12 Years Together: What Causes A Bond?

Wife and husband hiking together.

My wife (who is also the photographer in this case) and I together on a hiking trail.

It was March of 2002. My wife and I were newlyweds.

We stood on a subway platform waiting for 1 train. We were in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and were headed back to our apartment in Manhattan.  We were returning from a visit to friends of my wife.

Anyway, as we shivered on that winter night, I looked at my wife. It was a quiet moment. Both of us were thinking our own thoughts.

Though we had been married for a couple of months, I did not feel bonded to my wife.

When I would feel that our lives would be seamlessly intertwined?

You see I had this perception which I was in the midst of learning was false.

I thought you get married and then you are together.  You know: stomp on the glass, dance the hora, feed each other some cake, go home, and you are Coupled. Two become one, united, attached.

However, I did not feel coupled in the strongest sense of the word.

Yes, I was happy to go back to our apartment and share our bed. I was happy to hold hands and feel her fingers tingle. I was happy to stand close and smell her perfumed body.

I felt love.

Yet, I could easily have caught another train. I could have let go of her hand. We could have gone our separate ways.

I wondered at that moment on the platform. When does a couple feel like one? Would something dramatic have to happen? Would something feel different? Would there be a perceptible moment – a crossing of the tracks?

As I have said before, every couple creates their own love story. And therefore each story is unique.  So, my answer may not be your answer.

Today my wife and I celebrate our 12th anniversary (12 Years A Slave- ha, ha. I heard it was a good movie – want to see it).

Our wedding day doesn’t feel just like yesterday. The 12 years hasn’t passed in a blink of an eye. So, much has happened – both good and not so good. I’m sure every couple out there can come up with their own list.

In other words, we have lived a life together. Sometimes happy and sometimes sad, sometimes laughing and sometimes cursing, sometimes calm and sometimes screaming, sometimes excited and sometimes scared.  Mostly content and occasionally frustrated.

This is a life together. This is bonding, I believe. Somewhere through the years and the shared experiences we have bonded.

That doesn’t mean we have submerged our two individual selves in order to create a unified one.  We have separate likes and dislikes. We are not always on the same page. My wife and I think differently.

Today we celebrate our anniversary and our love story. We’ll look back and appreciate. We’ll look forward and hope. Mostly, we’ll deal with today. Together.

Happy Anniversary to my wife – nice being bonded to you.

14 thoughts on “12 Years Together: What Causes A Bond?

  1. Happy Anniversary to you both!
    I agree, the whole marriage kinda thing needs to grow on you. But eventually (and hopefully) you do get there. When, everything clicks. You first have to let go of the romantic idea/Hollywood kind marriage though.

  2. Happy Anniversary!

    You’ve said some important things in this article but the most important thing you said in my opinion was ‘somewhere through the years and the shared experiences we bonded.
    That is something that many people don’t realize. I believe you are still bonding because the both of you have left yourselves open to share your differences as well as those things that you have in common.

    May you have another 12 years bonding as you both live out your purposes in life.


    • Firstly, thanks for the wish.
      Secondly, I agree with you 100%. You have to continually work on your relationship and strengthen and grow those bonds. Bonds can become broken.

  3. I agree with what you mean about being one. I’ve never felt that way (married 7 years), but I’m not sure that I actually want to. I feel like we’re told that love is supposed to be that way, all encompassing, etc. But I’m not sure if in real life it is that way. Our lives are extremely bound together because of our children, but at the end of the night we are two separate people.

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