Jason turns 33 today. It's always a good day for me, because he closes the 5 year age gap between us down to 4 until my birthday rolls around again in December. It was somewhat frightening to realize how much younger Jason was when we met. He always seemed older, even now, probably because he's the oldest of 4 and was born responsible.
I remember asking him if he went to see Star Wars in the theatre, as I was 4 1/2 when it was released, and his answer silenced me: "I wasn't born when it came out." Ouch. Or sometimes I'll hear a song on the radio, and reminisce about how popular it was when I was in high school, and he'll say, "I vaguely remember this song. I was in grade 6." Double ouch.
The older we get, the less significant the age difference seems, but it's still always there. It doesn't seem to matter when the man is older, but culturally it is still unusual to have the woman the older one in the relationship (Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher made it popular again, but our 4 1/2 years doesn't really compare to their age spread).
Marrying Jason was hands-down the smartest decision I have ever made. I tell my kids, on an almost daily basis, to choose their marriage partner wisely, as that one decision will inform most of their adult quality of life, for better or for worse. Simply falling in love is not nearly enough. You have to make the choice with your head and not just your heart. All factors must be considered.
Because my parents divorced when I was 15, and they didn't have a happy marriage for the twenty-some years they were married, I approached choosing a husband as a near-business decision, and I don't regret that at all. I fell in love first, which is a great and beautiful thing, but then I asked people if they thought he was good for me, because I worried that my happy feelings were clouding my judgement. Every single friend and family member I asked told me he treated me well, and was a kind and loving person, and I should hang on to him at all costs.
For the first few years of our marriage, I worried that it was going too well and that the other shoe was going to drop. I'm happy to say that in almost 12 years of marriage and 2 years of dating before that, I love him as much as I did at the beginning, and it's only getting better. With all of the heartbreak and divorce in the world, it's very satisfying to have made a good marriage decision, and know that we are both willing to put the work into the relationship to keep it alive and vibrant.
This post would probably be better suited for our anniversary, but I hijacked it for Jason's birthday (a decision I may regret come July). Welcome to the last year of your early thirties, Jason. Next year you'll be in your mid-thirties, just as I move into the end of mine. It's been good, in every sense of the word, and I look forward to our future together.