On August 23rd, 2003 it was 110 degrees. Everyone in attendance at our wedding likely remembers how doggone hot it was because our church didn’t (and still doesn’t) have air conditioning.
The day ended, however, with some rain and my husband getting shit on by a bird on his shoulder. Supposedly, rain (and getting shit on by a bird) on a wedding day is a good sign? Ha! It’s worked for us thus far! 🙂
Today, I’d like to share with you fifteen lessons I’ve learned throughout my fifteen years of marriage.
- It’s the resolution that counts – never the fight. Be willing to give up and give in as often as you take a stand.
- Have each other’s back – always.
- Same-Page-Partner-Parenting (as I’m going to call it): a steady front in the face of conflict with your children teaches them respect. When one parent makes a decision, the other defends it. This lesson tops on my list of being one of the many things I’m grateful for having with my spouse. We co-parent with established rules and boundaries and back each other up. There is no undermining each other’s decisions or our children manipulating us to get their way. They know where we both stand – side by side as a steady front.
- It’s work because it’s not easy; two lives, two upbringings, two people with their baggage – choose your partner for life wisely.
- Challenging each other is healthy for growth and good for perspective.
- A set bedtime for our kids year-round has always been something we’ve done since they were babies. It’s time we know is ours and ours alone.
- When you know you’ve done or said wrong – acknowledge it, offer your apology, and when the tables turn, give the same grace and mercy to the other. Grace and mercy go a long way – and always finds its way back to the giver.
- Foundation of Faith: the same beliefs and values have been a core key strength in our marriage and our family.
- If it will not matter in five minutes, five months, or five years – Let. It. Go.
- Calling each other out when we’ve hurt each other’s feelings or are behaving in a manner that isn’t an expression of our best selves towards one another or the kids- and feeling safe to do so without backlash or resentment, allows us to address issues as they arise rather than bury them and letting them churn and burn.
- Wholehearted trust is the most vulnerable thing we can do in our marriage and the greatest gift we can give one another.
- Acceptance and tolerance are not the same things. Allowing one another to be themselves without attempting to change entirely or manipulation and always holding a safe space is acceptance. Acceptance is a requirement for the long haul.
- Younger parenthood years are, by far, the hardest I’ve experienced thus far. During the young parenting years there are so many changes; expectations, roles established and possibly changed, and growth of all kinds. These years teach you so much. And these are critical years to be a TEAM. Choose your teammate wisely.
- Teamwork is crucial to developing mutual trust. It has been through deploying together, becoming parents together, remodeling projects, moving, etc., that we’ve learned we make a great team. In turn, I know, whatever life throws our way, we will tackle it together, as a team. It’s the big and small joint decision-making moments that build a strong foundation.
- Gratitude trumps anger at any given moment. Always.
All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest – never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principles of equal partnership.
– Ann Landers
What words of wisdom would you share?
A thought I ponder is if couples who’ve been married for 40+ years have been married that long because they don’t talk about specific issues but were born in an era where a commitment to marriage meant something – a commitment for life.
How about you? Have you been married many years and have lessons of your own to share? Please add your advice in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you! xx