Jackie Gingrich Cushman

During other times, the marriage can become rough and tumbling, sometimes the result of one or both parties rocking the boat, sometimes due to tidal forces beyond the control of either party. Such times require intense concentration, watching for signs of what may be around the next bend, and most importantly remaining calm.

When the rapids occur, working together toward a shared goal is important. Working together as a team, making progress bit by bit and sharing the work and effort are critical. So too it is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the partners so that adjustments and allowances can be made to ensure success.

It is important during the rapids to remember that nothing lasts forever, even if it feels as if a phase will never end – it will. The only thing constant is change, and change will come.

Working together and making it through the rapids creates a shared story that will help couples traverse the next set of rapids. The shared event builds strength, experience and understanding, providing additional resources to be used when the next set of rapids occurs.

My husband, Jimmy and I are celebrating our ten year anniversary this weekend.

Whether one views a decade as short or long, it is all the same amount of time. Enough time has passed that the relationship has traveled through both rapids and still waters. Anyone who has been married a decade will have gone through trials and tribulations, or is in high denial.

Possibly the best part of celebrating a decade of marriage is the knowledge that the waters will change, and believing that by continuing to work together through the next set of rapids we will find the journey to be exhilarating, fun and rewarding.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.