Today we celebrate 20 years of being married. I’ll be very honest and tell you that I take so much pride in this accomplishment. Marriage is hard y’all, but it is the most rewarding, fun and exciting thing I’ve ever done.
I’ve learned a few things along the way…
- Communication is key. Everything is better when we communicate. There will always be something to talk about. Finances, romance, kids, day to day goings on. While it may seem exhausting, it’s more exhausting to fight about what you didn’t communicate about. We’ve found that if we will talk about it up front, the expectations can be discussed and it very rarely leads to an argument later. The top thing to communicate about is expectations. If we don’t share them, we can’t expect a person (especially our spouse) to read our mind and know. Just talk about it!
- Dating makes it better. One of my favorite things about my husband is how much he loves to plan dinners (or just dining out in general). He’s so good at researching and paying attention to these details. We love to go on dates. Now that our girls are older, we do try to go out just the two of for dinner or a trip to the grocery store or even out of town for a quick weekend getaway. Though, now that the girls are older, it’s fun to go on family dates too. I’ll be telling you about those in a couple of weeks!
- Keep it spicy. This does not have to be limited to the bedroom. We try to still flirt with each other and we even try to be sneaky. Wink. Wink. We have a teenager and a tween and they can’t stand it and that just fuels our fire. I hope and pray that they look back on their years at home with us and say, “Mom and Dad were always kissing and holding hands and flirting with each other, I want to find love like that”. All they say now is GROSS! Take time to pursue each other. Keep flirting. Keep it exciting.
- Make it a priority. When I think back over the last 20 years, the times that we struggled in our marriage were the times when we weren’t making our marriage a priority. Life is hectic, jobs are lost or busy, babies (and now teens) are needy. It happens so easily. We learned early on that we have to make it a priority and we have to voice it when one of us feels like it’s losing rank. This is so important because we are all being pulling in so many different directions. Don’t let it slip too far out of alignment.
- DTR. (Determine the Relationship) This really echoes the priority above. We have these conversations pretty regularly about how we feel like we are doing in our marriage. We determine where the relationship stands and if either of us feels like we have certain needs that aren’t being met. These can sometimes be quick conversations and sometimes they are in depth emotional conversations. But either way, they are conversations that we have and we grow from.
- You have to fight for it. One thing I always tell my husband is that we both have to be fighting for it everyday. Marriage isn’t 50/50, it’s definitely 100/100. Now don’t get me wrong, there will be times in our marriage where one of us has to carry the marriage load a little more than the other. And I fully believe that’s normal for a short period of time. However, I’ve learned that you can only do that for so long. Both parties have to be willing to give and take and fight with everything they have to keep a marriage healthy and together. Be a fighter!
- Laugh together. A lot. I can tell you there have been years and seasons in our marriage where laughter was hard to come by. In 20 years, we’ve seen a lot of seasons. We’ve been tired, we’ve been busy, we’ve been very focused on each other, we’ve been distant, BUT one thing that I find to be true is that when we did the things I listed above, we have found our way back to a place of enjoying each other. One of my most favorite things to do with my husband is to laugh. Lately it’s been watching Tik Toks together. We get so tickled and laugh so hard and it feels so good. Laughter lightens you. It connects you and it’s fun!
Our marriage isn’t perfect. It’s been a constant work in progress. We made a commitment 20 years ago to love and to cherish and it’s my mission to do that til death do us part!