its not always the easiest thing to do and i have considered it myself at times. But communication, compromise and commintment is getting us through:)

  79. #104

    Oh my goodness Cathy, I think this is the best thing I could have possibly read today. Perhaps this year. Thank you for being so brave as to share this. Thank you.

  80. #105

    Congratulations to you and Dan – 20 years is a great milestone these days…. and here’s to the next 20, and the 20 after that…. however bumpy they may be ๐Ÿ™‚

    I noted your comment about whether or not you’d want Aiden to read this and had the thought that she and Cole are there in real life and probably very aware of the bumps in their family. I think it is great that by working on your relationship, acknowledging it and even going “public” with it, you are normalising the need to work and take action. That to me seems a lot healthier than the “easier” (I’m saying that advisedly because I know it’s not always the case) route of not working at these things.

    Life today seems more about the quick and the easy, so to work at something good is refreshing. Thanks for sharing – yet again.

    And again……….. congrats on 20 ๐Ÿ™‚

  81. #106

    You know, they know what we are doing. They know all about the woman whos helping us, and we talk about how important it is to look for different ways of being to make things what we want them to be. They know were solid, you know? I think our openness with them is letting them know its okay to make mistakes and learn from them, and do better when you know better. At least thats my hope.

  82. #107

    huge congrats!!! love the honesty.
    totally agree that its an everyday effort!!!
    11 years in our package.
    congrats again on your 20!

  83. #108
    Sue Williams

    We’re in our 16th year of marriage and have at times coasted in and out of disconnect – not so much ups and downs as ebbs and flows. I, too, am guilty of high expectations at times and then wonder why I get tuned out. I have to remind myself (far too often) not to take my husband for granted and, a biggie for me, not to use so much energy up being ‘Mom’ that I have none left to be ‘Sue’.

    Thanks for keeping it real. I don’t think any of us truly aspire to lead Stepford lives so I wonder why it is so hard for us to admit that we don’t. I appreciate your honesty and I loved your perspective. Again, you are a veritable font of inspiration!

    Congratulations to you and Dan on 20 years and wishing you many, many more happy anniversaries!

  84. #109

    Happy anniversary, Cathy! Thank you for sharing your experience in such a genuine way; it’s a rare thing to find someone willing to articulate what is real and challenging and beautiful all rolled into one.

  85. #110
    Karen F from New Zealand

    I read the title and thought oh that’s cool Cathy and Dan Z share their anniversary with my boys birthday! Then I read on. Wow you write so honestly and so well. I just wanted to say I admire you and Dan for acknowledging and choosing to work on the wonnderful journey of marriage and relationships. I too am lucky to have married my soul mate and we are approaching 17 years of marriage and having 20 years together. I really liked the way that you explained about the expectations you had ( and Dan) and how you have had to work on your perspective of life and “the idea” that the man can provide – all the emotional, physical and protective needs we want – but after reading your post I have to ask myself – Is it what I need? No It’s what I want? I love it don’t get me wrong and at times I want to know that I can go to him and he will always be there but I think I have relaxed into allowing him to be there for me when really I need to step up to the mark for myself and start taking accountability for what I need and what I want, and ask him to support me! Thanks for allowing me to have an insight I think was slapping me in the face but I kept ignoring.
    You are truly a wonderfully real person to share with us and I’m so very happy I have met you.
    A huge congratualtions on your anniversary and an even bigger one for taking life by the balls and making it the way you both want it to be. I wish you many many more times of insightful moments together to keep your soul mate and you so very happy together. Hugs.

  86. #111
    Christy Bridwell

    So loved reading this…even through teary eyes. We hit a major road block last year almost one year ago today I discovered something I would rather not have known – ever. But honesty is critical, and even though it can be painful at first, honesty is also the path to healing. This week has been tough thinking back on our progress over the past year. A new type of anniversary…of a new path for us. I guess that is worth celebrating somehow.

    Reading your post is for me a kind of confirmation. That it is normal and part of life to experience tough times in marriage. It reminded me that you have to choose to stay together everyday. Forgiveness of each other is a decision you make everyday from big issues to small shortcomings. None of us are perfect. But we choose to share a life with someone and create a family and raise kids together and grow together and like you said laugh together.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Thank you for the reminder.

    We’re at thirteen years and I can’t wait until twenty.

    Thank you for the hope.

  87. #113
    kelli johnson

    I love when marriages actually work. not like the perfection kind of work, but when people come face to face with knowing and working to love one another on a deeper level. A far deeper and yet healthier level. My hubby and I went thru this at the 7 year point…I hear we’ll hit it again at the 13-15 year point. I’m happy for our growth, now on the verge of entering our 12th year. I know I married THE person I am to be with…

    What a blessing you could be honest and work together on something so wonderful. I know both your kids will grow from that too. So happy for you both.

    Happy 20. I look forward to being there one day.

  88. #114
    Julia C

    Happy Anniversary Cathy & Dan. Bravo to you for sharing your difficulties. What a great example of believing something to be important enough to work hard for. It’s very easy in our modern media-filled world to believe great relationships just happen. We all change over time (life would be boring if we didn’t!) so it’s inevitable our relationships will need to adapt to those changes. Good luck to you both ๐Ÿ™‚

  89. #115

    Happy Anniversary Cathy & Dan!!!
    Chuck and I celebrated our twentieth on September 1st!
    Thank you for sharing your ups and downs.
    All couples have them, but not everyone takes the smart and brave step you and Dan have taken.
    – Lee

  90. #116

    Hmm!I am in the same marriage season as you. We celebrated 21 years in July. Last month I went to a conference and heard Emerson Eggerich the author of Love & Respect. His talk really resonated with me. My husband was actually excited I bought him the Men’s devotional. It has really helped me break down the marriage thing in to a simple way of thinking… When you disagree, basically, one or both persons needs are not being met or addressed. It’s sometimes as simple as figuring out how to meet that need. When you look at it that way, you take away the personal feelings and concentrate on solving the problem or meeting your spouse’s need. Whew, what a relief to feel like I’m not wasting so much time being mad or taking it so personal when we don’t agree. By God’s grace, we are just wired a little differently and he intends that to be a good thing!! Hope you remember the happiness you had as a newlywed and anticipate the many wonderful things God has to bless you and your husband in many more anniversaries….

  91. #117
    Pilbara Pink

    Congratulations Cathy and Dan ๐Ÿ™‚ And thank you for your honesty. We have been married 29 years and it sure hasn’t been what I thought it would be back in 1982 as a very excited 19-year-old. It has been harder and sadder and happier and more joyful than I ever imagined. I read recently a description of marriages being like the ocean with tides that ebb and flow. Some people don’t wait for the tide to flow back in, sometimes we have to go and drag it back it(with the help of, say, a woman who might be called a therapist!) Our marriage is very different today compared with 1982 but then we are very different people today. However, because we have both been determined to stay together we are still together. I believe it is vital our children know the reality of our lives, the tough times (although they don’t need to know every detail!) as well as the good times. Otherwise they go into their own relationships ill prepared. Our younger daughter has been married nearly three years and it makes me happy to see them deal with their up and downs in positive ways.

  92. #119

    Wow. You don’t often see that level of honesty in blogland. Thank you. Marriage is often difficult (says the divorced person who know thinks I won’t be doing that again), and so often we don’t see our lives reflected honestly in other’s journeys, which makes us feel more alone in our troubles. So thanks for showing the soft underbelly.

  93. #120

    WOW!!!! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!! I shared this with my hubby of 24 years and he said that EVERY married couple should read this!!! We too have a girl and a boy…a home…and we have had MANY ups and downs!!!

    You are an inspiration Cathy…thanks for being YOU!!!!
    Here’s to MANY more HAPPY and HEALTHY years!!!!!!!!!

  94. #121

    Christy, I remember this time last year, and we were in a very different place, and I remember asking telling our therapist that it was our anniversary and I wasnt sure what we would celebrate it for and she said, You celebrate that youve been working to make real changes. It really stuck with me then. : )

  95. #122

    Happy Anniversary and thanks for that truthful post. Many have said it earlier today in post, but it is very refreshing to know life isn’t always perfect like so many other bloggers let on. Celebrate!

  96. #123
    jacquie d

    Happy Anniversary to you both. It is so uplifting to hear stories such as yours, where you are working at honoring your commitment to one another, when throwing in the towel is the easier option. I have had 2 unsuccessful marriages, and honestly wish I would have had the ‘jam’ to do what you and Dan are doing. Marriage is work, make no doubt about it. My one real regret in life is that my daughter grew up with blended families. She turned out awesome, but I still believe in the old fashioned family unit.

    Thankyou again for honestly sharing your life with your bloggers. We appreciate more than you can imagine.

  97. #124

    Cathy, I shit you not, but I think we had the exact same wedding gown. Totally serious. I married in 1992 so it’s entirely possible. How crazy is that! Congratulations on 20 years!

  98. #125
    Pamela K.

    Happy 20th! As the previous posters said, marriage is not without it’s rough patches. We all go through it. There have been a few times in my marriage where I wondered if we were going to make it or not. As hard as those times were to get through, I am convinced that by the grace of God and fighting for something that is good and true it is so worth it. And that last picture is awesome! Just remember that those people in that picture and so many more are rooting for you and Dan. (((HUGS)))

  99. #126
    ana roat

    A patient told me the other day that his illness gave him life because perfect was boring but being ill gave him something to work for and towards and that good health would be his reward for doing the right thing. Reading your post reminded me of that patient and how true his words seemed. I think that marriage is simular. Sometimes it gets sick and needs help. It reminds us to do the right thing and in the end all of those years together (home, family and career) becomes our reward.

    Wishing you the best of health as you celebrate 20 rewarding years together!

  100. #127
    Michelle A

    This is the kind of post that I will carry with me for a long time. Yes I love seeing what kind of memory keeping you are doing at the moment but really, life if so busy that I soon forget (even when it’s a killer idea). I often come back to recall what you’ve done for a page or album. But this…this will stick. You mentioned Aidan reading this in one of the comments and I so wish my mother would have had a blog or journal that I could have read about her marriage. My parents are divorced and it’s been over 10 years now, I’m 34 and I still really don’t understand. I think I do but I’d like more insight. I’m not having difficulties in my marriage but I’d maybe like a heads up on how to avoid problems. Women avoid talking about real life and I don’t understand why. It’s so refreshing to read about women who share their real life, not the one they’d like people to think they have.
    So kuddos to you and Dan for keeping it real and knowing when to call in the big guns to get you back on track. You are a great marriage model to your kids.

  101. #128

    I have recently started reading “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” because I was starting to feel frustrated with the little things in life. It is AMAZING to see how we (both sexes) misinterpret what the other is intending to say, as well as what makes us tick. So far, I am the only one reading the book, but it provides plenty of conversation between my husband and I – as I attempt to pick his brain.

    Congratulations on your wedding anniversary; what an accomplishment! (And good for you – for working TOGETHER to work things out so well.) By the way, I think you could pose your kids like your wedding pic and they could pass for the younger versions of yourself and Dan.

  102. #129
    tiffany h.

    What an honest post. I just love it. It really helps to know my “blog friends” live in reality just like I do and that their lives are not picture perfect like the photos on their blog. Marriage is hard work for sure. So happy to hear that the two of you are committed to working on it. Happy Anniversary! Hear’s to many more years of wedded bliss.

  103. #130
    gypsy chaos

    I love the way you described the process. It is so true – up and down, days turn into months turn into years and – suddenly – turn into DECADES. We know how it happens, but still – how DOES it happen?

    My husband and I just celebrated our 28th anniversary October 8. And today is our twin sons’ 19th birthday! Love October.

  104. #132
    gypsy chaos

    Cathy, so much has been said already about your post – I found myself agreeing and nodding as I read.

    You wrote about Aidan reading your post, and about your children knowing that you and Dan are working on your marriage.
    I must tell you that you are doing the absolute best thing, IMO. As a child, I had pretty serious stomach issues. Now I look back and understand that I was channeling the stress in my parents’ relationship; that wasn’t something that people were aware of back then. There were many times when I was sure my parents were going to split. They never did.

    When I was in college, I realized that their fighting was quite meaningless, in the grand scheme. It’s just the way they operated. Not at all healthy for the children… luckily my siblings are significantly younger, so they didn’t worry as I did – because I was able to tell my parents the negative effect their behavior had on me. So they were able to reassure all of us that things were much better than they appeared.

    During my parents’ 50th anniversary party, my father spoke. And wow, did I learn! Turns out that family and friends, every one of them, predicted that the marriage would last a year at most before they divorced. I’m talking about staunch Catholics speaking in the mid 1950s!!

    My parents revealed that every anniversary, they congratulated themselves for making it through another year, and promised to work together to reach the next anniversary. In their minds they were married one year at a time.

    Hearing all that helped me and my siblings understand their relationship much better – how I wish they had shared such insights with us earlier.

    So I am glad you are sharing with your children.

  105. #134

    How brave of you to share this story with us. I love the last photo with the entire congregation surrounding the two of you. Beautiful! So glad you’re finding happiness instead of wallowing in discontent. Life is short. You are brave! Thank you.

  106. #137
    Lori Ande

    LOVE your honesty, your words. SO very true. We have been through similiar difficult waters. Now further down the road we are deeply thankful for each other and for being together. The hard days made us much stronger – but we each had to do hard work. Just love your blog Cathy. Happy 20!

  107. #138
    O. Ortiz

    I’m a day late on this… HAPPY 20th Anniversary and MANY more! Who knew that your post would turn out to be a “group therapy session”. You see, God works in very mysterious ways!

    My husband and I celebrated our 20th last December, and at some point during 2010 we thought that was impossible to achieve. Dedication & therapy were key. BUT, above all, the grace of God, and the realization that more than a promise, we made a pact of love, like you guys… Keep celebrating your love.

    The other day I was watching the movie “Indecent Proposal”. Well, it was playing on the background while I was doing something else. But then, a line stopped me on my tracks: “The things people in love do to each other, they remember. And, if they decide to stay together, is not because they forget, is because they forgive”. Keep forgiving, keep having fun, keep loving each other, keep growing old together for many, many years.

  108. #140
    Luz Maria Martin del Campo

    Cathy congratulations!!! everything that you dont have to work for is not worth a thing. So you have worked at it and you are keeping it alive which is not easy task, I have been married for 16 years and have had my load of difficulties some small some big but maintaining your life as a close couple and family is the ultimate goal I think, besides being all happy along the way, so you go girl, one more thing to admire you!!!

  109. #143
    Sara Mangan

    Happy Anniversary!!
    Thank you for posting the reality of marriage. It is so wonderful yet so hard. Good for you guys for working so hard.

    Long before I was married someone gave me some advise about marriage. She said, “Some days you are madly in love with them, some days you are more like roommates and some days you can hardly stand them.”
    I am so thankful for her advise because it really helped me see, from the very start, that no every day of a happy marriage is happy but that is ok.

  110. #145

    Thank you soooo much for sharing, thank you for being real and open. Its made me stop and realize what I need to do in my own marriage right now! I feel by you sharing/blogging about whats going on in your marriage enables your daughter to understand her parents more and see a great example in progress of what is really important in life…
    Again thank you

  111. #146

    I realize I am a day late in wishing you Happy Anniversary but I couldn’t not comment after reading your post. It is hard work but oh so worth it:) We just celebrated 23 years together and it’s been a trip! I always remember the rollercoaster scene from the movie “Parenthood” and how applicable it is to our life together: up and down, up and down. We are getting ready to send our youngest to college next year and while we will miss her (and this phase of our lives) we are beginning to look forward to it as well. We had so much fun training and running the Disney 1/2 marathon together that the day after we got home we signed up for the Disney marathon in January! It seems to be a way for us to re-connect and support each other as we enter this new phase of life. So happy to hear that you guys sought out the help you needed but I can’t say that I am surprised…you strike me as the kind of person who is willing to work hard at anything:) Congrats again!

  112. #148
    Becs Attwood

    Congratulations on reaching this impressive milestone. Nice to see some honesty about the amount of effort you have to put in to make a marriage work, given how acceptable it is these days to just walk away when it gets too hard. I’m halfway there having just celebrated my 10th anniversary this week. Thanks for the example & advice.

  113. #149
    Joy Taylor

    Such a beautiful and honest post..has really opened my eyes to a lot of things that occur in my life, thank you Cathy for your honesty and sharing something so personal…big congrats on you 20 years of marriage.

  114. #150

    Thank you. I feel like I was led to read this tonight. I know he’s my soul mate, but the disconnect is so often now…I actually was thinking before sitting down at this computer to surf my craft sites to cool off that this was just how it was going to be from now on. thank you for taking the time to give me a new perspective. And perhaps a bit of hope.

  115. #151
    Britta Swiderski

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. Huge kudos for you to working with some one; I’m a strong believer that therapy is good for everyone, and I love that you shared that. Thank you for being real, normal and showing us your love. Happy anniversary to you and your hubby! You rock.

  116. #152
    Tracy F.

    You are amazing! I’ve been inspired and encouraged by you twice today. Once here, and also over at the Spawn event. Love the way you’re REAL, genuine and comfortable in your own skin. Happy Anniversary and Congratulations!!

  117. #153

    Hey Cathy,

    Happy Anniversary!! and thank you for sharing that. It was so real and inspiring to see how people do stick with it even when its hard and then really change and come out on the other end. My hubby and I are no where near 20 years, but we all need role models, and now you are one of mine.

  118. #155
    Lori Hudson

    Thanks for letting everyone know that 20 year marriages don’t just happen. It seems that most people at some point begin to go in separate, disconnected directions – resentments build. It takes BOTH partners saying “this is not how I am going to live the rest of my life. Let’s fix this before it is too far gone.” Of course, sometimes you never really had it right and it is time to let it go. Either way takes courage and a lot of hard work. Thanks for sharing. Happy anniversary.

  119. #156
    Jane Toft

    As a single parent I usually vomit at ‘smug marrieds’ and their self-congratulatory celebrations of a long marriage, but Cathy and Dan I salute your honesty and wish you many, many more years together. You are made for each other and have spectacularly wonderful kids! Dating in your 40s is a horrible game, don’t ever think the grass is greener ๐Ÿ™‚

  120. #160

    Happy belated anniversary! Thank you for sharing this really honest, true life post. May you both have many more years together learning, living and loving!

  121. #161
    Rebecca in Switzerland

    Found your blog today when someone put this post on facebook. GREAT stuff. Just a quick comment on letting your daughter “see” into your marriage: it’s the main thing I learned from my parents and wish for for myself (I am divorced and single, unfortunately). My folks have been married for 48 years, since they were 17, and have seriously cycled through connect & disconnect. I learned that that’s normal, that’s life… their commitment and patience is what holds it together and leads to the good times they keep having. Your joint commitment, respect & love shines through. So wonderful to see there are still couples out there who manage this. Thanks for sharing.

  122. #162

    I have tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat, and don’t dare walk into the next room right now. Thank you for that honesty. Thank you for the inspiration. I don’t know what to do with it at this moment, but I’m sure your words will meld into me soon and something will come from them in my own life. Thank you.

  123. #163
    Sally Paxton

    What a lovely thing you did for all of us by sharing your story. It would have been so easy to highlight all the wonderful aspects of your marriage and lives, especially since there are so many highlights. But it’s the lowlights that challenge us and make us stronger, and it’s nice to be reminded that everybody has struggles.

    Congratulations to you and Dan — on your 20th anniversary and on the hard work you’re investing in your marriage.

  124. #164
    Karen F from New Zealand

    Hi Gypsy chaos. That’s cool.It is actually our twin boys birthday they were four.How old are your twins? It surely is a great day!

  125. #165

    Wow Cathy, that was such a wonderful post, it brought tears to my eyes. I have been married half as long as you, but already felt that “disconnect”. And when I started examining everything I just immediately went “ok, I failed, I messed it all up”. When I look around, it seems that everyone else has an effortless relationship…even though I know people aren’t going to share every gritty detail of their lives, we only want to share the happy parts that put us in the best light, but still. It seemed like if mine was taking so much work, I must have done something wrong and it’s just ruined. So thank you for turning that around in my mind for me today. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you had a very happy anniversary.

  126. #166

    I think people may act like everything is fine, when its not. I mean, life is messy at times in relationships. I wish you some peace of mind in your relationship! I know its not automatic, or easy, but change can happen. : )

  127. #167

    Hey Cathy, thanks for sharing your story with us once again and thank you for telling the truth. In this world and in the media we often get the wrong impression that things are easy for everyone else and that the lives of others are perfect. So thank you for putting this straight and showing that even though relations are hard work and are not always functioning smoothly, it is worth the effort. Your example shows that there are many reasons to be optimistic and that getting help is a very good way to get where you want to go. Best wishes from autumunal Germany and happy Anniversary to you two!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  128. #168

    Thanks, Nina. I hope to be able to write about this process a bit more openly in the coming months. Just had to get it out there in a very basic way. : )

  129. #169

    Happy anniversary, Cathy and Dan! We are nearing 20 years this summer. Your post has one main theme to me: marriage is about change. If you get married thinking that every day is going to feel like the ga ga in love days, you set yourself up for failure. Life (pardon me for the language) bitch slaps you throughout your marriage, and that has an effect on how you relate to your spouse. My hubby has always battled with depression. It’s reared its ugly head a lot. Then, a few years ago, it came and got me. Child rearing or two special needs children has almost done us in. Under it all, we love each other. Deeply. It just looks different 20 years later, but, rather than let life tear us up, like a worn piece of fabric, we let it build a stronger more endearing bond…we are making it through this together and only we two know how emotionally hard it has been. We have persevered. Don’t get me wrong… we have LOTS to work on. Especially me. But we are willing to work.

  130. #171

    Loved reading this JoLynn. I can relate to the depression. Dan has dealt with that his entire adult life. I never understood it until I dealt with it too, after the birth of Cole and I had my first need to medicate to get out of it. Marriage is about change. Hell, life is about change. Weve both learned through what we have been working on that if anything, thinking you can control the outcome of life is insane. Life does what it wants to, and all the expectations we might have had? Well, we are learning to roll with the changes.

    Thanks for your comment. : )

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