Secrets to spousal co-existence

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When Joyce and I celebrated our 59th anniversary, we were asked how we had survived living together all those years.

My answer was simple: She worked nights; I worked days.

And then there was the glib answer: We’ve had 50 wonderful years together. We’ve been married for 59 years.

The truth is, we have had a happy and lasting marriage with many challenges along the way, one of the biggest being living in close proximity 24 hours a day due to the coronavirus.

There’s no denying it – Joyce and I are very different.

She’s a night person; I’m a day person.

She is content to sit at home and read; I’m a Type A who can’t sit still for more than an hour and wants to get up and go.

We have different tastes, personalities, viewpoints and lifestyles.

So how can two people so different co-exist?

A house with two floors helps. The TV is downstairs; the computer is upstairs.

Joyce requires a CPAP and a hospital bed. I snore. Separate bedrooms are the solution. This gives us time apart, if only by short distance.

We find things to do together and apart each day. I take a neighborhood walk. Joyce does crossword puzzles.

We have learned to share cooking responsibilities.

Earphones allow us to be with each other, at least physically, in the evening, while she reads and I watch TV.

We both take turns spoiling the cat.

We have learned, as most of us have, that this damn virus has actually brought us closer together, making our marriage more than co-existence, but happy and lasting.

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