We have been blessed with 17 years of marriage this year. In that time, we have had our good times and our bad. We have had health and we have had sickness, we have had richer and we have had poorer. Having overcome many obstacles and celebrating many of life’s great moments, we love each other more today than ever. We don’t always like each other, but we most certainly love each other.
While we were both in the Navy, we spent a great deal of time apart. Not only from each other, but from our family as well. Our son and our parents had become accustomed to us working crazy long hours or being away for months on end. At the time, when we looked into the future, the only thing we were certain of was that eventually we would have an empty nest and it would be just the two of us and the home that we had established together. We had become accustomed to going through our days with a great deal of separation but having the ability to reconnect after each long work week or deployment was our silver lining.
After retirement, we made the move to Jim’s hometown and made a go of a new life after the Navy. What we found was we were spending more time together than we had in many years. It was a bit of an adjustment initially, but a welcome change for sure. After a few years of togetherness, we found that we very much enjoyed our time together, doing things most families would have been doing all along. However, the concept was still very new to us.Our son had the biggest adjustment coming into his teens and having both parents home all the time or at least much more available than ever before. No longer could we suprise him at ball games and concerts when he least expected it, but rather be available much more often!
Going full time in an RV was yet another adjustment, not only living and working together but doing so in an incredibly small space. One of the saving graces is the ability to spend a great deal of time outdoors. Our time together in the RV has proven to be a blessing for us. Now with an empty nest, we have been able to enjoy each other, learn new things about each other and yes, even discover those things that we didn’t realize, that quite frankly, irritated us about each other. Mind you, that’s not a bad thing, but for some that may be a difficult challenge to overcome. We had heard from many folks who tried to full time and the lack of space proved to be too much. After 5 year on the road, we have not yet found that to be true, but rather a challenge that we continue to overcome.
There is no doubt that despite both good and bad times, one thing has remained true for us and that is our devotion to each other. Sure we get on each other’s nerves at times, but the adventures and memories make it all a worth it.
We have always had a few rules in our relationship that have only become stronger since we got on the road. Specifically, a great deal of compromise, never go to bed angry, knowing when to give each other space and take the time to reconnect on an intimate level especially to include date nights.
I think that our passion for similar things keeps us connected and our interest in different things keeps our relationship exciting and when things seem to be off kilter, we take a step back, regroup and move forward.
Living in a small space is not for everyone, however we have found it to be one of the most exciting thing we have ever done.