I was a liberal feminist. He was Mr. "God's Plan for the Family". I was a Democrat, he was a Republican. I had lived on my own for the previous ten years. He was still living at home at age 27.
I was also a not-Italian, not-Catholic, hard-nosed Wall Street bitch who my future mother-in-law was certain would break her Italian Prince's heart. I was one of "those" Christians, from that Bible thumping "protestante" church he had been attending. Surely I wasn't the right girl for him.
We had nothing in common. I had a subscription at the Metropolitan Opera. He had made up a number of songs mocking opera. I had deliberately moved from the Atlanta suburbs to New York and lived in Manhattan. He was from Jersey City, and he hated New York. He hated Jersey City, too, and devoted his life to trying to get to the suburbs. He hated museums, opera, and ballet. I hated guns, cop shows, and techno-gadget crap.
He had a really sophomoric sense of humor. Too many puns, too much rhyming, too much slapstick. It was Monty Python and Hugh Laurie vs. Leslie Nielsen and the Three Stooges. Jonathan Swift vs. "There was a young man from Nantucket..."
I was headstrong, he was controlling. I was daring, even reckless. He was ridiculously cautious. The irresistible force meets the immovable object.
They gave us six months.
But we knew something they didn't know. He had gone home after the first time we met and announced that he had met the woman he was going to marry. I had heard from God that "this is the one you prayed for." OK, so my response was "Lord, you've gotta be kidding." The fact was that the time we spent together confirmed that we DID have in common the only thing that we had to have in common to make it work: Jesus Christ.
Has it been easy? No.
Has it been worth it? Absolutely.
The foundation we built on sustained us through poverty and plenty, "the Cesspool", church difficulties, political strife, the Pets from Hell, health crises, 2 difficult pregnancies and 2 miscarriages, the deaths of all our parents, buying a house with no money, six years caring for my cantankerous aunt with Alzheimer's, homeschooling, internet marketing, family catastrophes, Homeland Security, spiritual crises, and living in New Jersey. We have survived stresses that would have sunk nine out of ten other marriages.
Maybe ten out of ten.
Happy anniversary, honey. I love you more than you'll ever know.
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." - Matthew 7:24-27