Recently I went to see the movie Letters to Juliet. This is a movie, as my husband would describe, that is completely for the hopeless romantic F-side of my personality. As an aside, the story of Romeo and Juliet has always been a favorite of mine. (Please reference the previous "hopeless romantic f-side statement...)
So of course this movie sparked my curiosity: A young writer finds a letter from 50 years ago at the wall under Juliet's balcony in Verona, Italy. She writes back as Juliet, and the lady (Claire) comes to Verona with her grandson Charlie. Claire wants to see if she can find her lost love Lorenzo. She does find Lorenzo, and their love is still as fresh as 50 years before.
I walk out of the theater wondering "Can true love last through those many years or through hardships or through separations?"
I write this blog being a woman sitting here missing her husband. He is a submariner, whom deploys for 3-4 months at a time. It's not a huge time period, but we pretty much have zero communications. (Seriously...sometimes messenger pigeons would be more reliable.) We've been together over seven years, and will be married seven years come September. I'm almost afraid to add up the amount of time that he has not been home. This patrol makes our third together, then there is also the many trips with his shore command. So we're getting this "good bye" thing down.
I've seen our marriage hold together through all the time a part, major stress due to medical stuff, and stress from work. Even though we are polar opposites personality wise (Myers Brigg test), we've made it work. We know each other's weak spots, and we know each others strong points. I'm the planner. He is the executor. The favorite example my father-in-law loves to use to describe us is a simple shopping trip. I make the list, give it to my husband, and he navigates. To be honest, it took us awhile to get the "rhythm down." I wouldn't trade him for the world though.
Back to my point, yes, I think true love can last. But, you have to want it. In Letters to Juliet, Claire and Franco both want it. (A neat fact, the actors that play Clair and Lorenzo (Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero) are real life lovers. They broke up a few times, but always ended up back together. They are now married.) True love won't always be the perfect sugary romances you see in the movies.
You have to live through the rough times. I still remember talking to my father-in-law one night after a rough day. (Within the same 24 hour period, I had found out my husband was majorly hyper thyroid and that my grandmother had lung cancer.) He told me that times like that would test the marriage and myself, but that I had to not give up on either. How true that statement was. Those rough times have taught my husband and I many things about ourselves. We still have days where throttling the other seems to be a good idea, but that passes quickly. We have a beautiful daughter together (who has the stubborn streak of bother her parent's...God help me...lol), and we have a life that, while not a perfect Utopia, is one that I wouldn't want to give up. And hell, Utopia would get boring after awhile with everything being the same. (Gah...the spontaneous husband is wearing off on me! *grin*)
To close this, I share a quote originally told to me by my husband, whom heard it from his father. "You don't marry the one you can live with. You marry the one you can't live without."