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.

Ain’t Feeling Love For the Monthly Bus Pass

You’ll have to answer
To your own

Billy Joel – Pressure

We all feel pressure in some form or another.

Maybe, it’s paying the bills, getting or keeping a job, satisfying your love ones, or satisfying yourself.

Pressure can manifest itself in many ways. It could be loss of appetite, headaches, disturbed sleep, etc.

Generally, I deal with pressure rather well. My wife, however, may disagree with that assessment.

Anyway, something recently has come along in my life that has caused me to feel pressure. The kids are fine, my job is secure, and my wife and I are in good health.  So, the issue is not particularly serious and the pressure should not exist.

Let me give you some background.

I’m a loser. No, I don’t mean this in a self-deprecation sort of way. Well, not completely.

It’s just that I have a history of losing things.

This history goes back to childhood.  I had clips on my jacket which attached to my gloves. You remember those? I still went through six pair of gloves one winter. My mother has reminded me of that particular winter a number of times.

Unfortunately, this habit of losing stuff continued as I got older.

Check out this partial list of all items I have lost:

Three passports. (It’s a miracle I am not on some terrorist watch list.)

Two driver’s license

Lunch Bags

Water Bottles

Library Books


And my children. But luckily I keep finding them. Or they me.

Clearly, it’s a long and ugly history.

And I am scarred.

Yet, there is hope.

I actually retired my last lunch bag – after two years.

I had a pair of glasses for three years – and then they broke.

This is the first Chanukah since my wife, Ms. MMK and I got together (12 year anniversary on Monday) that she did not buy me a hat or gloves as a present.

Maybe, I am a loser no more.

A burden has been lifted.

I’m swelling with pride.

I keep things. I retain.

While getting used to this newly earned title, my wife, Ms. MMK made a decision. It’s actually very practical, and I love practical.

Her decision was to buy a monthly bus pass for us to share. On those days she works in the city, she uses the monthly bus pass, and I use it the other days. Gold for 50th anniversary, silver for 25th anniversary, and a shared monthly bus pass for a 12th anniversary.

I do love her, but she has no idea of the pressure this has put on me.

You see I thought of buying a monthly bus pass for myself during those months when it would make sense monetarily.

But I held back.


Because the monthly bus pass is pricey. So, if it is lost that’s nearly 150 dollars down the drain in one fell swoop.  And I would be angry and feel like crap if I lost the monthly bus pass.

Each time I ready to get on the bus these days, there is a moment when I can’t find monthly bus pass. I rifle through my brief case.  I fight to remain calm.

It’s pressure man!  Pressure, pressure, pressure.

So far, so good.

I need to relax and let

Can’t Wait to Catch Catching Fire

Catching Fire Movie Poster

Catching Fire

You read that right. I am very much looking forward to watching Catching Fire which is out in theatres today. Of course you knew that – unless you live under a rock.

Seriously is Jennifer Lawrence ubiquitous or what? I think she is on practically every talk show, magazine cover, and radio station.

Continue reading

Relationships – The Need to Communicate, the Desire to Change

Still trying to communicate after all these years

My wife and I – communication is the key

I believe in change. Don’t be frightened off – this is not another post about politics.

Anyway, I could not do my job if I did not believe in change.

But this is not about those challenging and occasionally likable high schoolers.

No, this is about relationships and marriage.

The other night my wife and I were having a discussion. Actually, it’s private. Yes, even bloggers hold some things back.

Anyway, in the middle of the discussion, it hit me. We had this same basic discussion about the same basic issue previously. I don’t mean last week, and it’s only coming up again because we are sleep deprived or have exhausted every non-child topic after nearly 12 years of marriage.

No, because in this case, my wife and I have not changed – at least not dramatically.

A little background.

When we first met, we went out a few times over a month, and then, I broke up with her. We met up again, by chance, a few weeks later, at some event and ended up walking home together. We had a discussion and decided to give it another try.

Six months later, we were serious. I had even brought her home to visit my family. This is definitely not something I made a habit of. I prefer asking questions to answering them. Anyway, afterwards, she told me she needed to pull back and think some things over.

A few months later we were engaged, and a few months later we were married.

And everything was perfect!

Yeah right. And life’s a Disney movie.

A couple of years into our marriage and after BR was born, we visited a therapist.

Each of these stoppages, etc. was really for the same issue.

So, while circumstances have changed – from getting to know you, to seriously involved, to parents etc. – the same issue was still there.

And I don’t think the issue is going to go away. Don’t fret. This is not the sweeps episode where something dramatic happens. No blood, tears, or loss of limb here.

Thankfully, my wife and I had a good discussion which left both of us more understanding of what the other is thinking/feeling.

Despite that, I don’t things will change dramatically. Yes, I know what I said earlier about how I believe in change. We each have some things about ourselves which we will always be working on throughout our lives. Some moments, days, years even, we will have more success and other times less. Life will continue to be busy and stressful, crazy and rushed. Stuff we can’t plan for or imagine will happen, and it will be easy to slip into old patterns. Intentional or not.

In a marriage, you can’t just shut down – you keep trying to make those changes. Really, it’s about communicating.