Wednesday, June 6, 2012

20 Years





Twenty years ago today Craig and I were married. This was after a long distance romance which started in Holland and lasted the next 4 years throughout college until June 6, 1992. Having spent most of our relationship apart, we were even more anxious than most couples to spend the rest of eternity together. But you should probably know that twenty years ago I was a drug addict.

My drug of choice? Dopamine. And it's just as addictive as cocaine. You see, dopamine is a very powerful chemical in our brains. It can make you think delusional things like we're the only two people to ever be so in love. We're soul mates. We'll still feel the same way about each other in 50 years when we're old, wrinkly, fat and wearing diapers. It also makes us think, this marriage thing is gonna be so easy because ______________(fill any name you wish in the blank here) and I are so in love, we're soul mates and we'll feel the exact same way when we're still gettin' it on twice a day in the nursing home wearing diapers. But, that's all a big crap load of lies. Lies I tell you!

Because those dreamy dopamine delusions only last up to 4 years max. Less if you're Kim Kardasian or Brittany Spears.) After the oxytocin, the mellower-not-tonight-honey-let's-just-cuddle-drug takes over. If you're still together of course.
Because those dreamy dopamine delusions only last up to 4 years. (Less if you're Kim Kardasian or Brittany Spears.) After that oxytocin, the mellower-not-tonight-honey-let's-just-cuddle-drug takes over. If you're still together of course.

Not only does biology work against you, then you have to contend with the little bumps in the path that also take a toll on your marriage.      

For us it was medical school. And graduate school.

Residency. (Which is far more stress than medical school.)


Craig's dad passing away.

Deciding it was time to start trying to have a baby.

Realizing that's near impossible when your husband is never home.

Selling our souls to the army to pay back medical school. (His soul really, mine was just bonus.)

Not getting pregnant after years of trying. (Which is a lot less fun than it sounds.)

My mom passing away.

Deciding to adopt.

Adopting our first child, River.

Then moving to Germany.

Where the tragedy of September 11th happened a week after our arrival.


Adopting Sky and Jade. 


Craig getting sent to the war in Iraq for 15 months.


While I stayed in Germany with a 1, 2 and 3 year old. 


Deciding to move to Colorado on a whim.  Somewhere we hadn't been, that we didn't know a soul and we didn't have a job after the army.

Paying the equivalent of 2 mortgages for 7 years to buy into a group medical practice.

Adopting our fourth child, Ember.


Taking a job with the Peace Corps and moving to Morocco. 


And you know how stress free that has been.

For years we didn't realize the toll all of these bumps (and many others) had on our marriage. We took it for granted. More than once we tripped on the obstacles in the path and lost our course. At different times each of us thought that maybe it wasn't even the path we actually wanted to be on at all. That's what being clean, sober and dopamine free gets you. Reality. Reality bites.

But, in this unsexy reality, I always have someone to catch me or help me up when I fall. Not because he can't see my imperfections, but because he can. And somehow loves me despite them. As I do him. Who needs dopamine? We've got oxytocin. Let’s cuddle!

That's why I'm doing 20 years to life hard time on drug charges with my best friend.

20 comments:

A Brilliant Life said...

Thank you so much for this personal personal insight into your life. You two are amazing, the real life Angelina and Brad!!!!!!! Just kidding, ya'll are better.

Congratulations on your 20 year marriage!!!!!! And thank you again for your honesty. My husband and I are going on 15 years, but 8 of them have been apart!!! I have always held out that Marriage, and Love for the matter, is a choice. It is a lifestyle choice.

I hope you two have a wonderful anniversary today!!!! Come to Casa and eat at Cabestan. I'll call to make you a reservation if you want.

ps: YOU DON'T AGE!!!!!!

The Loerzels said...

Thanks Carrie! Wow...8 years. My mom tried to persuade me to wait to get married until after Craig had finished medical school. Thank god I didn't, residency is far worse on a marriage. And I wish we could make it down to casa, but we're spending the day with friends since we're on the last couple of days here. I think we'll formally celebrate in the winter. I'm pushing for Thailand...

A Brilliant Life said...

Well god speed on your return to home!!!!!! I really hope you continue to write I am really really looking forward to your re-entry perspective.

Cerebrations.biz said...

First, I want to commend you and Craig for being there, working things out, and staying together. Mazal tov is the least one could say.
Your heartfelt, loving, and straightforward plaint is one I will share with others.
Thank you for sharing it with me- and them!

Thom Brown said...

Yes, I think 'Thank you' sayas it best.

anniewald.com said...

20 years--Mabruk!!
The best part is that it keeps getting better and better. [Just celebrated #35]
I've really enjoyed Rock the Kasbah and am glad to hear there will be more posts to come, and a book too. Thanks for bringing laughter to my life!

Joy Page Manuel said...

This almost brought tears to my eyes. It's just so touching, Marie. You shared so many precious pieces of the puzzle (your wonderful family life) and I am learning so much from everything. *Somehow I feel like a HUG is in order right now* :-)))

Janine said...

Thanks so much for sharing this and showing the highs and lows, the not so shiny parts of a relationship and life, but also the strength that can come and the beauty of a strong relationship that can overcome so much.

You know something - I've been contemplating giving up blogging but on reading your post it's made me reconsider and I'm looking forward to sitting down over the weekend and writing something...

The Loerzels said...

@ Annie-Thank you for reading and your kind words!
@ Joy-See once in a while I can do touching, in an "off" kind of way.
@ Janine- I'm glad you're inspired to write. There is so much to write about, especially for us shy people ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm going to seriously miss RTK, especially when I read posts like this. Congrats to you and Craig :-) I hope I have what you guys share down the road. I celebrated my 6th anniversary recently (got married when I was 20) and it totally makes you think about all the crazy things that life throws at you that are generally more manageable when you have a partner in crime...!

xoxo
h.

stuartnager said...

Congratulations on the first twenty, and here's to twenty more, and hopefully twenty more after that.

Joy Page Manuel said...

I can't stop thinking about this post Marie. I am sending this via email to a friend in China. They can't access a lot of websites there so email is the best route. I hope you won't mind. I'm including your name as author, of course. :-))

Lalia said...

What a great post! Congrats on 20 years <3

Lucy Patterson said...

Congratulations! This is the part where I would normally wish a recovering drug addict well, but in your case I hope you remain intoxicated for many years to come. Oxytocin rules! x

Leah Griffith said...

Happy Anniversary Marie! Actually today, June 7th, is our 34th anniversary, and reading this post put a big fat smile on my face, a lump in my throat, and a tear in my eye. What? Tears and smiles? Yes! That's life for ya, tears and smiles all at once, and years of bumps, clumps and togetherness. Thanks for your unfiltered honesty. Your words are like spotlights.
Hugs,
Leah

The Loerzels said...

I'm glad this post resonates with readers. It's always the posts that I'm a bit reluctant to make public that are the ones that people seem to connect with. And that's pretty awesome. Thanks for reading!

bettyl said...

Congrats on such a great milestone that is too rare any more!

Laurel's Quill said...

Life is full of ups and downs and you have had your share of them. Nice to have someone to live life with...congratulations to both of you! Laurel

MuMuGB said...

A very touching post, Marie. It looks like over the last 20 years you have been through a lot but always had a shoulder to lean on...And now, to the next 20 years!

Beauty and the Green said...

Such a beautiful post and a beautiful REAL story. Very refreshing.

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