Saturday, August 30, 2008

13 Changes In Our Life Since Marriage (Writer's Workshop)

(Photo taken by Mike Solomon August 30, 1997
at the Brooklyn Christian & Missionary Alliance Church)

Lighting the unity candle at our wedding represented the blending of our lives into one. On the candle it says:
This day I will marry my friend, the one I laugh with, live for, dream with, love.

As Gerard and I celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary today, I've reflected on our life together and realize how much each of us has changed from what we were before marriage. Our separate lives truly have become one!

LIFE BEFORE MARRIAGE:

Briefly, Gerard was the lone wolf except for his pet, Dickie Bird. He had a simple routine: Go to work, come home, do some yardwork, read on the porch, watch TV, go to bed. Each week day was the same. On the weekends, he would do his grocery shopping very early on Saturday morning, read, maybe write his pen pals, watch sports on TV, work in the yard, go to mass Saturday evenings. Sundays he would go to mass in the morning if he didn't go Saturday, watch sports on TV, read. He used credit cards all the time and only paid the minimum each month so accumulated sizeable debt, had lots of magazine subscriptions. He also bought a new car for himself but had car payments. Eating out was limited only to take out at Mr. Hero.

I was very involved worked full-time as well and rented from my parents so ate meals with them. I played softball on a team from work, bowled in two bowling leagues, I was the youth director at church which involved another night at church, taught Sunday School, was on the church board as secretary and was active in our AWANA club at church on Wednesday nights. During the evenings when I was home during the week, I'd watch TV with my mom. We both liked to watch Guiding Light so she would tape it for me and we'd watch it together. I watched movies or sports with my mom on Sunday afternoons. Sometimes we'd also play Canasta, Scrabble or some other game. I always paid all my bills off every month and never bought a new car--always paid cash in full for used ones.

OUR BLENDED LIVES AFTER MARRIAGE:

Here's how we both changed over the 11 years of marriage:

A New home that we both agreed on instead of living at his old house.

Gerard now goes to restaurants, before his eating out consisted of take-out from Mr. Hero.

Gerard learned how to bowl and became more sociable.

We are debt free because I take care of the finances.

Gerard started using the library instead of purchasing books.

We both changed churches and now attend Parma Heights Baptist Church where Gerard is more involved and I am less involved than before marriage.

We both joined Fitworks.

I read books now and plant flowers in the spring. Gerard still nurtures them along once they're planted though.

I am more informed about news and started reading the paper.

We got a shelter cat, Mr. Moe, after Gerard's bird died. Neither of us ever had a cat before.

We play tennis regularly.

We got a computer which neither of us had before marriage.

Marriage is seeking to make your partner happy. It is making compromises and sometimes giving in to your partner's wishes. It's helping each other become better and sharing yourself with your partner. It's trusting each other and loving each other every minute of every day. Who would have guessed we'd have cats?

I am cheating a bit and using this old post for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt this week: What did you compromise when you married? I thought it was close enough.

7 comments:

Daisy said...

Happy Anniversary! It sounds like you two are a perfect match. And, in my opinion, a cat makes a house a home!

Mountain Woman said...

Happy Anniversary!
You pointed up so well how marriage changes a life and the life the two of you have together is so much fuller in many different ways.
I enjoyed reading your post and thought it was truly wonderful all the happiness you have found.
And, I agree with you, debt free is the only way to have a sane life.

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

Thanks for the good wishes! Speaking of debt free, I caved and went ahead and paid the collection agency that keeps bugging us about some supposed $500 magazine package subscription from 2005. He didn't back down when I told him I'd contacted the police and was having the call traced, but went on and on about how they have Gerard's order on a taped phone call. Anyway, I didn't want to have to hire a lawyer yet and keep this fiasco going so hopefully they'll send me a receipt with a zero balance like he said. I did trace the call though just in case. Other than that stupid call, we had a very nice day sleeping in, watching the Buckeyes win, going shopping and to the park.

brad said...

"Marriage is seeking to make your partner happy. It is making compromises and sometimes giving in to your partner's wishes. It's helping each other become better and sharing yourself with your partner. It's trusting each other and loving each other every minute of every day."

So true. The secret of a good marriage. Amen!

Wendy Lopez-Redaon said...

11 years!! wow!

I've only been married for almost 2 years. there's still a lot I am discovering about my hubby I didn't know before. Still adjusting and stuff especially with the baby coming along. You and Gerard seems to be really blessed and happy! All the best for you and him and may you continue to be a blessing to the lives you touch!!

God bless =)

Amanda said...

Happy Anniversary to you both! I love reading these posts about marriage compromise, I'm hoping it will help me when I get married someday!

Life with Kaishon said...

I really liked this post Karen! It is a nice summary of marriage and the changes that are made : )

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