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Happily Ever After?

Kenneth Buchholz

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We all hear about everyone's bad marriages. How horribly high the divorce rates are here in America. My wife said her hair dresser always says what a joy it is to know her and that there is somebody out there with a happy marriage, because most of her clients just sit there and complain about their marriages every time they come in.

Not much in life is perfect. Especially human relationships. And I'm Not saying We are. However, after 21 years of marriage we really are - still, very much in love.

Some guys would say I'm whipped. But if that's what it's called to have your wife still look at you with stars in her eyes, I'll take any title they give me.

This weekend has really been busy for us. My wife doesn't really like parties. It just turned out we had to go to two of them this weekend.

Friday night we went to my friends house for dinner. My wife was under the impression that it was just going to be the four of us. I didn't tell her until we actually pulled up to the curb that there were going to be several other couples there as well. She doesn't feel comfortable in crowds. She froze for a minute. Then put on a brave face and got out of the car. She knew it was important to me. These were all the guys I work with and their wives. She doesn't really know any of them very well. She has a chronic anxiety disorder, brought on by a traumatic childhood. But I watch her fight it valiantly, and I'm proud of her. For public appearances, such as book signings, she can take medicine and get through just fine. Even enjoy it if we're there together.

She had a some wine, and everybody at the party thought she was a lot of fun. She powered through.

The next night was a party at her best friends house, on the lake. Once again lots of people. She was really tired from the night before and was looking for any reason not to go. I convinced her how disappointed everyone would be if we didn't go. So, we did. Once again we had a really good time.

On the ride home we were talking about both parties and realized something. People seem to think of us as some kind of ‘super couple. ’ They actually compare other relationships up against ours. Even though most of our friends are in our same age group 35 to 50 or there about, most have only been married 2 to 5 years. A few of them are newly engaged.

When they look at us, sometimes sitting close, holding hands, sneaking an occasional kiss - they just can't believe we have been married for 21 years. And dated for a year before that. But whether we go to parties together, or we're writing a book together, or just laying in bed watching TV, we have a lot of fun. We laugh a lot. Sex just gets better as we go along, although neither of us are as thin as we were in our twenties. Our chemistry is just as strong as ever. :-)

Being together for this long is great. We're over a lot of the insecurities of our youth. We know each other so well. In a crowd of people, we can wink at each other and know that's our code for, I Love You.

We have 3 sons. Our oldest son is from her first marriage, however I adopted him after we married and started to have more children. She always says how proud she is of me because when we met, I was 23 years old, she was 26, divorced with a young son. She said that intimidated most men. She was uncomfortable with our age difference. It really bothered her. So I told her it was a matter of mind over matter, if we didn't mind - it didn't matter. I don't know how I thought of that so fast at the age of twenty three.

We've both made mistakes in our marriage, of course. Although never infidelity. In the early years, every time we had an argument, she thought we should get a divorce. I couldn't believe it. We were married and to me that means forever. It took a while but I finally convinced her of that too.

Our children think it's funny how much we love each other. One of our sons said to his Mom that he thought it was cool how I treated her differently than everyone else. He said I get all sweet and mushy when she's around, when most of the time people say I'm intimidating (his words - not mine) I'm 6'3" about 225 pounds, and don't usually talk a lot.

She sometimes says she can't believe it when she thinks about how much I really love her. She doesn't understand why, with her anxiety problems and everything else she doesn't like about herself - you know how women are. But I think she's one of the bravest people I know. She has this incredible way of loving people, that just lights up the room. She makes every one feel special. Our kids adore her. To keep them in line when they were little, all I had to say was, “Think how disappointed your mother will be. " It worked every time.

Our relationship reminds me of that Eric Clapton song, “Wonderful Tonight. " I like the part that says, The wonder of it all, is that she just doesn't realize how much I love her.

So, does happily ever after ever really happen? Absolutely. We're living proof! I guess our words of advice would be. . . Compromise, communicate and realize what is really important in life.

K. T. Banks is a pen name we use. We are a husband and wife writing team. We have just published our first mystery novel, ‘Stand and Protect’ and the second one is almost finished. Don't hate us, but we feel that we have the family thing figured out. Besides our good relationships with our children, we have a great marriage.

Despite many ups and downs financially, we are still crazy about each other. Once we came into a lot of money, and through mostly our own ignorance, we lost everything after a while.

Sometimes we have in-law problems. We've had to deal with death in the family. Our 18 year old lost his best friend in a car crash about 6 months ago. That was really hard to deal with. I (the wife) have anxiety problems from childhood.

And yet we are always there for each other. We're in this together and learning how to compromise is huge. So, while we really enjoy writing novels together. We like this avenue to try to help others that may need it. A happy family life is one of the greatest blessings you can have.

You can read about our novels at or email us at

All the Best, K. T.


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