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Jan 13 2014

14 Things You Should Know Before Getting Married

By at 1:56 pm

marry

My husband and I just celebrated a milestone anniversary–our 40th.

We married when we were 21 and 22, respectively, after meeting five years before in summer camp. In my senior year of high school, even while dating other people, I knew I wanted to marry him. I didn’t have a “list” or set of criteria like so many women seem to have now. I didn’t analyze, intellectualize, or speculate on his earning potential or what kind of father he would be. I just jumped, taking a leap of faith that remarkably, astonishingly, and awesomely paid off.

Over the decades I have learned a lot about marriage, from my own experience and from observing other people. These are some of my conclusions; some things I think people should know before they get married:

1. Know that you will not always be happy.

2. Don’t expect your spouse to fulfill all your needs. Women, especially, should make sure to keep their friends. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 20 2013

Friday Night: We Survived Our First Year in the Suburbs

By at 12:28 pm

kids swinging in the suburbs

About a week ago, a friend posted on her Facebook page: “Happy Houseiversary!”

She and her family had been living in their new home for a year (a home that happens to be across the road from my home. Hi, Lori!)

I saw Lori’s post, checked the calendar, and immediately felt shame. Just a week before Lori’s houseiversary, we had a houseiversary, too. It’s just that I hadn’t noticed. I didn’t mention it to my husband, and he didn’t mention it to me. I didn’t post it on Facebook, or give it much thought, at all. In fact, when people ask us how long we’ve been living in our new home, in our new town, we usually mumble, “Uh, a year? About a year? Maybe a little less than a year?” (For the record: one year, three weeks, and five days.)

I’ve blogged on Kveller a bunch about my ambivalence about the suburbs. First I wondered if I was old enough to own a house and then I wondered if the suburbs would make my kids boring. There was a post where I asked, “Will we find people like us?” and one where I tried to instruct readers on how to “close on a house and not freak out.” Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 6 2013

On Our 10th Anniversary, Discovering a New Meaning of Faith

By at 12:23 pm

DanaSiles_SCAN036wtmkwtmk

We got married on Sunday, December 7, 2003. (Yeah, yeah, I know, the Day That Will Live in Infamy. In our case, it was more like the Day That the Rabbi Was Available.) It was a sunny, beautiful day, with nearly three feet of snow on the ground. One of the largest Nor’easters in recorded history had passed through New England in the days before our wedding, but our wedding morning was perfect.

I recently got a copy of the words our Rabbi said as we stood with her under the chuppah:

Now I want to talk about this snowstorm. I think there’s something auspicious in it, perhaps a teaching here. Planning a wedding is a vast exercise in the delusion of control. There are so many details, so many things we want to get just right. And then, something like the snowstorm occurs and suddenly we realize that we’re not really always so in control. Sometimes that realization brings disappointments, frustrations. But it also uncovers something important: that to a certain extent, we just need to have faith.

We can make our plans for future happiness, but we can’t be sure things will unfold exactly as we hope. And that’s really the beauty of the commitment you’re making here today–the statement of faith that each of you is making about the other. That even without knowing exactly how things are going to turn out, even with not being able to control for every eventuality, you have faith that this is the person you want to be on this journey with.

And now we have been on this journey for 10 years. A decade. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how we got here, to this place of love and stability and occasional squabbles and frustrations. And I keep coming back to faith. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 12 2013

My Husband is Pulling a Sandy Koufax on Our Yom Kippur Wedding Anniversary

By at 2:32 pm

sandy (1)

My 10-year wedding anniversary happens to fall on the most sacred Jewish holiday–Yom Kippur, a.k.a the Day of Atonement.

It’s a day when even non-observant Jews feel enough fear and guilt (passed along through thousands of years of D.N.A and bed-time stories) to polish their dress shoes and head to shul.

When I broke the news of the calendar coincidence to my husband Dan, he was giving our 4-year-old daughter a bath.

“Our anniversary is on Yom Kippur this year,” I told him. The bizarreness of the situation made me almost gleeful in the telling.

“Can’t we celebrate another day?” he asked.

“But our anniversary isn’t on another day. It’s September 14,” I said. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 17 2013

Three Secrets to a Long-Lasting Marriage that the Relationship Books Don’t Tell You

By at 5:01 pm

secrets to a long-lasting marriage alina adamsMy 14th wedding anniversary is this month. And now that I’m mere days away from passing the Seven Year Inch Deadline–twice over–I finally feel qualified to share the Three Relationship Tips No One Ever Tells You (or, to be honest, agrees with). But, I’m going to do it anyway. Because, like “Hooked on Phonics” says, “It worked for me!”

Tip #1: Never Compromise

My husband is a math teacher and an engineer by training. So he approaches all aspects of life like an engineer. And this is how he did the math: When you compromise, two people are left unhappy. When you don’t compromise, one person, at least, is happy. So how do we come to a final decision if compromise is off the table? At our house, the person who feels most strongly, wins. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 6 2011

Our Dependence Day

By at 2:43 pm

Tamara and her husband three years ago.

My husband and I were married on July 4, 2008. This week we celebrated our three-year anniversary and by celebrate I mean we tried to find at spare moment between his busy work schedule and my toddler wrangling to exchange lame cards and attempt to have sexy time amidst exhaustion and spontaneous lactation (me not him).  Three years in and we’re already “those people” who have fallen into a rhythm where our time together looks more like friendship and parenting than romance and animal magnetism.  We still hold hands and he grabs my ass any chance he can get but if you pass us on the street we’re probably pushing  a stroller filled with an adorable boy and talking about our finances.

People say that when you have children you have to make it a priority to put your marriage first. There are days that I don’t shower and he doesn’t eat so how are we expected to live up to that kind of standard?  Most days we just pass like ships in the night and I feel like our marriage is at the bottom the to-do list below “change the cat litter” and “make a dentist appointment.” Read the rest of this entry →

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