Anatomy of a Marriage by Sue Wighton

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The thing is: you saw her and decided she was the one. And the feeling was oh so reciprocated. How fortunate you were to find each other. I imagine this serendipitous synchronicity can only happen when you both possess the clarity and fearlessness and yes, the splendid bodies of youth. Maybe there’s a kind of blindness too where beauty and lust intersect, and your delight in each other overshadows everything. So begins the adventure.

Many years of happy marriage, learning each other’s ways, exploring each other’s bodies, sharing pleasures and troubles, loving and sometimes loathing, hurting, forgiving and healing, each one giving and taking from the other.

Life’s events become the matters of marriage … the triumphs and the heartaches, confidences and soft laughs shared in tangled sheets, the comings and goings of children, joys, disappointments, health and sickness … over time all of these matters seal the sacred covenant both of you made all those years ago, for better or for worse.

Your loyalty to each other and to the promise you made protects you against the inevitable temptations that come your way. And still, again, you both choose each other. Time passes and brings with it the gentle ease of a loving familiarity and a kind of happy inertia … a feeling of home. You are witnesses to each other’s lives.

And through a gradual, mutual tender aging, your love for each other changes and endures … becoming ever stronger and unwavering, despite or perhaps because of the challenges you’ve faced together. As time wears away the edges of both, and familiarity and knowing softens and blurs you together, he still sees the confident young woman, her natural youthful beauty which he alone could see, and the heat of her. She remembers the fearless, hard-bodied young man, his flashing smile and his vitality.

And then there’s the laughter you share. This is the spark that illuminates all enduring friendships. Playfulness and humour, and the shorthand that develops must be one of the greatest gifts and the shining armour of any longterm relationship. And these memories become all the sweeter with the passing of the years, allowing both to accept the physical changes and the disappointments time inevitably brings. The memories are woven so deeply into the fabric of the life you built together. The youthful passion is the warp and the shared dreams, and yes, the disappointments are the weft.

Time weaves the threads and makes the fabric of your bond strong. Unbreakable. There are many kinds of love, it’s true. But this is the kind of love that can never be replicated.