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Last week, my husband and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. The day we were married was, by all accounts, an awful one. The only saving grace was the fact that we got out of it together. A hurricane dumped a ton of water on us the night before and flooded out our wedding venue, mudslides closed roads, and delayed guests were less than pleased with the situation.

My husband’s step father died in a freak medical accident a few weeks beforehand. My family was in a battle royale within themselves, my father wanting to bring his girlfriend while still married to my mom, who threatened to fight the woman at the venue. My youngest brother stopped speaking to my father (literally forever) after the wedding was over and my middle brother managed two DUI’s (one nearly fatal accident from the first one) in the month prior.

My mother and her sister in law got completely shitfaced at the reception, while my father went on hunger strike because his girlfriend was persona non grata. My mother-in-law co-opted the ceremony to supplant her own pastor to give a benediction we didn’t want or agree to at the literal last minute. It was less than ideal.

They say that rain is lucky, but to be honest, I don’t really believe that. Because, what would take place in the years that would follow would be nothing short of an exhaustive attempt to break our spirits. We were left our home to relocate for my husband’s job only for every promise to be rescinded, buying our home at the height of the real estate bubble, only to have it crash when we realized our venture into Delaware wasn’t working out. Left with no way to sell our home for what we paid for it, and few options,

I finally landed my current job, where I’ll soon mark 10 depressing years. It has been its own experiment in psychological torture, but one that pays just enough to make it necessary to tolerate. During that time, my husband’s job has changed twice, but he’s been able to pursue industry designations that will hopefully help him when his current job will be eliminated at the end of the year.

We’ve grown from a twosome to a family, cutting toxic people from our lives, staggering through barely functioning most days from the exhaustion that this 12 years has been (longer if you factor in the time we lived together before getting married – more like 16). Still, there is something we’ve managed to accomplish, which is getting through it together. And surprisingly enough, we’ve managed to outlast Brangelina. So, yeah, you could say I’m a little smug.