We have been poor and within one month of foreclosure of our home when it finally sold. We have had money and have spent months at a time in sunny warm spots in the middle of winter. We took care of my mother in her final illness. We've taken care of each other during illness and following injuries and surgeries.
We split up twice. The first time lasted for two weeks during the first year of our marriage, when Husband was working all the hours there were and I felt neglected. The second time, four years ago, lasted for three weeks and got me sober. Both times I thought we were through, done, over, kaput. Both times we were drawn back together by . . . what? What makes people stay married for years and years? Love? Mutual dependence? The comfort of the familiar? We didn't have children, so it wasn't staying together for the sake of the kids.
Today we had lunch at a gorgeous old hotel and came home and napped separately. When I woke up he was on the tractor mowing along the length of the driveway. I took some of his shirts out of the dryer while they were still good and damp so they'd hang smoothly while they dried. We admired the way the fields look now that they've been cut and baled, and the way the freshly-mown lawn blends into the field stubble. We laughed wryly about the Country Poodles out hunting mice who'd expired during the haying. "They're so proud! They're catching dead mice!"
When we were first together we had long conversations about how this thing between us was a separate entity, larger than the sum of the two of us.
I guess it still is. I guess it's a marriage.
...to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse,
for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish;
from this day forward until death do us part.