Over the Summer Hubby and I attended two wonderful weddings. I must say, as corny as it sounds, there is nothing more beautiful than watching a couple profess their love for one another and begin their marriage — twice! Next year we will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary and, if I do say so myself, it’s a heck of an accomplishment.
A few years ago, we headed to the Mayan Riviera to celebrate out 25th wedding anniversary. Hubby had it all organized: private butler, adult only, private dinner, rose petal bath via candle light. It was fantastic!
Anyway, on the plane a few people found out that we were celebrating our 25th and wanted to know our secret, or at least, some advice. We got comments specifically as, “Oh my God, how did you do it?” “What’s your secret?” I remember feeling pretty honoured. We spoke about communication and having a sense of humour, picking the battles and all that kind of stuff.
But, getting closer to our 30th wedding anniversary and 35 years together… I think I have more to say:
Respect: How did we both manage to miss mentioning this on the plane that day? It is the basic ingredient to marriage. It is the foundation! Respect one another, your relationship, your family, your history and your future.
So, you may be asking yourself “I think I’m respecting my spouse. Am I?” Well, that could be a topic for another day, but in a nut shell: Do you listen when your spouse speaks? Do you speak respectively to your spouse, avoiding belittling, sarcasm or name calling? Do you take an active interest in their life? If this makes you think, “uh oh” don’t panic, because it leads me to my next point.
Team Work: Don’t let anyone tell you that marriage is easy. There are times it’s not. Anyone who says it’s easy is lying. Throughout marriage there are stages that present challenges and will make some days harder then others and may lead into disagreements. These stages include raising small children, lack of sleep, making time for one another, lack of sleep, dealing with teenage drama, lack of sleep, broken curfews, (did I mention lack of sleep?) bills, work and just plain old exhaustion. Hubby and I always try to approach everything like a team. When the kids were little we took turns sleeping in on the weekends, we tried to parent like a team and made decisions together. I even recall picking up our teenage daughter up from a party together one dark winter night. She annoyingly said, “why do you guys tag team wherever you go??” It was the best compliment ever! Nowadays they get a kick if they see us high five each other. We are most definitely a team. Now don’t get the idea that everything is always perfect, because we both have made mistakes over the years because, well, no one is perfect. But, the one thing we did maintain is our respect for one another.
Spend time alone together: Your relationship as Husband and Wife is top priority. Hubby and I would have regular date nights where we would hit up a good restaurant and, our deal was that we could talk about everything EXCEPT the kids. After all, there was the two of us before the kids, and there will be the two of us AFTER the kids leave the nest.
Grocery shopping does not count as spending time together — that is a chore. Make it good quality time, go out for coffee or a walk or a drive. When the kids are older, plan trips together, just the two of you. I honestly cannot stress enough how much fun that is! Hard to find the time? Plan it! Make it a priority! Schedule it.
Most of all, when the going gets tough, don’t give up. Be grateful for one another and show it!