So… Today is my anniversary… married 28 years.
I’ve spent some time looking through old pictures. Ah… memories! We have had some eventful years! So many lessons learned! Some lessons tested our marriage. All lessons add strength, personally and as a unit. Some lessons brought great happiness and a few sadness in those 28 years. All of our experiences together have taught me that I have found a person that makes me want to be a better person.
I have found a man who puts up with my many crazy ideas.
I have found a man who loves to be with his family.
I have found a man who works his butt off to provide for the family… even willing to tackle new thing, like building a house when he had no idea what to do.
I found a man who loves what I cook (even if he sneaks in treats and chocolate when I’m trying to cook healthy).
I have found a man that is goofy and makes me laugh.
I have found a man who enjoys nature…
… who works hard around the house (even spending the day working on the yard and house as I write)…
… who has finally realized that I don’t really like camping and is content to go camping on his own (and knows its okay)…
… who supports his kids activities…
… who loves a new power tool…
… who supports my hobbies and even comes to assist backstage on my shows…
… and who has great fashion sense…
Everyday isn’t roses and sunshine. Some days are tough. However, we continue to learn and pray and work together and that is what makes us stronger.
Some couples drift apart. The trick to a long marriage is learning to paddle together. Metaphorically, walking down the aisle together doesn’t end with “I do” or when you head off to that honeymoon. I believe the “aisle” extends into eternity.
Marriage is a TOGETHER thing.
Feel disappointed… together.
Pick up the pieces… together.
Move one… together.
The trick is figuring out how to walk together through the thick and thin, through the better or worse of life.
I figure after 28 years of marriage I should have learned at least one lesson per year I have been married. So here they are: Twenty-eight Ways to Walk the Path of Life Together:
#28 Don’t take yourself too seriously. Life is too short to be short-tempered. Be humble and flexible.
#27 Laugh… a lot.
#26 Tell your spouse first. When something good happens, tell your spouse first.
#25 Be financially responsible. Money is one of the top marriage stressors. Both of you need to be secure that bills are being paid and money is being spent wisely. Be financially honest with each other.
#24 Be friends with each other’s friends. When you mesh in each other’s social circles, it is easier to enhance relationships in general.
#23 Give your spouse alone time with friends or to pursue their own hobbies and interests.
#22 Bond with each other’s families. Befriend family members. Trust me. It makes things so much easier!
#21 Live by this mantra: “the most important thing a father [a mother] can do for his [or her] children is to love their mother[or father].”
#20 Work together
#19 Divvy up chores. Division of labor in the marriage is something helps avoid resentment.
#18 Ask your spouse, “What do you need more of?”
#17 Work to “like” each other.
#16 Don’t stall on each others request. Life is hectic, but make your spouse a priority!
#15 Have fun together. You can’t let too many days go by without having some fun.
#14 Live intentionally.
#13 Support each other. Be interested in each other’s projects
#12 Be best friends.
#11 Date! Make weekly dates a thing. You courted each other in the beginning – it worked then, it still works now!
#10 Serve each other.
#9 Know when to listen. Sometimes, you or your partner just needs to vent and spill out all the frustrations of the day.
#8 Be kind.
#7 Let your spouse be imperfect. Relax. You aren’t perfect. Let your spouse be imperfect too. Let little things be little things. Love unconditionally.
#6 Disagreements happen. Don’t let a simple disagreement turn into an all-our-war. Let’s be honest. No couple can say they have never had a disagreement. We both have opinions. We both want to be right. Commit to not letting a bad moment become a bad day.
#4 Don’t let bumps in the road tear you apart. Let them bring you together. Hard things happen in a family. It takes work, but make an intentional effort to work toward that hard thing be something that brings you closer together in the long run.
#3 Carve out quiet time. Decompress each evening. Read. Journal. Study. Pray.
#2 Worship together. Attend church together. Pray together. Have gospel discussions together. Attend the temple when possible together.
#1 Be faithful. Be faithful to your spouse in thought, word and deed. Don’t talk bad about your spouse to co-workers, parents, kids or anyone else. Respect your spouse at all times and in all things, no matter what.
No one corners the market on marriage advice. These are just a few of the things I have learn.
Happy Anniversary John!