In September, Bryan and I celebrated a HUGE milestone – 25 years of marriage. Neither of us “feel like” it’s been that long, so we believe that’s a good sign. Unfortunately, my mother in law passed away a few days before our anniversary, so we didn’t get to celebrate as we had hoped. However, I’ve spent some time reflecting on how grateful I am for our union. To have a life partner who you love and respect and who is your rock is a beautiful thing. After all these years, I still get excited to hear his voice and I nearly swooned when he recently told me I’m his soul mate.
Marriage is an incredible amount of inner and outer work.
In honor of our silver anniversary, in this post I will share 25 nuggets I’ve learned about marriage, of which I wrote in my journal. These nuggets are meant to be short and real. This is not an exhaustive list. This list isn’t in any particular order. I didn’t identify these particular nuggets to boast about how we’ve mastered them. Marriage is a lot of work and there are nuggets we’re actively working on. I may expand on some of these nuggets in future posts.
- Discuss, plan, and execute the vision of your lives together. Revisit as often as necessary.
- You make the commitment to be married daily, not just on the wedding day.
- You choose to love every day, every minute.
- You must be intentional about your actions.
- You must apologize as often as necessary.
- You must decide if you want to be right or want peace.
- Compromise, compromise, compromise.
- Sex keeps you connected.
- See things from your partner’s perspective sometimes.
- Hold each other accountable, but extend grace often.
- Seek to understand, not to be right.
- Each person will change and evolve over time, over and again, but the core of who you fell in love with is still there.
- Celebrate all the wins, big and small.
- Don’t take each other for granted.
- Even in seasons where small children (or children with disabilities) take priority, nurture your marriage.
- Your are each other’s best friend.
- Do simple and kind gestures to show your partner you care. Learn their love language.
- Plan and review finances together.
- Accept your partner for who they are.
- Discuss marital problems only with each other, a therapist, and/or your pastor.
- Speak highly of your partner to others.
- Pray for your marriage.
- Pray for your sex life.
- Make time for sex.
- Make time to spend time together.
What did I miss? I’m sure a lot. The thing about this list is that we may have mastered some nuggets at certain points in our lives, but may need to work on them again in another circumstance. As a gardener, I see marriage as a constant tending to, refining, fertilizing, and pruning. Life is not linear and perfect. It’s messy, unscripted, painful, joyful, and all consuming. At least mine is. Until next time.