Monday, February 4, 2013
Growing Old Together
No age comes without challenges. When we first married my husband had just been discharged from the navy. Three months later he enrolled in college. I taught school. Marriage and family have always been top priority for us. Like most people, we went into marriage with some unrealistic expectations.
Learning to live with someone different from you is a huge challenge. Making it from payday to payday was another challenge. Savings did not exist. We were on our own. Our parents had no money and could not help. We learned how to get along with what we had.
Middle age is a time of transition and evaluating. Usually finances have improved. You may question sacrifices you believe you are making. You wonder how much time you have left and how much of your bucket list have you crossed off. Some people blow up their marriages by having an affair or letting their family know they are gay. It is hard to begin again, but you learn from experience if you stay open to learning.
When our children all reached school age I decided to go back to college and get a masters degree in Counseling Psychology. Everett was supportive. It paid off in many ways. We both learned more about ourselves and each other. We worked together with our children to help them go to college. We got through the "empty nest" syndrome.
Aging is the Biggest Challenge
The future becomes shorter and shorter while life together grows sweeter. You no longer feel in control of staying together forever while anxiety about the future increases. You live with losses; hearing, vision, agility, keen memory, friends, family, and even decreased sexual activity.
There are also pluses. If you have spent time working on understanding and accepting yourself and the relationship, this is pay-off time. Gone are the conflicts over routine tasks; who does the dishes, makes the bed, cleans the toilets, pays the bills, etc. In evolving soul mate relationships those things have probably been worked out by the time the Kids have gone. You are comfortable with yourself and your mate. In the beginning you liked each other. In time you truly love each other, but after years together you adore each other.
To love and be loved like that is the ultimate achievement in life. Deep, satisfying love as life runs its course can come to anyone at any stage of life if two people want it and are willing to do what it takes. Don't forget. God is love and having God in your life is the biggest blessing of all.