In nearly every single way, Jorge and I are complete opposites.
Though an early college Meyers Briggs indicator already told us we were opposites, we dated from 1996-1998. Got engaged in 1998 and married in 2000. I am a classic ESTJ. Jorge is an INFP.
You can see the differences in our house, in the gifts we buy for one another, in how we interact with our kids, how we interact with others, and the type of work that we do. Our upbringing was different, the way we process and think about things is different, how we watch tv (and the level of volume!), and what we find entertaining.
I believe that anyone who says love and marriage are easy, clearly have neither been in love nor married.
Every day, it’s a choice to be in love. And, every day, it’s a choice to stay married.
Ten years ago, Jorge and I were married at Connecticut College. The story of how we met is completely different, from our perspectives. We even experienced our wedding day completely different. When he was beaming with a smile, I was crying. When he carefully and slowly read his vows, I quickly recited mine. At the reception, when I was eating my jerk chicken with platanos, he was walking around the room socializing. While he was talking with friends at tables, I was on the dance floor cuttin’ a rug to N’SYNC (insert moment of disbelief here that I liked N’SYNC).
“Liza, ten years is a really, really big deal,” Jorge repeated as he handed me my gift wrapped beautifully in a pink bag. He waited until our the morning of our anniversary; I, the worst secret keeper in the world, gave him his gift a few days ago — as soon as it arrived in the mail. “Ten years is like a really, really huge milestone.”
There were days when we both were certain we’d never hit the 10-year mark.
We’ve seen one another through our first jobs, our first change-of-jobs, first apartments, grad school, first car, career changes, an out-of-state move, a child who soon became a-child-with-a-life-threatening-illness, a house, another child, a comic book competition and win, more job changes, BRCA, another child, a year long commitment to running, a mastectomy, and so much more. And, here we are. 10 years.
Just like in life, our marriage has experienced ups-and-downs. Stress, kids, jobs, money, religion, illness, family, communication, support, respect, kindness, decisions, our house — we’ve argued about all of these over the past 10 years. And, likely, we’ll spend another 10 years arguing about the same things again and again. We argue about it, mostly, because we think and behave so opposite from one another. Therefore, our marriage is a daily commitment to make it all work, despite being so different. We try to see life through the other person’s eyes; sometimes we succeed, sometimes we do not.
But, every night and every morning, we make the choice to still be in love. We make the choice to work it out. We make the choice to be married, to be good parents, and to be good people. As with lots of choices in our lives, some days are harder to decide than others.
But, most days, the choice finds you.
“I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, through sickness and in health. I promise to talk, and I promise to listen. I promise to always have an open door to those in need. And, I promise to always love you.” — December 9, 2000
Peace, love and choosing to love every day,
PS. Here is a bonus photo of my brother-in-law, Pedro, who always manages to look like he’s either sleepy or in pain in any family photo. I’m posting it here because we all eagerly anticipate the day that PEDRO gets married, where we will all make life (and photos) very, very difficult for him.