We’re all broken

I contemplated relationship longevity.

I didn’t think I had it in me. I couldn’t have a long term thing. My relationships had a life span of about 5 years, give or take a few months.

Randy and I celebrated our 22 wedding anniversary last Thursday.

Our celebration included cancelling dinner reservations, ordering from Doordash and watching Netflix. The perfect evening.

I’m glad that I broke out of my five year pattern. I truly thought I was incapable of sustaining a relationship. Turns out I was wrong.

We didn’t get the swing of the “long haul” for a while. There were bumps and tears along the way, but we made it.

Previously, I never got much past the discovery phase in a relationship. You know, that part where we figure shit out.

We learn each other’s broken places and do what we can to help them heal. We celebrate every closed wound and ooh and aah over every scar.

But those of us in it for the long haul? For the forever? We learn about wounds beneath the surface. We learn how each other is broken.we're all broken doll

We recognize those places in each other that will never heal. Never.

Maybe, we would like the wounds to heal because we don’t want our best friend to hurt, but we accept that it won’t.

Not ever.

So we tend to those wounds.

We put on bandages that make it easier to ignore the broken places and when the bandages need to be changed, we change them.

The broken places aren’t necessarily bad. Sometimes, great beauty springs from our brokenness.

There is also a great security in knowing that another human knows all the places you hurt and all the ways you suck, but they still have your back.

That safe place. I never had a safe place before Randy.

I have it now.

He’s here with me. He doesn’t mind the cracks and the leaks. He protects my vulnerable places and I protect his.

I wish this for all of us. We all need a safe place. I’m so glad I found mine.

Happy anniversary, big man.


Add your comments below. Profanity is encouraged, but not required. ;)
  1. Kate says:

    Well said, Michelle. Happy Anniversary to you both!

  2. Eleanor says:

    I’m so glad that you found each other.

  3. Lizzie says:

    Happy Anniversary! So glad you found each other.

  4. MJ says:

    Happy anniversary and cheers to many more!

  5. Karen says:

    Thanks for your insights about the long haul. I only managed three months until I married my husband, and now we’ve passed 23 years (plus I knew him 8 years prior to that). He’s very good at tuning out all the static. And I don’t mind that all he really does is read academic books and write academic books. (I do everything to run and repair the house and yard, but then I’m a bit control freaky, so it works out.) I’m glad to read that you both protect each others’ vulnerabilities. That’s vital! All my best to you both for more years of embracing the flaws and irregularities.

  6. Denise says:

    You made me all teary! Happy Anniversary!!

  7. Donna says:


    I had 30 (!!!!) years with my Amazing Bob before he shuffled off to wherever it is we all shuffle off to. I never thought I’d meet anyone again who was broken, bent and whole in similar/compatible ways. And then I did.

    We’re at the beginning-ish but I learned from Bob – relationships can last if it makes sense and I want ’em to.

  8. Paula says:

    This is so beautiful. I watched my parents. That is what I wanted. They had 42 beautiful years. I had 38 and called it quits. I am in a relationship now. It feels more about convenience than a true relationship.
    I believe a relationship is about ying and yang. Some days you give 60% or more some days he gives 60% or more.As we get older, we change so our relationship with each other changes. That is the beauty of growing old together. My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The doc told them he would no longer have the ability to have sex. My dad told my mom she could go on and find someone else. Her words to him were “have you lost your mind?!?!” She was by his side when he died. She never wanted anyone else.
    Happy Anniversary! I wish you 22 more!

  9. BarbaraM says:

    How wonderful for you! We’re heading to 49 in March, although not as smoothly as I would have liked. Still. Wow! Congratulations!!!

  10. Deborah says:

    Wow – that was beautiful, Michelle! Happy anniversary. I hope the Dude made you a card or something.

  11. Dara says:

    Happy Belated Anniversary! My husband and I live together, work together, eat together, sleep together….. We’ll be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary in March. It’s not always cake and bourbon, but when things get a little rough, there is usually cake and bourbon.

  12. Connie says:

    Congratulations! Having a true partner rather than a wanna-be master is so much better.

  13. mydangblog says:

    Congratulations, you crazy kids!

  14. Doug in Oakland says:

    My credibility on this subject is near an all-time low, so let me just offer a heartfelt congratulations to you both.

  15. Shani says:

    Powerful and beautifully written!
    Congratulations to you both

  16. Lisa K says:

    Another level of right <3

  17. Linda says:

    I completely agree with you about finding the one who gets you and knows when to push your buttons and when to mend the wounds. Alan and I celebrated 31yrs in December last year and, while sometimes he annoys the absolute fucking crap out of me, I really don’t know what I will do without him around because he just gets me – through my depression and anxiety and all the other shut that comes and goes.
    Here’s to another 50 years together for the two of you xox

  18. Minette says:

    Congratulations! We are at the 25 year mark, heading to 26. Not easy, but so worth it!

  19. Amy C says:

    Partners, yes! Congratulations on 22 years of making each other’s world a better one to live in!
    We are looking at 40 (!?!) years coming up and depending on the day, it either ‘seems like just yesterday’ or ‘feels like forever’.
    I’ve got a good one too, which I was just barely smart enough to figure out at the beginning. Lots and lots of ups and downs over the years, but we’ve got four decent kids who have all grown up to become really nice people, so that’s a great big check mark in the win column.

  20. I’m so happy you found your forever dude. So much of this resonates with me. I also have been in a long term relationship (est 1996) and I view it as nothing short of a miracle. Happy Anniversary!

  21. Mona says:

    Happy Anniversary!

    I so agree. We ARE all broken. But it’s not all bad. The brokenness also defines our unique beauty and quirks.

    Thanks for sharing this 🙂


  22. Happy Anniversary Michelle! that was beautifully written

  23. Happy anniversary, and thank you for this reminder that sometimes when we break the healing makes us stronger.