Sunday, August 10, 2008

Twenty-four years and counting...

Today is my husband's and my 24th wedding anniversary. As he is Japanese, and I am American, we are veterans in the world of international marriage. Considering how very different our native cultures are (opposite, in fact), it is more than a little amazing we have stayed together this long and are in as healthy a place as a couple as we are today.

Any marriage involves compromise, but international marriage requires an incredible amount of it--on both sides. My husband is a very tolerant person and puts up with a fussy, demanding wife, just as I am an extremely dedicated communicator with a spouse who rarely puts his thoughts into words. We both have to try very hard and we both go the extra mile. I could never continue on without my faith, just as my husband could never continue on without a beer at the end of the day!

Today, he was out of town, arriving home around 8 p.m. Today I was busy out all day; at church with worship, choir practice and a women's group mtg, and after that, at a class before heading home by 7 p.m. My husband said around 8:20, 'Oh today is our anniversary, isn't it?' and I said, 'Yes, that's right.' Neither one of us said, "Happy Anniversary!" but I don't mind. It's taken a lot of years of compromise for me to be able to say that honestly. My own parents celebrated their anniversary with great traditions eating out, always with a mystery couple my father arranged beforehand, and presents exchanged. My father inevitably bought flowers for her every year. I went into my marriage expecting my husband to act in a similar way. When he didn't I had a hard time accepting that. But I've changed a lot. And he has, too.

My Christmas, birthday and anniversary gifts from my husband are a willingness to work hard to support our family 24/7, and to cook for me when I don't want to face my kitchen, even after a hard day's work. He does laundry (though far below my standards...) and even vacuums sometimes. I cannot complain. He shows me love in his actions every day, although never with fanfare or expecting thanks or praise.

You can't wrap that with a ribbon, now, can you??


Twice Blessed China Mom said...

Happy Anniversary! I loved your post, especially the part about faith and beer!!!

Sally, when you have a chance, please look at the blog on my sidebar called Bring the Rain. I really think you would enjoy reading this. Angie is an incredible woman of faith and I really enjoy her blog.


Granny on the Web said...

Hello to you in Japan.
I fully understand your blog 24 years and counting. I married a Chinese man in 1958 and we have five children. He died in 1990 from cancer. We both had to work hard at the differences between us to make our marriage last and when he knew he was dying he said all the things I knew. but he hadn't told because it wasn't 'in his culture'. My family were opposed first off but grew to love him as they got to know his generosity. We all miss him, but what memories!
With love in the Lord.

Sal said...

Jeana, Thank you for encouraging me to check out Bring the Rain. I am slowly reading through it, and it's inspirational.

Granny on the web, Thank you for commenting! You are my first "new face" to come, and you are most welcome!! As Japan and China's cultures are rather different, probably we've had our own unique issues in both our marriages, but you are my senior veteran in int'l understanding, sharing 32 years together with your husband. And to have five children to show for it! You must be a Supermom!!! (I knocked myself out on only one!)

May God bless you as you remember your lives together!