Our 17th Anniversary

I am blessed beyond blessed to be married to the love of my life, Steve. This picture above is from the day we met. Our marriage is perfect! Do we argue? Of course! Do we disagree on things? Of course! So why is it perfect you ask? Because when we said our vows before God, we meant every single word of it. Our marriage works because we WORK it. On the 16th, we celebrated 17 years together. Is it our wedding anniversary? No. It is our datesary, the day we met and the beginning of our great love affair. We have always celebrated this day with as much enthusiasm and excitement as we do our wedding anniversary. I wanted to share some reasons as to why our marriage works:

  • Never let any argument last more than 30 minutes. Most of the time, it is a 5 minute argument that required 20 minutes of cool down time followed by 5 minutes of compromise.

  • Agree to disagree. We don’t see eye to eye on everything but we respect each other’s perspective. We take into consideration what each other is saying and meet in the middle.

  • Listen to each other. Hearing is literally the act of sound being heard. Listening is understanding what is heard. Both are action verbs with totally different meanings.

  • Children come before each other. It’s that simple. When you have children, their needs and wants supercede all of your individual needs and wants. Children first. I love my husband for many reasons but the number one reason is because of how amazing of a father he is to our sons. I’m certain he would tell you the same about me as a mother.

  • Eat dinner together every night. Whether it is take out, a sit down restaurant, sitting at the dinner table or eating off TV trays. We eat together. For one hour a day, it is family time. We talk. We each share what happened that day. This next part is sometimes hard for our teenage son, no phones or texting during dinner. The focus is on family.

  • Plan a family event weekly. It can be as grand as a vacation or as simple as watching our favorite family show (which by the way currently is The Voice).

  • Have a joint account. Money is the root of all evils. It is not “my” money and it’s not “his” money. It is “our” money. We have a joint checking and joint savings account that we BOTH contribute money to. It doesn’t matter who contributes more. We balance our checkbook together. Money will tear folks apart fast, don’t let it.

  • There is never anything more important than our kids’ events. Yep, we go to EVERY game. We show our support and I know that makes a difference in our kids.

  • Text or call whenever apart. Steve knows to call me as soon as he gets to work to let me know he has safely gotten to work. Steve knows where I am at all times and I know where he is at all times. It is not a control issue, it is a courtesy thing. Knowing where everyone is calms anxiety and fears. This includes our children. We always know where they are at all times.

  • Spoil each other between holidays and special occasions. It doesn’t have to be a diamond tennis bracelet. It can be a favorite candy bar that Steve picks up when he is at the store or me making his favorite dessert for no reason other than it is his favorite.

  • Never ever complain about each other to other folks. I am not perfect, he is not perfect. We annoy each other at times. But I don’t go running to my friends to complain or shed a negative light on him. Once you do that, your friends remember. They remember that one crappy moment. Whether they repeat it or not is not as important as the fact that you have changed your friend’s opinion about your spouse. Friends are very influential. Once you’ve planted the seed, they will always look at your spouse differently. They may not verbalize their thoughts to you but it will be evident in their actions and nonverbal cues. You will soak in this negativity and it opens your mind to see things as far worse than they actually are. You will never hear me talk bad about Steve and you will never hear Steve talk bad about me.

  • Hold hands. Marriages are meant to be physical. Your marriage should never be so “common” or “ordinary” that holding hands is passé.

  • Kiss every morning and every night. Steve is the first person I kiss everyday and the last person I kiss everyday.

  • Elevate each other. It is not about changing someone into someone else. It is about being the most you can be. Steve pushes me and I push him to be better, to be better at everything: a wife or husband, a father or mother, an employee, a student, a community member, etc. If your lover isn’t lifting you up then he or she isn’t the one.

  • Live by your vows. Recall what was said in your wedding vows. Those weren’t said to only be in effect for a day, week, month or year…it was meant to last for the rest of your lives.

Simple rules but effective rules. I don’t think I’m sharing anything that you don’t already know. Sometimes it’s good to remind yourself of what you deserve in a marriage. After 17 years, I not only love my husband…I am still IN love with my husband. Hope you are all as blessed as me!

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