Today is our wedding anniversary. We've been married for more years than half my life. It makes me a bit sad to think about the years that were spent in the marriage that used to be and the one that occurs in the Now. The one that is "Now" is definitely better. For one thing, I don't fear to come home, not knowing what mood I'd find at home, or have to go to bed with someone who is shit faced. I don't have to fear social occasions anymore. I don't have to fear my reaction to alcoholism.
A therapist that we went to explained that the "old" marriage was dead. She asked what we would do in the new marriage. I said that I wanted to explore things that I had never allowed myself to do, work less and play more. When my wife was asked what she wanted to do, she said that she didn't really know but she knew that she wouldn't drink. That was an honest answer. She's learning to also have fun and enjoy the things that she likes to do. Sometimes we do these things together but we don't feel "obligated" to do so.
I asked a long time (64 years) married couple what their secret was. The wife replied with a laugh, "No secret, just a lot of pain". I asked if they did everything together. She said, "Hardly anything." I liked that answer because being stuck like glue to each other isn't exactly healthy either. I think that by breaking some of the symbiosis in the relationship, I feel much better and definitely more content.
We both went to work today but exchanged cards and gifts this morning. We had lunch and plan to go to dinner on Thursday when neither of us has an evening meeting. Who knows, we might make it to 64 years of marriage.