happily ever after

Our Wedding_editedCaryn and Bob share a laughWhen a young couple gets married, their hopes and dreams, and those of their families, is that they will live the storybook life of happily ever after. All too often, these days anyway, that ends up not being the case. Nevertheless, my dear husband, Bob Schulenberg and I have managed to beat the odds, and today we stand here together, rejoicing as we celebrate forty years of love. Looking back, I have sometimes wondered how we did it. There are probably hundreds of people who would give you advise on how to make your marriage last, but I have to say that there is no set way, no clear reason, no perfect formula to keeping a marriage together, because each marriage is as unique as it’s parts…the couple themselves. What works for one may not work for another. Marriages that seem doomed because they do everything different than the formulas out there, make it, while those that seem to be perfect crumble under the pressures of everyday life.

I have talked to many people over the years who told me that they were shocked that we were still together, because when we got married, they simply didn’t expect it to last. Nevertheless, we have never considered the thought of not being together. Bob is my other half, and I am his. Through thick and thin, that fact has never changed. We are complete in each other. I suppose that maybe that could be considered marital advise, and maybe it is…I don’t know, but I do know that I just never felt like we were anything else but, two halves of a whole person. Fights don’t matter, stress doesn’t matter, and troubles don’t matter. It’s love that matters.

I can’t think of a better man to walk the roads I have walked, than Bob. He is there to help me with the things I need to do, and support me in my hopes and dreams. They may be different than his, but we would be boring if they weren’t. We both have different abilities and different talents, but when put together, we compliment each other very well. He is my helper, and I am his. We depend on each other, and we never let the other down. I don’t know what I would have done without him…especially these last ten years, while taking care of our parents, and sister-in-law, for a short time. He has been my right hand man, even if he is left handed.
20100623_31_editedBob and Caryn - the early years
No marriage has a magic formula for perfection. Each is unique, and each will only last if both parties are determined to make it last. Bob and I were blessed. We could not have made it if God hadn’t been there…leading and guiding us every step of the way. Praise God for His guidance. Today, Bob and I celebrate forty years of wedded bliss. Bob, I love you more with each passing year. You truly are the love of my life. Happy 40th Anniversary Bob!! Here’s to forty more years of happiness. I love you…forever and always!!

As a young bride, I wanted to be the best wife ever. I suppose that is what all young wives what to do. So they go out of their way to please their new husband. I was no different. Bob went to work at 5:00 am, so I got up at 4:00 am and made him a nice breakfast of all his favorite things. Bacon, eggs, hash browns, and pancakes, with orange juice and coffee, a breakfast fit for a king, or so I hoped. Going out for breakfast was one of the things we really enjoyed doing when we were dating.

For months Bob faithfully ate his breakfast every morning before he left for work. I then went about my day of cleaning and planning his dinner. I was in Seventh Heaven. Our life together was shaping up to be a “happily ever after” kind of life.

We went on like this for months. I was tired, getting up at 4:00 in the morning, but I was doing it for my man, and I knew that I could always go back to bed when he left for work. The main thing was that I knew that he went to work feeling full, well cared for, and most of all, loved. And he did feel those things, without a doubt, but there was something else he was feeling. Something I didn’t know about. After such a big breakfast, so early in the morning, Bob would go to work feeling so over full that it almost made him feel sick…even though the food was good.

Finally, after months of dealing with this problem, and not wanting to hurt his new wife’s feelings, Bob couldn’t take it any more. I remember him telling me that he needed to talk to me about something. Of course, as a new wife, I didn’t want to hear that, but I agreed. Bob…carefully choosing his words…told me that he simply couldn’t eat breakfast that early in the morning…it made him feel sick. He was so apologetic, and I could tell that he felt horrible telling me that.

What he didn’t know, is that I really hated getting up at 4:00 am to cook breakfast. I felt tired all day. I had never really been a morning person, although I learned to be later, but at that time…no way. I told Bob we really needed to talk more, and we both laughed about a what a funny situation that had been. I guess it was all about learning to communicate.

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