Kim & Pat on ‘The Art of Marriage’

 

Kim & Pat: Married June 07, 2003

The Art of Marriage? I guess it starts with knowing you found that one person that completes you. That one person that fills in that missing part you could never put a finger on. It’s not about being similar because my husband, Pat and I are major opposites to most things but its being complimentary to one another: in your views, in your beliefs, in how you handle a problem, how you handle fights, how you want your children raised, how you view extended family, how you view the world. It’s not about who is the alpha in the group because Pat and I both are when we need to be and that is the point – you have to take turns.

Pat and I met on a blind date. Yes as corny as that sounds but we did. I was 36 years old when we met and had long since stopped believing in fairytales – but something was different.

Six months later, my eyes were filled with magic, for my living room was filled with a 100 tea light candles and in the centre of it was a very handsome, nervous Pat in a tuxedo holding a velvet blue pillow. On top of it rested a REAL Cinderella glass slipper. He told me how much he loved me, how I was his one, his true princess. Then out of this glass slipper came a ring. He asked me to marry him.

We got married 8 months later.

Do I still believe in fairytales? I believe in the idea of one true love for everyone. Happily ever after? Well, marriage is not a fairytale: it is work, lots of love, compromise, dedication, support, strength, believing, empowering, being the strong one, and at times letting go for the other to become more. But it is always about us and how much we need “the two of us” to accomplish all the things we have done.

We have been through a lot of challenges that would test the very fabric of our marriage. Even a few of the ones below nearly tore through our family and our marriage at levels that could cause it to fall apart and crumble out of existence.

  • We bought our first home 3 weeks after our wedding.
  • Our first son was born 4 and 1/2 weeks premature with so many health issues in his first year.
  • Pat’s father died 6 weeks after our first son was born.
  • Our second son came 18 months after our first and I developed post partum psychosis (yes the one where you become very crazy and dangerous).
  • Pat’s boss and best friend died.
  • We bought our second home and had to sell our first.
  • Our third child tried arriving on this earth at 28 weeks putting me on extreme bed rest for 10 weeks.
  • Pat’s new company working him 55-60 hours a week, taking him away a lot and making me a single mom of three at times.

Yet through it all Pat and I always come back to “us”, what we mean to one another and that we made it through our struggles together – even the ones that seemed unbearable.

Marriage is a fine art of juggling the individual needs with the needs of family and spouse. Sometimes your needs get left aside for the needs of the group, in the hopes you will be repayed when all the craziness slows down. It’s about sometimes being the rock and sometimes it’s about falling apart and letting the other be that rock. But always it’s about the two of you first and all your love.

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